The annual St Columba Cemetery Work Bee took place June 12, 2021.
Turnout was higher than expected.
The first cleanup since 2018.
COVID-19 prevented the cleanup in 2020. 2019’s cleanup was cancelled due to wet weather.
In one estimate, over 70 people were on site.
And weeds wacked.
Snacks and refreshments laid out in the shade
A table and coolers arrived before noon.
Hotdogs were grilled outside the gate.
Headstones tagged for attention
After the recent bout of vandalism, many headstones needed to be repaired. See Clandonald Cemetery Vandalized.
Leveled, Aligned, Repaired, Cleaned
Families were busy levelling, realigning and resetting headstones using a putty-like setting compound and specialized glass beads to accomodate shifting due to weather changes.
Straightening and levelling headstones is routine maintenance.
Settling occurs every year, but this year many also needed attention due to vandalism.
Reflections Funeral Home and Rural Roots Florists were on site.
They did most of the cleaning and reattaching the headstones that had been vandalized.
Trees were pruned
“Blankets” or Ledgers removed
This style of grave marker has fallen out of favour in recent years. They are relatively high-maintenance.
The ground under them constantly compresses and shifts, causing them to sink and tilt.
Every year, a number of them must be pried up to be re-leveled with fresh dirt packed under them.
If left untended, they can become quite hazardous.
Furthermore, they make tending the lawn around them difficult.
For this reason, many cemeteries now permit only surface-level markers that do not interfere with mowers.
With permission from the families, these blankets are gradually being removed.
It’s a big job.
Catholic Parish of the Holy Name