From time to time there have been curious happenings in Australia in connection with funerals, and the latest ranks with the most piquant. This is how the story goes;
A funeral party that came to bury Jim Carroll, one of Tenant Creek’s best known prospectors, found the grave digger fast asleep under a tree and they had to turn to in a blistering sun and dig the grave themselves.
The grave digger was on old friend of Carroll’s, and he had received four bottles of beer and 30 shillings in advance.
The funeral party consisted of a Roman Catholic priest, a Methodist; minister, several Government officials, and some ex-servicemen, but when the funeral cortege arrived four hours later, the grave had barely been started, and the grave digger was still sleeping.
Everyone took a turn with the shovel, and the service began half an hour later.
Key Buried with Him
Then there is the story that about the funeral of a publican who died and was buried in his pyjamas.
After the burial the funeral party adjourned to the dead man’s bar but found that the key had been buried with him, in the pocket of his pyjamas.
The grave was opened, the key re-covered, and matters were set right.
Pop of the Cork
There was also the well-known Adelaide figure, Paddy O’Sullivan, who sat down behind a shed on the race course and quietly passed away.
It was agreed to bury him immediately, and the race meeting was suspended for a while.
The grave was dug, and the body was being carried to the spot on some hurdles when a man vowed that he had seen O’Sullivan move.
The procession was stopped, an old prospector marched solemnly to the corpse, and, standing by the head, pulled the cork from a bottle with a loud pop.
O’Sullivan did not stir, and it was agreed that he, being a noted toper, would have responded to the “pop” if he had been alive. The funeral then proceeded.
– Nepean Times March 18 1937