Glenwood Cemetery to host tours on anniversary of vandalism spree

FALLING INTO PLACE- Tours at Glenwood Cemetery this weekend marks the one year anniversary of the devastation from a vandalism spree in 2018. (Chad Ibbotson/Gazette staff)

 

SARAH WILLIAMS

STAFF WRITER

 

Glenwood Cemetery will be hosting “Remembering our Loss and Rebuilding for the Future” Sunday. The event will take place on the sprawling grounds of Glenwood itself- a park-like Victorian City of the Dead ands starts at 2 p.m.

The event will commemorate the anniversary of the vandalism in Glenwood, in which a multitude of tombstones were desecrated.

Having been consecrated in 1873, and with graves dating back well beyond that date, Glenwood has been a place of rest and repose for both living and dead for centuries.

Many people enjoy Glenwood for it’s wandering hiking trails. There are also a number of musical events that take place both in the stone chapel and around the grounds.

And, with more than 300 veterans form both World War 1 and World War 11 buried in Glenwood, it is also host to the annual Veterans’ Day Ceremony.

In years past, many have also enjoyed picnics and tobogganing on the grounds.

Sadly, on June 20th 2018, two youths destroyed over 200 tombstones. A 15 year old from Kingston and a 17 year old from Picton were charged with mischief over $5,000.

The vandalism perpetrated in Glenwood has haunted families and caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage.

Already, 40 monuments have been restored and prep-work to restore 24 more has begun.

Unfortunately, given the age of the cemetery, Glenwood has numerous “orphan stones”. These are graves for which descendants can not be found to help pay for rebuilding costs. Others are simply unable to afford the cost of repairs.

Glenwood is hopeful that full restoration will be complete by 2020.

As a non-proft, Glenwood relies strictly on donations and fundraising efforts to repair the damaged graves.

Rising above the tragedy, the event this upcoming Sunday promises to focus on the rebuilding and restoration efforts of the vandalized monuments.

Guided walks will be offered by Gary Foster, Past President of Campbell Monuments, and Terry Sprague, a field naturalist.

Musical entertainment will be provided by Samantha Hirst and light refreshments will also be offered.

For more information regarding this event or restoration efforts, please contact Glenwood Cemetery at 613-476-3511 or info@glenwoodcemetery.ca.