Rich history marked

Nicola KalmarBroome Advertiser

Broome paid tribute to one of the lesser-known parts of its rich multicultural history, when a Jewish section was dedicated in the Broome Cemetery last week.

Members of the Jewish Historical and Genealogical Society WA travelled to Broome and erected a plaque to commemorate a site containing a number of Jewish graves.

Jewish Historical and Genealogical Society WA spokesman Warren Austin said there were seven Jewish graves in the cemetery, making it the third-biggest Jewish cemetery in regional


The representatives had applied to the Shire for a formal dedication of the Jewish section in Broome Cemetery.

For 25 years, Mr Austin and his wife have sought out Jewish graves in regional and remote areas of Australia and restored them. Broome, he said, was one of the last locations to visit.

He said the first recorded Jewish burial in the cemetery was pearl dealer Mark Liebglid, who was murdered in 1905.

A dedication ceremony was held last week, attended by Broome residents and community leaders. Among the guests who had travelled to Broome was 96-year-old Jean Hartz, the niece of Daniel Hatfield, who is buried in the cemetery.

Mr Austin said like many others, Jewish craftsmen and jewellers came to Australia attracted by the prospects of the pearling industry.

Jewish Broome resident Don Cohen also attended the ceremony and said the day was a memorable occasion.

“I’ve always paid a lot of respect to the dead and the Jewish section up here is special for us,” he said.

For the past 10 years, Mr Cohen has embarked on a personal project, building a database of

Jewish people who have died in Australia.

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