John Beamont’s resting place.
Miena Dam, Central Highlands, Tasmania.
Life hands out surprises when you least expect them, but isn’t that
the element of surprise?
Along a dusty road with its brooding gum trees and startled sheep, a
routine drive changed on a whim, with a brief stop by the Miena Dam
and a broken down sign –
‘John Beamont Memorial 250m’
That whim sparked off days of puzzling, searching, voracious reading
and badgering anyone who might know why, here in this isolated spot,
is this grave, this monument.
Why does John Beamont lie here through Eternity?
John Beamont (1798 – 1872) arrived in the colony in 1813. A settler
and Public Servant, he was to hold many and varied posts including
Post Master General, Naval officer, Treasurer of the Police Fund,
Provost Marshall, Acting Sheriff, Clerk of Council, Registrar of
Deeds, reverting again to Sheriff in 1836 and on his retirement in
1841 loved in Hobart until his death on December 19, 1872.
John Beamont’s most noted contribution to the development of Van
Diemans Land was his exploration in December 1817 of the Central
History shows ‘This john’ as a man of humble beginnings, an easy going
spirit, of limited education. A man of some ambition and love of
adventure whose epitaph reads (in part) ‘a warm and friendly man who
died Universally respected’.
Here in this remote corner of the world, wild winds roar in as a
gentle breeze across ancient rocks nestled in lichen, while the harsh
reedy grasses hum with life.
Here there is a magic aura, a magnetic pull so strong it is
breathtaking and life takes on new meaning.
What key does he hold?
‘This John’ whose Soul rests here through Eternity.