Local community group the Friends of South Brisbane Cemetery will continue their successful 2017 comeback by hosting a family-friendly event at the historic cemetery this Sunday. ‘Graveyard Explorers’ will feature free history tours and Symbol Hunt activities for children, a sausage sizzle and children’s history books for sale.

The FOSBC has been around for over a decade but after a recent period of inactivity they became an incorporated association, attracting new members and starting a new series of night tours at the cemetery, which have been very popular and made this their most successful year ever. The South Brisbane Cemetery opened in 1870 and is the oldest municipal cemetery in Brisbane.

FOSBC President Tracey Olivieri stated: “We hadn’t done much at the cemetery for a couple of years, but got back into it and started running different kinds of night tours this year, including ‘A Cemetery by Torchlight’, ‘Gruesome Graveyards’ and ‘Hangman’s Walk’. We like to think that the success of these tours comes from the foundation of our work, which is ‘respect’.

“Firstly, we never lose sight of the heritage and spiritual values of this cemetery, because its most important function is as a ‘memory place’, where people still come to remember loved ones. They have to be respected. The other thing we respect is the intelligence of our tour guests. We chat with them like normal people and answer their questions, and we make sure our stories are historically accurate. We don’t make things up for the sake of a story.

“Apart from the tours, we also organised the ‘Tombstone Folk’ music event in September, featuring live folk music performances that really complemented the quiet atmosphere of the cemetery. We will be using arts events like this to promote the historic qualities of the cemetery in future.”

People are welcome to join the FOSBC via the fosbc.com website.

Graveyard Explorers takes place on Sunday 29 October, from 10am-1pm. No fancy dress will be allowed.