Tears after site disarranged
Better communication between council and cemetery clients will hopefully avoid future heartache like that of Tommy Edgar’s. The Tokoroa widower is content with an apology from the South Waikato District Council following a severe mis-communication that left him kneeling before his wife’s grave in tears.
March 30 was no ordinary Sunday for Edgar.
The 74-year-old headed up to his wife’s grave for his usual weekly visit to find his 2-metre by 1-metre decorative ‘‘frame’’ he had hand crafted, completely disarranged, with its pegs thrown hastily behind the headstone. ‘‘It made me cry,’’ he said. Group manager assets Ted Anderson said the council is deeply sorry for the incident that happened at the Tokoroa cemetery.
‘‘Our [council contractors] actions were extremely insensitive. The area should have been left alone until we had liaised with the relatives of the deceased to arrange to have the items placed within the grave site boundary.’’
Edgar said he received a written apology from Anderson and was pleased to hear this will be the last time. Anderson said in the future, council will take the opportunity to ensure that communication with cemetery clients is clear regarding not breaching the boundaries on interment/grave sites.
‘‘Due to space constraints and cemetery maintenance operations, memorials do need to be constrained within the set boundaries of the plots. These details are available on our website in the Cemeteries and Crematoria Bylaw.’’
He said the council has modified its internal processes to ensure it will not happen again.
‘‘Council extends its sincere apologies to Mr Edgar for the heartache this incident has caused.’’
Tommy Edgar feels better knowing others will not go through the heartache he went through when his wife’s gravesite was disarranged without his knowing.