BENDIGO’s cemetery caretakers “couldn’t be happier” with the turnout to Bendigo’s first Clean Up our Cemeteries Day last Sunday.
Close to 100 members of the public attended and lent a hand to clean graves and pathways at Bendigo, Kangaroo Flat, Eaglehawk and White Hills Remembrance Parks.
Remembrance Parks Central Victoria (RPCV) said the Bendigo community had shown strong support.
“We would like to thank all community members that volunteered their valuable time and participated in the day for their remarkable efforts in starting the long-term process of cleaning up our cemeteries and transforming them into community parklands,” said RPCV CEO Graham Fountain.
“For our first Clean Up our Cemeteries Day, we couldn’t have been happier with the turn-up and dedication shown by the community.
“This initiative will continue into the future and actively supports our longer-term vision of site beautification and transforming our sites into community parklands.
“It is also part of our ongoing process to work with and educate the community to remove unauthorised items placed at graves that become a safety issue.
“On behalf of RPCV and all families who have a loved one interred in our care we say a big thank-you.”
Strathdale resident Debbie Ross has campaigned for months to clean up the Bendigo cemetery and has been cleaning historic graves in her own time.
Miss Ross recently launched a Facebook page called Save a Grave at Bendigo Cemetery, which has received 145 likes, to raise awareness and encourage more people to volunteer to help clean up the graves, paths and grounds of the cemetery.
She also thanked the first 'Clean Up Our Cemeteries Day' volunteers. “You have done a good deed and your help is much appreciated,” she posted.
“I hope volunteers still go along anytime you have a spare moment to keep up the good work, between now and the clean up next year.”
"A cemetery is a sacred site and it should be given the respect it deserves."