Champion cemetery has special monument to recognize its centennial anniversary
The cemetery in Champion has been in existence100 years officially this year. Those who look after the cemetery erected a special monument to commemorate the occasion.
“The monumental sign was erected this spring and the re-dedication ceremony was held on July 1st with close to 100 in attendance,” said Racille Ellis, a volunteer with the Champion Cemetery Maintenance Association.
Ellis said that Judy Fleetwood, the president of the Association, chaired the ceremony and Anne Carlson, who had several generations of her family buried in the cemetery, gave a short history.
“Letters were sent out to families who had loved ones laid to rest in the cemetery informing them of the 100 years project and the response of monetary donations were very generous,” Ellis said.
Located south of the village of Champion, the cemetery is always open and has a Field of Honour located at the south end with two flags gracing a large cross, while a huge white cross, that is lit up at night and visible from Highway 23, graces the north section.
Ellis noted the first person to be buried there was named August Blusson, a early homesteader who lived east of Champion on the Coal Mine road and had a rural school named after him.
Other residents of the cemetery, Ellis explained, include 13 people who were victims of the flu epidemic and buried in the months following Blusson's death.
The Nygaard family and Tillie Granlin are among the 13.
Ellis added the cemetery is so well cared for because of the Champion Cemetery Maintenance Association, which was formed in 1984 and restored the cemetery from a very run down condition.
“There are approximately a dozen volunteers who plant and care for the flowers in the cemetery while most of the mowing is hired done,” Ellis said.
“There are still some of the original members on the committee with the next generation getting involved and their efforts have been greatly appreciated by the village and families involved.”
Antique cars were added as part of the entire new presentation. The Champion Cemetery Maintenance Association erected the new monumental sign and held a re-dedication ceremony July 1.