Town of Castor approves three gravestone requests

The Town of Castor approved three grave markers that exceeded current bylaw standards, and will look at changing that bylaw to allow for larger such markers. 

The decision was made at the Sept. 14 regular meeting of council.

Town Chief Administrative Officer Christopher Robblee presented council with several requests for grave markers that were larger than what is permitted in the cemetery bylaw.

Parkview Funeral Chapels Funeral Director Corinne Adair stated in an undated letter, “I am writing to request an exemption to the monument bylaw. 

“I am working with a family who are hoping to match two existing monuments at the Castor Municipal Cemetery. The new monuments are for decendents (brothers) Donald Gregory Hasz and John David Hasz.” 

Adair included a photo of the existing Hasz family monuments, which are a few inches taller than the bylaw Castor bylaw allows.

The second request came from Denise Marquart in a letter dated Sept. 7, 2020: “I am writing to request an exemption for the height of a headstone I would like to place for my husband Dale Marquart. 

“The size meets the bylaw restrictions except for the height being four inches over.” She provided an illustration of the headstone.

The third request came from Stonewriter, located in Millet, in an email simply signed by Linda: “Have attached a proof layout for a headstone that the Miller family has requested to be placed at the Castor cemetery. 

“The stone measures 19 inches high by 28 inches wide by 11 inches thick. We are requesting permission to place the stone on a concrete foundation that measures 24 inches deep by 48 inches wide and four inches thick.”

Robblee provided council with the applicable section of the cemetery bylaw which reads, “No monument may have an overall size greater than 3 ft. 6 in. wide, 21 in. deep and 18 in. high (to the top of the monument, including the base and vase). 

“A shared monument may not be placed wholly or partly on the empty grave unless the grave is intended for a cremation.”

Robblee stated each of the requests involved a monument between four to eight inches taller than the bylaw allows.

The CAO stated the Public Works department went to the cemetery and measured some grave markers and found that the average gravestone was about 28 to 30 inches high, meaning the permitted height in the bylaw was probably too short. 

Robblee stated the town is looking at changing the cemetery bylaw to boost permitted gravestone heights to 30 inches and that will come back to councillors at a future meeting.

For these requests, Robblee stated council should either turn all of them down because they don’t meet the current bylaw, or approve all of them because they will meet the 30 in. height which will be presented at a future meeting.

Councillors unanimously approved all three requests in three separate resolutions.

 

Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

ECA Review

About the author

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld, who has upwards of 28 years of experience in the Alberta community newspaper industry, is now covering councils and other news in the Stettler region and has experience working in the area as well.

He has joined the ECA Review as a Local Journalism Initiative Journalist.

Stu earned his two-year diploma in print journalism from SAIT in Calgary from 1993 to ’95 and was raised in Oyen, Alta., one of the communities within the ECA Review’s coverage area.

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