LETTER: Leave grave sites alone, Armstrong resident says

Tribute to parents missing from grave site in Armstrong Spallumcheen Cemetery

Recently I had the displeasure of finding a tribute to my parents missing at the Armstrong Spallumcheen Cemetery.

When our father passed away 14 years ago in August 2005, my sister’s brother-in-law created a wrought iron stand with vase holders for flowers and a heart to sit at the front of the headstone.

Our mother joined our father five years later in February 2010.

Also at the graveside was a ceramic angel which sat upon the headstone.

For 14 years this existed.

When I went to the cemetery on Oct. 26, 2019, (the day before our mother’s birthday and two days before our parents’ anniversary) I found everything missing.

I contacted the City of Armstrong and was told the Township of Spallumcheen was in charge of the cemetery.

So I contacted the Township of Spallumcheen and was told that the caretaker decided to enforce a bylaw and had removed the items.

At no time were we informed that there was a bylaw in regards to the gravesites or what the bylaw entailed.

At no time were we informed that our items were in contradiction of the bylaw.

At no time were we asked to remove these items.

If we had been informed and asked to remove them, we would have done so.

Instead, I found them taken.

I was told the wrought iron stand was probably by the caretaker’s shed.

When I went to find the stand and pick it up, there was a young woman by the shed.

I asked her where I might find the vases, flowers and ceramic angel. She told me that those items had been thrown in the garbage.

Shame on the caretaker.

You showed complete and total disrespect to the surviving members of deceased loved ones and disrespect as well to the deceased.

You took our possessions and destroyed them.

You had complete disregard for the emotional impact on the surviving families. (There were several items at the caretaker’s shed indicating we were not the only family affected.)

Shame on the mayors and councils for the City of Armstrong and Township of Spallumcheen for allowing this to happen.

Families should have been contacted and informed of the enforcement of whatever the bylaw is and given a chance to remove their items.

I am disgusted that such actions have taken place.

We are a caring community (in general) and yet the committee and caretaker of the last resting place of many loved ones seem to have no compassion and no consideration.

Shame on you.

Janet Anderson

Armstrong

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