Monday, January 16, 2006

Cemetery

The St. Vincent cemetery has always been a community cemetery. Not affiliated with any particular church or family, anyone could, was, and are still buried there. For most of its existence, it had a caretaker from the community, informally passed from person to person via the St. Vincent Cemetery Association. For many years it was my grandfather, Albert Fitzpatrick. After him, my father Gordon Short took over. Duties included maintaining the books (recording deaths), plotting graves, arranging gravediggers for funerals, and mowing the cemetery lawn. My sisters and I all took our turns with my Dad helping mow the cemetery. I have a vivid memory of having an old tilted gravestone fall over on my foot and howling like mad (I seem to have had a history of 'foot' accidents - another one involved a potatoe fork in our garden...!) I could see the cemetery from my bedroom window, across our open pasture.

Now, I'm told by one of the town's leaders, the cemetery's care was formally taken over a few years ago by the town itself, "...when there were no longer any of the oldtimers that were able to continue the [Association]".