The Guardian says It’s time to call the stonemason again; there’s only one spot left on the wall that is a backdrop to the graves of former PMs.You’d be forgiven for thinking that, when it comes to Australia’s top job, nothing is set in stone. However, in a quiet corner of the Melbourne General Cemetery, the exact opposite is true.
In 1996, John Howard and the then premier of Victoria Jeff Kennett opened what is known as the Prime Ministers’ Garden. At the back of the garden is a tall black wall commemorating the tenures of 29 of Australia’s (now) 30 prime ministers. Even Frank Ford gets a tile for his grand total of eight days in office back in 1945. There’s only one spot left and following the events of this week, it’s not going to be blank for long. It’s time to call the stonemason. Again.
The wall forms a discrete backdrop to several actual graves. Near the entrance lie the remains of Australia’s longest serving PM, Sir Robert Menzies. To the left is a memorial for Harold Holt, presumed drowned, inscribed with the words “He Loved The Sea”. Beyond this are the resting places of Sir John Grey Gorton and Malcolm Fraser, who, though they didn’t get along in life, are now 15m apart for the rest of time.