This article was originally published in March 2017
Brisbane was hit by a massive storm in February 2014, with 140 kph winds and huge hailstones causing widespread damage to the south of the city, including smashed windows in almost every home along the hail-hit areas, and snapped trees strewn everywhere. The South Brisbane Cemetery was in that path of destruction and cemetery historian Tracey Olivieri visited the place soon afterwards and documented the damage.
Some of her photos remind us that when the delicate balance between nature and heritage inside our historical cemeteries is disturbed, it is the heritage fabric that invariably loses out. The sad fact is that very few – if any – of these smashed headstones will ever be repaired.