Mission for next of kin
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.