His­toric graves trashed by sense­less van­dals

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - ANGELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

SENSE­LESS van­dals have des­e­crated the Port Dou­glas ceme­tery, de­stroy­ing around a dozen head­stones in the older his­tor­i­cal sec­tion.

Coun­cil staff dis­cov­ered the dam­age on their daily visit to the ceme­tery on Tues­day morn­ing.

The un­known cul­prit or cul­prits used what ap­peared to be coloured clay putty on a cou­ple of the head­stones be­fore leav­ing the pack­ag­ing on a grave with other rub­bish.

Other head­stones were bro­ken in half and dec­o­ra­tive an­gels and pil­lars were bro­ken off and then strangely placed and po­si­tioned next to head­stones.

Port Dou­glas Po­lice Of­fi­cerin-Charge Se­nior Sergeant Damian Mead­ows said with­out pub­lic as­sis­tance, catch­ing the of­fender could prove dif­fi­cult.

“We’ve been out tak­ing pho­to­graphs of the scene and the crime scene foren­sics will turn up and at­tempt to ob­tain DNA,” he said.

“It is a to­tal dis­grace and de­plorable be­hav­iour.”

Crim­mins Funerals di­rec­tor and tour guide for the Dou­glas Shire His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety’s in­for­ma­tive ceme­tery walks Stephen Old­ham said he is ap­palled some­one would des­e­crate the ceme­tery.

“I’m hor­ri­fied that any­body would think this sort of ac­tiv­ity is in any­way ap­pro­pri­ate, we are talk­ing about peo­ple’s loved ones and re­spect for our bedrock, our his­tory, our cul­ture,” he said.

“The last time this hap­pened, the his­tor­i­cal so­ci­ety paid thou­sands of dol­lars to have a replica an­gel re­pro­duced and in­stalled.

“Who­ever has done it is de­stroy­ing their en­vi­ron­ment - it makes no sense at all.”

Port Dou­glas Po­lice are seek­ing any wit­nesses or any­one with in­for­ma­tion to contact them on 4087 1999 or Crime Stop­pers on 1800 333 000.

Sense­less van­dal­ism: a gravesite more than 120 years old

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