“You don’t treat the dead like that,” says Sue Murphy, whose great-grandfather is buried in St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Galt
Sue Murphy and her family continually clean their great-grandfather’s headstone at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Galt; a task their father used to do.
Overgrown greenery covers most of the headstones lined by Robert Murphy’s final resting place. The cemetery is maintained by the Diocese of Hamilton, which oversees Catholic cemeteries from Owen Sound to St. Catharines.
“It’s shameful it’s not just our headstone, it’s all the headstones in a row that are just covered in bushes and the grass needs to be mowed,” Murphy says.
“You don’t treat the dead like that.”
Murphy says the cemetery has looked like this for a while now, but remembers when she was younger that it was well maintained and cleaned.
“It’s very surprising.”
After making numerous calls to Catholic cemeteries in the Diocese of Hamilton and leaving an unreturned voicemail, Murphy posted to Facebook earlier this month to see if anyone else felt the same way she did.
To her surprise, she received many replies from people saying the same thing; that the cemetery looked almost abandoned.
Murphy was disappointed when she received no response from Catholic cemeteries, which took over maintenance of the facility in 2012.
St. Patrick’s Cemetery opened in 1964 and is located near the corner of Hespeler Road and Avenue Road in Galt.
Declining an interview with CambridgeToday, the director of Catholic cemeteries for the Diocese of Hamilton provided an emailed statement instead.
“The Catholic Cemeteries in the Diocese of Hamilton is committed to providing environmentally responsible landscaping services for the maintenance and upkeep of lawns,” said Art Smith.
“During the spring and summer months, we are hiring additional staff and working with third-party providers to provide adequate care at our cemeteries. Anyone with concerns is encouraged to contact us on our website.
“We thank everyone on neighboring properties for their feedback and patience as we arrive at their location.”
Anyone with a complaint about the maintenance of St. Patrick’s Cemetery can report it through the Catholic Cemetery‘s website.
Murphy says she and her family will continue cleaning their great-grandfather’s headstone in the meantime.