Does moving headstones move a graveyard? In Singapore, apparently so.
While the headstones and monuments at Singapore’s popular tourist spot, wedding, and concert venue Fort Canning Park have been moved, the graves themselves remain. But you wouldn’t know they were there and no one seems too concerned. Sprawling lawns now cover the one-time cemetery, with just a few monuments clumped together in a corner and some headstones incorporated into a wall that runs down the sloping hill.
The official line from the authorities is that most of the graveyard’s monuments and headstones were so dilapidated they were removed in the mid-1970s.
Six hundred people were laid to rest in the cemetery between 1822 and when it closed in 1865. Can’t you tell? Um… Well… No.
The headstones that have been incorporated into a beautiful brick wall reveal the diverse range of people buried at Fort Canning. A third of them were Chinese Christians and the languages on some of the remaining tombstones include German, Thai and Dutch.
I can’t help but wonder what Australians would think of a lawn replacing an old cemetery. It’s been common in the past, but these days more people take interest in cemeteries and the role they play. Do you think there’s a period of time that passes before it’s OK to transform a cemetery into a recreation area?