Letter: The New West cemetery I visited was in a deplorable condition


I visited Fraser Cemetery and the grave of my great-great grandfather, buried there in 1915. 

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This grave also contains the cremated remains of my late husband, who was interred there nearly 10 years ago. I attend periodically to clean the marble grave marker and place flowers and I was so very upset to find the cemetery in such a deplorable condition. It reminded me of those old, old abandoned church cemeteries that are no longer maintained.  

The grass desperately needed cutting and was liberally interspersed with dandelions, other weeds and mounds of dirt left by resident moles.  

While I don't expect the cemetery staff to care for the grave markers, the foundation stone was covered with dirt and gravel, as well as dead leaves and overgrown grass - which under past circumstances would have been removed. Further, given we are well past the date where we might expect frost, I was also angry to find that all the water taps on the site were still turned off.   

A kind visitor directed me to the water fountain near the caretaker's office, where I was able to get water for my flowers. 

On my last visit, I found one lonely gentleman in the office and he indicated that they were short of workers, which could explain that the grass needed cutting even at that time.

It appears that is still the situation and this is so very disappointing given that tax dollars are typically allocated for cemetery maintenance and particularly given that this was the day before Mother's Day, when many visitors are to be expected. 

I very much hope that this beautiful property will soon get the care it so richly deserves, especially since it is home to the graves of so many of the pioneers and leaders of the City of New Westminster, the place of my birth.

Myrna McRae

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