Oz man becomes first to be buried upright at vertical cemetery

Melbourne, Oct 5 (ANI): An Australian cancer victim has become the first person to be buried upright at the country's only vertical cemetery.

According to the Herald Sun, Allan Heywood lost his battle with cancer last Tuesday, and he was buried in the space-saving grave in the new vertical cemetery outside Camperdown in western Victoria.

Heywood, a Vietnam veteran, former pub musician and masters triathlete, had in recent months spoken about his unique funeral choice, which has not been seen since a few Chinese were buried in a similar way in Queensland more than a century ago.

He said he viewed his pending demise and the upright burial in the most pragmatic way he knows.

"It's nice to be first at something. Everybody wants their little place in history," the Daily Telegraph quoted the Skipton man as having said.

"I've attended a lot of funerals over the years and I've never attended one that I've enjoyed ... I'm an atheist as well," he said.

Heywood paid 2750 dollars, about half the cost of a basic conventional burial, to be buried upright in a biodegradable shroud.

Heywood's decision to have a vertical burial was not just based on lower costs and environmental efficiency, but his belief that elaborate funerals were for the living.

Upright Burials managing director Tony Dupleix said Heywood's family held a wake but, as agreed with the deceased, were not present at the burial that was attended by eight cemetery and burial service officials.

"There was a little moment of recognition of the significance of the moment," Dupleix said.

He said the vertical burial process was simple and environmentally friendly.

"We don't arrange memorial services or allow for graveside services or order flowers, or cars, or Highland bagpipers, but what we do offer is a simple respectful burial where people aren't challenged to choose between levels of guilt and love in selecting expensive coffins," he added. (ANI)

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