DESCENDANTS of Toolondo's George and Annie Smith have relocated the couples' remains back to the region they loved and the young daughters they tragically lost.
George and Annie were buried at Springvale Crematorium. Family members decided to move their remains to the Clear Lake Cemetery so the couple could be buried next to their two daughters, Betty and Phyllis, who died as children.
Betty Smith was aged two and Phyllis Smith was aged four when they both died at Horsham Hospital on April 13, 1928. They were buried in a combined grave in the Clear Lake Cemetery.
George's father, John Smith, is buried on the other side of the girls' grave.
A new grave was constructed for George and Annie, while Betty and Phyllis' grave, and John's grave, were refurbished.
On Saturday more than 20 of George and Annie's ancestors descended on Clear Lake to take part in a ceremony, travelling from around Victoria and interstate.
John Van Heumen is the grandson-in-law of the Smiths. He said the family had made a group decision to relocate their remains.
"The family believes that the reburial is very appropriate as part of the family will now be reunited, laying to rest where they fell in love, married and during tough times, including the Great Depression, raised a loving family," Mr Van Heumen said.
"We were very impressed with how the Clear Lake community got behind it. We wanted George and Annie to have a permanent spot to be remembered.
"The family wishes to thank the Clear Lake Cemetery Trust, community and in particular the secretary Anthony Phelan for their co-operation."
Mr Van Heumen's wife Diane said her grandparents would always be remembered as "loving, happy people".
Betty and Phyllis' deaths were due to complications caused by gastroenteritis. Their then six-year-old sister Velma survived the illness.
An obituary was placed in the Horsham Times newspaper, dated April 17, 1928.
"A heavy sorrow has been experienced by Mr and Mrs George Smith of Toolondo, who suffered the loss of two of their little daughters, Betty, aged two and Phyllis, aged four, on Friday," the story read.
"Last week the three children were brought to the Horsham Hospital for treatment of a seasonal ailment but though every care and skilled treatment were given, the two little girls died on Friday.
"The third daughter is now making steady recovery at the hospital. The deep sympathy that has been extended to the bereaved parents was further or exemplified when over 100 residents of the town and district attended the funeral at the Clear Lake cemetery on Saturday. The Rev. Neil Oldfield of Noradjuha conducted the service at the graveside."
George and Annie married on December 26, 1917 and raised their family at Toolondo.
They had five daughters survive past childhood. They were Elsa Hutchinson, Gladys Driscoll, Velma McTavish, Kath Beaton and Dorothy Gray.
George worked as a farm hand for the Officer family at Mt Talbot station until 1948. He died in Dandenong on May 25, 1969. Annie married Jack Garnham in 1972. She died in Dandenong on December 14, 1977.
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