Regarding the Cemetery vandalism: An ongoing concern

The following has been supplied by the Geraldton Cemetery Board in response to a recent incident reported by some Everything Geraldton readers. (Click here to read original post.)

With reference to the post about trashed graves at Geraldton Cemetery, (Everything Geraldton, Nov 25) the desecration of graves and wanton vandalism is an ongoing issue for the Geraldton Cemetery Board and staff.

Geraldton Cemetery Board Chairman, Max Correy, said the vandalism is not confined to gravesites.

“Apart from the damage and destruction to people’s loved ones’ graves and monuments, the perpetrators also damage and pull out recently planted trees, shrubs and gardens and rip out reticulation systems,” he said.

“Our ground staff – of which there are only two to care for the grounds, operate the cremator and prepare graves – are tired and despairing of arriving at work to discover the vandalism and find reticulation ripped out.

“All of this destruction creates an extra workload for them to replant and re-establish reticulation directing financial resources and their time away from important projects,” said Mr Correy.

The use of the cemetery grounds as a thoroughfare between Eastward Road, Alexander Street and Abraham Street is causing the Cemetery Board great concern and anguish. The Board empathises with the families whose grave sites are being vandalised.

“In spite of the police and Yamatji Patrol’s efforts to eliminate the damage, the vandalism continues unabated,” Mr Correy said.

The only real solution is to erect a security fence but as the cemetery is a self-funded public utility, not a City of Greater Geraldton asset as is commonly believed, the ability to fund such a solution is beyond the Board’s capacity.

“The Board would be interested in any alternative solutions, perhaps we could hold a public appeal to help fund a security fence, as the cemetery’s only form of income is through cremations and burials, and other funding that the Board is able to secure from time to time,” he said.