The cemetery and memorial gardens is of historical significance to the Rye district and is managed by a voluntary trust.
The trust is comprised of volunteer trust members predominantly from the Mornington Peninsula community and more specifically from the Rye district. The trust is enacted under the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act of 2003 which itself is managed by the Victoria Department of Health and Human Services. As per the act the Rye Cemetery and Memorial Gardens is classified as a "Class B" Cemetery.
The trust currently has 9 members who meet quarterly to decide on the day-to-day management and long term perpetual maintenance of the cemetery and memorial gardens.
The cemetery grounds are open 7 days a week all year round and is operationally managed by three permanent staff. The cemetery is renowned in the district for the 680 roses professionally maintained by the cemetery grounds management team.
We are well supported by the “Friends of Rye Cemetery”, a voluntary organisation, assisting the Trust with general cleanliness and maintenance of the memorial gardens. This most respected and valued relationship is always in need of new members.
Rye was proclaimed a township in 1861. The cemetery was gazetted in 1868. The oldest identifiable headstone is dated 1859, Eliza Bennet 8 months of age, and a number of other burials are known to taken place prior to 1859. The government of the day used a section of the far north western corner to bury unidentified bodies classed as 'lost souls'.
The cemetery has many graves and memorials relevant to the district's history. Notable are the graves of Richard Barry and Patrick Wee, 2 of 5 young men who drowned in the Boxing Day tragedy of 1869. There is also a memorial to Ernest Myers, who was the only young man from Rye to die in the First World War on the Western Front 16th November 1816. There are of course numerous graves of the pioneers of the Rye district through out the cemetery grounds.
You can find out a lot more about Rye and the cemetery from the Rye Historical Society Web site, the Rye, Victoria Wikipedia page, the Rye Community Website and the Visit Victoria website for the district.