Mission for next of kin

Tablelands Advertiser - - NEWS - Bron­wyn Wheatcroft

MA­REEBA Shire Coun­cil will be track­ing down the next of kin for peo­ple buried in three graves that were destroyed on Satur­day night at the old (Pi­o­neer) Ma­reeba Ceme­tery.

One of the graves be­longed to Wil­liam Arthur Thomas who died on Novem­ber 21, 1922 at the age of 39.

Another grave be­longed to Rose Poul­ter who passed away on Oc­to­ber 28, 1932 at the age of 69 who was buried along­side her hus­band Ben­jamin James Poul­ter who died on Oc­to­ber 13, 1922.

It is al­leged that a 45-yearold man had driven his dual cab ute into the old Ma­reeba Ceme­tery on Costin Street, where he hit a num­ber of graves.

The in­ci­dent oc­curred about 7.45pm on Satur­day dam­ag­ing three grave sites in­clud­ing head­stones and dec­o­ra­tive fenc­ing.

Ma­reeba Shire Coun­cil mayor Tom Gil­more said the coun­cil would pull out all stops to en­sure fam­i­lies were made aware of the dam­age done to their loved ones’ graves.

“We are do­ing our best to trace next of kin to en­sure the graves are brought back to its orig­i­nal states,” he said.

“Be­cause of the age of this ceme­tery there may well be no next of kin or other fam­ily mem­bers any­where.”

Cr Gil­more said he would be talk­ing to coun­cil­lors about what to do next if there are no next of kin to fix the graves.

“It is very dif­fi­cult to de­ter­mine the cost for how dam­age that has been done,” he said.

“The cost doesn’t re­ally mat­ter it is the act and de­struc­tion it­self that is the mat­ter of the day.

“To re­pair it to its orig­i­nal new state is a fair sort of work be­cause of the kind of dam­age that was done.

“It will take a time to put it back to­gether.”

There has been prior dam­age done to ceme­ter­ies in Ma­reeba.

The most re­cent was to the cur­rently used ceme­tery on Vaughan Street.

Cr Gil­more said the van­dal­ism there, was done by chil­dren who were dealt with by the courts.

The 45-year-old man is due to ap­pear in the Ma­reeba Mag­is­trates Court on De­cem­ber 11.

Ma­reeba Shire Coun­cil mayor Tom Gil­more is dis­gusted with the dam­age done to graves at the old (Pi­o­neer) Ma­reeba Ceme­tery.

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