Hilton Beach

Cemetery Damage and Clean-Up

Cemetery Damage and Clean-Up

As everyone, I'm sure, is painfully aware, St. Joseph Island experienced one wicked storm in early June.  Hundreds of trees were either uprooted or broken and power outages ranged from a couple of hours for some to 24 hours for others.  St. John's Cemetery was not excluded from the devastation.

Cemetery Damage and Clean-Up

We had a 3-trunk oak tree near the back of the lot.  The storm brought down one of the trunks into the graveyard.  On the bright side, it fell cradling the headstones in its branches.  No headstone was damaged.  On the down side, it left the 2 other trunks uprooted and leaning precariously over numerous headstones.  One more strong wind and this section of the cemetery would be devastated with these 2 trees crashing down.

We had to call in the professionals quickly.  The quote to clean up the fallen tree and take down the 2 leaning trees was $5198.00.  Again we had a bright side.   We spoke to our insurance company and found that we were covered for this type of damage and only had to pay the deductible.  On the down side, the deductible was $2500.00.

Once the trees were down, it was calculated that they were 170 years old.

St. John's Cemetery is full of beautiful trees and we decided it was time to become proactive.  We asked the crew leader of the Wilderness Environmental to assess the cemetery and advise what other work needs to be done there to ensure the safety of our headstones.  It is obvious that there are a large number of dead branches in the tops of many of the remaining oak trees and there are several trees that are rotten or are split and appear not to be stable.

Well the quotes came in.  One to just remove the dead wood and the other to remove the dead wood and take down any trees that would pose problems at a future date.  We decided our best course of action would be to protect the cemetery and do the entire job at a cost of $7571.00.

The cost for ensuring the St. John's Cemetery will be safe from future storms is therefore $10,071.00.

We have been having difficulty the past few years covering the daily maintenance costs of the cemetery and have needed to approach those with family buried there for help.  Everyone stepped up and our books transformed from red ink to black ink.

I am writing this article to make everyone who has a connection to our cemetery, aware of our situation.  If you are able to help in any way with these expenses, please send a cheque to The Parish of St. Joseph & St. George with "St. John's Cemetery" indicated in the memo section and mail to The Parish of St. Joseph & St. George, C/O Box 61, Richards Landing, ON  P0R 1J0.

Submitted By Gloria Riddell, Treasurer, Anglican Parish of St. Joseph & St. George