Tears af­ter site dis­ar­ranged

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By PET­RICE TAR­RANT

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.

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