Queen Charlotte graveyard size, boundary a mystery

  • Nov. 26, 2007 8:00 p.m.

The exact size and dimensions of Queen Charlotte’s cemetery has been buried due to lack of maintenance over the years. Councillor Greg Martin said he and two senior residents of the village (including Councillor Eric Ross) have been working together to determine the boundaries of the cemetery at the far west end of town. But the group is working with survey maps that date back to 1948 and have been unable to locate two iron pins that would help determine where the boundaries are. Mr. Martin said one of the men suggested that the graveyard boundaries extend 160 feet past the existing fence on the west side, but he has been unable to find evidence of that in any file. The local Royal Canadian Legion legally owns the cemetery land, but the village has taken over some of the responsibilities. He said Queen Charlotte resident George Westwood has also been operating the graveyard on a volunteer basis. Mr. Martin says the graveyard is not 100 percent full, but a lot of the ground is boggy or on rock outcrops making digging new graves a challenge. He says it’s a sensitive topic, but what has happened in the past is that grave diggers have encountered problems in the ground and have moved over to another plot, and buried someone there instead, although that plot may have been spoken for. “It’s an important part of the community and a repository for a lot our heritage,” he says. Council’s main focus is to secure more land for the graveyard, which may end up being the 160 feet in question. The next step would be to map the graves, which could be a challenge, as some are identifiable, while others are not.