COLCHESTER WEEKLY NEWS
TATAMAGOUCHE - Rollie Langille stood by a large grave marker in Lockerby Memorial Cemetery engraved with his grandfather’s name. The large grey stone, located nearly at the top of the hillside graveyard at the corner of Sand Point Road and Route 6, overlooks a wrought-iron sign welcoming visitors supported by fast deteriorating brick pillars.
“There is nowhere near enough money in interment fees to carry the cemetery,” said Langille, presently serving as chairman of the Lockerby Memorial Cemetery Association.
“Interest in the cemetery is dying out.”
The Marshville resident has held the post for about three-and-a-half years since an emergency meeting was called in 2009.
“The place was in trouble,” said Langille. “They had only $900 in the bank and they owed more than $2,300.”
For the past few years, Langille and a core group of about five people have worked diligently to establish proper record keeping, register the deed to the property, look after maintenance and fundraise.
The association now has a clear title to the property, a set of by-laws and has achieved status as a charitable organization.
“We had a very successful fundraiser when we took over and it has served us well,” said the chairman. More than 200 sunken grave sites were filled, headstones were fixed and general maintenance and mowing has been done on a regular basis.
However, costs have risen every year to about $5,000 annually for maintenance, a cost the group can no longer afford to pay.
“Our financial status will allow us to look after it until sometime well into 2013,” Langille said. “Now we have immaculate financial records, right up to every penny coming in and every penny going out.
“However, there will be an oncoming financial crisis in the future.”
The group has called an emergency meeting open to the public on Oct. 25, at 6:30 p.m. at Roach Hall, Hills of Annand, Tatamgouche.
He said the association’s by-laws allow for nine board members and they are hoping to see an increase in interest following the meeting.
There are still plots available there but there is a need for a large infusion of funds to offer perpetual care well into the future.
“We urge any interested parties to attend the meeting as there are a number of important issues to be considered,” said the chairman.
At a glance:
Who: Lockerby Memorial Cemetery Association
What: Emergency meeting
Where: Roach Hall, Hills of Annand, Blair Avenue, Tatamagouche
When: Thursday, Oct. 25, 6:30 p.m.
Why: To discuss future operation of the cemetery located at the corner of Sand Point Road and Route 6.