This is a quote from our friend Dr John Rutter. I’ve mentioned it before. I’m not sure if he meant it as a comment about how long he served as Angaston’s town doctor or as a comment about his lack of medical skills.
Jamie and I were going a little stir crazy because of the self-quarantine, so we spent the afternoon wandering around the town cemetery.
Unlike American cemeteries, there’s no lush landscaping, no expansive stretches of green. It looks like what it is — a place for the dead in the driest state on the driest continent.
Note the wording on the headstone above. It says that William Salter “Arrived in the colony in 1839.” The colony of South Australia wasn’t founded until 1836, so the fact that William Salter arrived in the Barossa Valley and died here just three years later is remarkable. To me, at least.
The cemetery has a special section for children. The inscriptions on the headstones are heartbreaking and show just how tough life was in those days. Some of the children died at just a few days of age. Many at age two or less. I can’t imagine how tough that was for pioneer parents, but I guess that was the way of the world back then.