Grave new tribute for Journal founder

Harvey Roulston was the great-grandfather of all those pictured. L-R: Judy Cockbill, Laraine Proctor, (rear to front) Bill Baxter, Lindsay Dudgeon, Ralph Moran, Max Baxter, and Andrew Moran. Unable to attend were Sally Dudgeon and Sally Gallimore.

By Danielle Kutchel

The gravesite of the founder of the Dandenong Journal has received some much-needed TLC, thanks to a joint effort by his descendants.

Harvey Roulston founded what was then known as The South Bourke and Mornington Journal back in 1865.

It remained under his ownership until he transferred it to his two spinster daughters, Lilias and Florence, with his youngest child, William Fenton Roulston, as printer and publisher, in 1892.

Harvey Roulston died on 14 February 1896 and his remains were interred in Dandenong Cemetery.

The gravesite lay largely forgotten for many years, with the Journal noting in 2015 that it was “neglected” – until Max Baxter and his relatives decided to do something about it.

Mr Baxter, the great-grandson of Harvey, said he and his cousins made a plan just before Christmas 2019 to re-erect the newspaperman’s headstone, which had been pushed over.

When Covid came along those plans had to be postponed, however the headstone was successfully fixed in late 2020.

The cousins added a plaque at the bottom to advise visitors of their work in fixing the site, and Harvey’s role in founding the Dandenong Journal.

“It was quite a surprise to be contacted about the grave (by my cousins), but it turned out well,” Mr Baxter said.

The group still has some extra tidying up to do, according to Max, and is considering dressing the top of the grave with gravel instead of grass.

For now though, they’re glad that the grave is more fitting to Harvey’s legacy in the town.

Harvey’s grave also contains the remains of his wife Lilias, his son Andrew and his daughter Lily.

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