The Angel in the Boat

[?] MAY 7TH 1880 —  OBIT DECEMBER 1St 1906

A PERFECT AND UPRIGHT MAN

TO THE GLORY OF GOD

IN LOVING MEMORY OF

BERT HOOF

LATE VALUED AND ESTEEMED OFFICER OF DALGETY & COY

VICE CAPTAIN MERCANTILE R CLUB

ACCIDENTLY [sic] DROWNED IN RIVER YARRA

THIS STONE IS ERECTED

AS TOKEN OF UNDYING AFFECTION

BY HIS AUNT FLORENCE PICKERING

ALSO IN LOVING MEMORY OF

ANN RELICT OF JAMES HOOF OBIT 1891

DARLING GRANDMA

According to the Melbourne General Cemetery website, the sprawling graveyard covers 43 hectares (106 acres), and is one of the most historic and important cemeteries in Australia.  Melbourne General Cemetery was established in 1852 and opened in 1853, the first modern cemetery in Victoria, “designed like a large public park with wide wavy paths, separate religious areas, gate lodges, rotundas, chapels, evergreen trees and shrubs.”

Not far from the main gate on College Crescent, to the right on First Avenue, is a gravestone dedicated to Bert Hoof.  The epitaph does not tell the circumstances of his accidental drowning on the Yarra River, but on this gravestone Bert Hoof is depicted as an angel holding up the mast of the tiny boat.

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