Article:  St George & Sutherland Leader - Tuesday, November 26 2013

Their white feathery frames swoop and sweep in circular patterns against a backdrop of trees and statues.

They usually appear when below them there is weeping.

They have been dubbed "the angels of Woronora"; others call them doves.

Both descriptions are wrong - they are white pigeons and dearly cared for by the man for whom they are a passion.

Jim Ramsey, who has worked at Woronora cemetery for 38 years, believed they would be an appropriate addition to funerals at the cemetery where they have been performing that service since mid 2010.

"The birdman of Woronora" began his love affair with pigeons at 6.

Previously Mr Ramsey had his own racing pigeons but these days his charges are the 100 birds which the cemetery keeps on site.

Training the birds is second nature for him.  He trained them to return to their loft by releasing them a little distance at a time until they eventually circled the cemetery and then returned.

Cemetery chief executive Graham Boyd said the birds were symbolic of love and peace and it took a year from breeding and training them until they went on active duty.

There had been major bird releases at special services such as that for Mother's Day.  Mr Body said he believed Woronora was the only Australian cemetery with its own bird loft.

It costs people $80 to have one to 10 birds released at a funeral.

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