Morden City Council has approved a new project going ahead at the Hillside Cemetery on Highway 3 West of Morden.
Director of Parks and Urban Forestry Shawn Dias explained.
"We just approached council to get their approval for earmarking some funds for cemetery reserves for restoration of some older monuments. So typically, when there's no family available to help with either lifting or repair if needed, then that falls back onto the city and it's our responsibility and it's important to us to keep the cemetery upkeep and maintenance looking nice."
Council will designate $5000 per year to repairing these aging structures in various conditions, some have even toppled over.
While estates and family members are responsible for the upkeep of the headstones, there are some that are very old and finding the families can be time-consuming.
"We were just looking at in terms of like timeline like, if the monument is 75 years or older, then we're not going to invest a lot of our time investigating and trying to find the next of kin. I think if that's sort of where we will draw the line at 75 years old and then moving forward, we'll look for existing family members to help out. And in the event, there aren't any of them. The city would then look at that on a case-by-case basis."
Six monuments have been slated for repair this year. Different types of practices for monument erecting can create a few surprises when stabilizing and fixing the various headstones.
Although Dias hasn't researched the oldest monument in the cemetery, there are some over 100 years old first on the list.
"The ones that we just recently restored are from 1880. That would be the oldest restoration that we've currently taken part in."
Dias shared why this project is an important investment for the City of Morden to make.
"I think the city of Morden takes pride in the aesthetics and the importance to the individuals and family members that are there and also visiting there. This is something we take pride in and something we want to continue in perpetuity in the overall maintenance of the cemetery."
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