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Mary Compton and Selina Walsh are doing their part to make sure those who dedicated their lives to Fleur de Lys aren’t forgotten.
For the past three months, the two have been clearing heavy brush and fixing up sites at the town’s Calver Cemetery.
The project had been on Compton’s mind for some time and three months ago the two decided to head up to the gravesite to size things up.
“It’s a very old cemetery, early 1900s, maybe even older, a lot of the stones were damaged and there were sites without crosses,” Compton said. “When I stood there and seen unmarked graves, something in my heart said people need to know these people are buried here, and shown respect, because most of them dedicated their lives to building Fleur de Lys.”
They have been working on it near daily – in the evenings and during weekends.
“We had to get a special brush cutter, with a blade, because it was so thick you couldn’t use an ordinary grass cutter,” Compton said.
As they cut, they uncovered more and more gravesites – some with no information whatsoever to indicate who was buried there.
To pay respect, crosses were made for the unknown. The markers read “RIP God Bless.” So far 15 crosses have been made for the cemetery.
They have carried out research, availed of local knowledge, and have even been in contact with churches about records to try and identify all who are buried at the site.
“People have been very helpful, but it’s hard to find all the names because it is a very, very, old site,” Compton said.
The project is approximately three quarters done, and Compton is hoping it will be completed before snow settles on the ground.
Their work hasn’t gone unnoticed either, as there have been donations towards the cause and residents have been fixing up family sites.
“There are probably many reasons why (it fell into disrepair), people move away, loved one’s pass, and sometimes it’s emotionally hard for people to go back,” Compton said, “but now, when we come up, we see people have flowers placed, there’s white rock on gravesites.
“I think, showing we cared, it helped encourage other people who wanted to come up and do something.”
Mary Compton and Selina Walsh have spent the past three months clearing brush and fixing up grave sites at the Calver Cemetery in Fleur de Lys Compton is pictured next to some of the graves
In removing brush, unmarked graves have been uncovered, and are now marked with wooden crosses that says, “RIP God Bless .”