Frightening isn’t it?
Even more frightening is the contemplation that cemeteries are being defiled. I do not mean by vandals, or youngsters with no respect or understanding of respect, but by community officials.
It is happening, the world over and ultimately driven by money. What society puts money and profit before respect? That for me is one of my personal values.
Last week, I became aware of the plight of a series of cemeteries in
that are facing decimation, not by vandals, but as I have described by an
attempt to save money. These are the graves of, not just the pioneers of Australia, but of the people that shaped Australia into
being the nation it is today. As it
is only 225 years old in its colonised format.
A fellow genealogist, Catherine who writes at Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie had already experienced a similar issue in South Australia and was delighted when the South Australia Burial and Cremation Bill had passed it’s second reading in the House of Assembly and was due a further debate in early March, ironically on the day I am writing this article. In reality as I type this in
England on Tuesday morning the debate as already
been heard in Australia.
So at this point all was looking pretty good, the people who sit at the heart of the Australian Government were listening. Then it became apparent that whilst in
South Australia they
were listening they were not in other parts of Australia.
On the blog That Moment in Time, written by Chris was a posting just last week of the shameless desecration of the
in Western Australia.
You can read that heartbreaking post HERE.
So what can we do?
There is a petition lobbying the Labour Party of Western Australia to bring an end to the clearing of the cemeteries in this region. You can sign the petition HERE. This petition can be signed by anyone, anywhere in the world, whether or not you have ancestors in this region. Indeed I have signed it from my home in
England. As far as I know I have no
family members buried in this particular cemetery.
Remember, this may not be in your particular backyard, or at least not this time.
There is a very active Face Book page called Saving Graves - WA which exists to support the petition. It has photographs, current news and press cuttings. Indeed, the group is very passionate and quite rightly so. Craig Hyde, Media Advisor for Saving Graves WA has written very passionately about the situation and I urge you to read his post HERE
There is also a link to a file detailing all the graves recorded with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission that are to be removed. Haven’t those already named on those headstones already paid the ultimate price?
Press Release of Saving
Furthermore, it became apparent through the reading that I undertook for this article that “some graves were to be preserved for significant historical or architectural reasons” Disgraceful, that even in death we are not equal.
The genealogy community is a big one and through the advancement of social media we, as a body of genealogists and family historians have a much stronger voice. One that needs to be heard, and indeed should be heard.
Whilst this may seem someone else’s problem it is not. The very moment a community displays this level of disrespect and it remains unchallenged then we as a group of genealogists, historians and family members are sending the signal that it is perfectly OK to show this level of disrespect to the generations that went before us. We must therefore stand together, united as previous generations did at battle and demand that our ancestor’s final resting place remains undisturbed
So, please get involved, support our fellow citizens.
I shall close with a poem, written by Chris of That Moment in Time, as this simply says it all.
Crissouli - 2013
Saving Graves Western Australia can be supported by