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To the Editor. Sir, —Not only is it high time that every misconception respecting the character and purpose of the County Hospital, was removed from the mind of the the public—and for calling attention to which you are worthy of thanks—but another important matter needs ventilation—viz,, that of the Public Cemetery. The way in which that place and its business is managed is simply disgraceful to the inhabitants —not that any person is to blame, so far as I know, but the thing is on an unworkable basis, so that only annoyance is given to those who have anything to do with it. If there are trustees or managers of the Cemetery, can they not be known, and rightly discharge the duty that belongs to them ? If there are regulations or rules, can they not be adhered to and enforced ? If the secretary receives application for a grave space, should he not be shielded from the difficulty of letting the ground be opened before the fees are paid in full. If the gravedigger is required he ought not to be expected to carry his tools backward and forward each time, and wait the convenience'of undertakers and others until he is paid for his labor. Cannot something like the following measures be adopted ?—Let a code of regulations bo printed in pamphlet form and sold for say 6d. each. Let them be also printed in full on stout calico or canvas and posted up in the Cemetery. Let there be a proper form to be filled up by anybody applying for a grave, with say the following particulars : —(1) The name and age of deceased ; (2) the occupation ; (3) the late residence ; (4) when and where ■death occurred ; (5) day and hour of intended interment ; (7) length and breadth of coffin ; (8) number of block and section selected ; (9) depth of same ; (10) names of minister to officiate. On payment of charges, a duplicate of this could be given by the Secretary to the applicant, which he could take to the sexton, who, on receiving such authority from the secretary would prepare the grave, and, as soon after the interment as he chose, he could take the paper back to the secretary and receive his pay. The secretary should have no power to remit charges or allow them to stand over ; but, on good evidence, the trustees should, if necessary, remit them. The selection of the grave space should bo subject to the .approval of the sexton, who, as well as the secretary, should have a plan of the Cemetery. The present charges arc fearfully high, unless it is intended to erect a small tool-house and a building in which to hold the funeral services. At the present rates, there ought to be a good income for the benefit of the Cemetery ; but, if some never pay fees, why should any ! Twenty Shillings for a grave space, when the coffin is over five feet long, and 10s. when it is under five feet, is plenty. Ten shillings is good pay for a sexton for each grave opened, if he always gets his money as soon as his work is done. If thfe grave is required to bo more than six febt deep,- 2s. (id. per extra foot could be charged. These charges, with 2s. Gd. to the Registrar, are ample. The managers of the Cemetery should frequently meet (say, once a month) and see that everything is kept in order. The Board, or whatever it is called, should be elected by the people—not. nominated by the Government and then left for ever. —I am, Ac., Wm. Keall.

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 271, 17 February 1881

Word Count

THE ASHBURTON CEMETERY. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 271, 17 February 1881