The woman who was at the forefront of the campaign for a memorial wall and garden to be built at Riverstone cemetery, has been honoured by being the first person to be interred there.
In a short ceremony, the ashes of Judith Lewis OAM and her husband Kevin were placed in a niche in the new Riverstone Cemetery Columbarium Walls and Memorial Garden.
Mrs Lewis was one of Riverstone’s leading citizens. She was born in Riverstone and was a pupil, librarian, teacher, historian and relieving principal at Riverstone Public School.
Judith Lewis was a founding member and President of the Riverstone Historical Society as well as being a leading light in many other local organisations including the Riverstone Festival committee.
Mrs Lewis was awarded the OAM in 2009 for services to education and to the community of Riverstone.
Blacktown City Council recently completed work on the area consisting of the memorial walls, garden and areas for peaceful reflection.
Blacktown Mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM said it was fitting that Mr and Mrs Lewis were the first people to have their ashes placed in the new Columbarium Walls.
“Judith campaigned tirelessly for the creation of the memorial wall and garden,” Mayor Bleasdale said.
“Judith and Kevin were much-loved and respected members of the local community, and I am pleased that they can be honoured in this way.”
Mayor Bleasdale said the Columbarium Walls and memorial garden demonstrated Council’s commitment to ensuring members of the community could farewell their loved ones in a manner that suited their wishes and culture.
Riverstone Cemetery is a traditional rural cemetery of monumental graves, set among stands of gum trees with sections set aside to cater for Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, Muslim, Presbyterian and non-sectarian denominations.
More than 5000 burials have been conducted on the 5.6-hectare site since it opened in 1894.
The cemetery is heritage-listed due to the Aboriginal artefacts found at the site and due to the fact that many early settlers were buried there.
Photo: Judith Lewis in 2009 when she received her OAM for services to education and her community.