A quick history of Tingalpa Pioneers’ Cemetery and Chapel - The Community Leader and Real Estate New and Views
Local History

Photos: Supplied.


Nestled behind a white picket fence at 1341 Wynnum Road is the Tingalpa Pioneers’ Cemetery and Chapel. Dating back to 1868, the “Bush Cathedral” was erected by the pioneers and has seen approximately 300 burials.

Demolished by a cyclone in 1885, the chapel was rebuilt by the community using timber recovered from the original building. As the population of the Manly area increased, the Tingalpa chapel suffered from lack of patronage in the 1900s, and it was decommissioned and left to deteriorate. The chapel subsequently received a new lease of life thanks to the Friends of Tingalpa Cemetery Heritage Group, who rescued the chapel and ensured the site was heritage listed in 1998.

The beautifully restored gothic chapel boasts arched doorways, high cathedral ceilings and silky oak pews plus a bell in the gabled belfry. It is now used for civil ceremonies and events. With seating for approximately 50 guests, the chapel and outdoor areas are available for hire.

The one-acre of cemetery grounds, including the Circle of Life outdoor seating area, is now in pristine condition.

Decoration Day is traditionally a ritual carried out by families gathering in the cemetery grounds for a work day and picnic, honouring their ancestors. In recent decades, Decoration Day activities have focused less on graveyard maintenance and more on social activities. It is now a fete-fun style event for fundraising, the key to the preservation of the area.

The annual Decoration Day at Tingalpa Cemetery will be held on Saturday October 7, 2023 from 9:00 am to midday. This marks the 155th anniversary of consecration of the cemetery and the chapel. The event will feature food trucks, a sausage sizzle, book sale, live local music, raffles prizes and market stalls. Everyone is welcome to attend and entry is free, with parking available nearby at Smith’s Chips’ carpark on the day.

You may be interested in