The Australian custom of saving a turn on the billiards (pool) table in pubs and bars by placing a coin on its edge is celebrated with the coins left on the gravestone to reserve a game with Australia’s greatest billiards player.
Walter Albert Lindrum was an Australian professional billiards player who held the World Professional Billiards Championship from 1933 until his retirement in 1950. He was named Walter Albert to have the initials of the state where he was born (Western Australia). Lindrum was one of the most successful players ever seen in billiards, with 57 world records to his credit, some of which still stand. He is widely considered one of Australia’s all-time greatest sportspeople.
In 1981 Lindrum was honored on a postage stamp issued by Australia Post, which featured a caricature of him by the artist Tony Rafty. Lindrum was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame and the Western Australia Sporting Hall of Champions in 1985. In Melbourne, the Hotel Lindrum on Flinders Street has incorporated much memorabilia associated with Walter Lindrum. The building formerly housed the Lindrum’s Billiard Centre run by Walter’s niece, Dolly.
On July 30, 1960, at the age of 61, Lindrum suddenly became ill and died while on holiday. Though his cause of death was officially listed as heart failure, it has been suggested that he died as a result of food poisoning from a steak and kidney pie. Lindrum’s body was returned to Melbourne, where he was given a state funeral. He was buried at Melbourne General Cemetery, and champion cyclist Sir Hubert Opperman raised funds to create a distinctive monument for Lindrum’s final resting place. The grave takes the shape of a billiards table, complete with balls and cue. More than 50 years after Lindrum’s death, the site remains one of the most visited graves in this substantial cemetery.
Know Before You Go
Melbourne General Cemetery Carlton, Melbourne City, Victoria, Australia Plot: MGC-COE-Comp-TT-No-1139