Photos posted by Facebook user Johnny F. Elickus showing broken gravestones “hidden behind a fence” elicited fury online this week.

Disrupted grave markers upset residents

City workers “neatly stacked” gravestones at Elk Falls before apparent vandalism

Photos of broken gravestones in a pile of rubble at the Elk Falls Cemetery generated confusion and outrage on social media this week. Inquiries by the Mirror confirmed that the city removed those markers and set them aside after family members replaced the slabs.

But questions remain about about how the “neatly stacked” markers ended up in a disorderly heap.

Facebook user Johnny F. Elickus, who posted the photos on Monday night to the Facebook group Campbell River Rant, Rave and Randomness, said he was “in shock” after finding the slabs “hidden behind a fence” at the graveyard.

Photos show perhaps 20 gravestones in a pile among bits of stone rubble, apparently from broken headstones.

Other photos show the slabs laid out neatly on the ground – Elickus had apparently placed them this way to display the names of the deceased, so that loved ones could collect the gravestones.

“[Y]ou should get them before they bury them,” he said.

Facebook user Jamie Derken added that the photos were taken at the Elk Falls Cemetery, “by the power lines.”

By Wednesday morning, the post had garnered more than 150 reactions and dozens of outraged and alarmed comments, many from people with loved ones buried at Elk Falls.

Another post showing the same pile of gravestones on the popular “rant and rave” site also sparked dozens of reactions and fuelled animated discussions by people concerned about the apparent desecration of gravestones.

One user, identified as Santana Orel, commented online that one of the headstones belonged to her uncle Ernest Sylvester, but that he was buried at the “old cemetery” – a reference to the graveyard in North Campbell River.

Orel later investigated, and then reported to the group that her family’s graves “do not seem to be missing any stones.”

She added that Sylvester’s gravestone had been replaced around 2005-2006 to accommodate the names of four family members onto one stone.

This led several users to speculate that graveyard officials were discarding stones no longer in use.

Following inquiries by the Mirror, the City of Campbell River confirmed that city workers had stacked a number of disused slabs at the Elk Falls site “as part of its maintenance service.”

Those “neatly stacked” markers were then disturbed by persons unknown, according to Julie Douglas, a city spokesperson.

Douglas told the Mirror that city crews remove markers when families replace old slabs. A number of those markers had accumulated over time, she said, some dating back to the 1950s.

She said it’s up to families what happens to the old gravestones. In this case, families of the deceased “did not want to keep the old ones, and the city found no viable option to recycle them.”

“These markers had been neatly stacked behind a fence and have been recently disturbed,” she said in a July 3 email. “These markers will be removed from the area today.”

Who was responsible for disturbing those neatly stacked stones? That question remains unanswered.

“We can confirm city crews did not disturb them,” said Douglas.

 

Photos posted by Facebook user Johnny F. Elickus showing broken gravestones “hidden behind a fence” elicited fury online this week.

Photos posted by Facebook user Johnny F. Elickus showing broken gravestones “hidden behind a fence” elicited fury online this week.

Just Posted

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in Port Alice exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

Campbell River’s Gibby Nik is all about making a connection

Local musician currently working on his second of three albums with Risque Disque Records

Green Party MLA urges support for proportional representation

Sonia Furstenau speaks in Campbell River at community forum

Risk of thunderstorm this afternoon for Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland

A special weather statement calls for heavy rain and wind over the next 48 hours

Local talent glad to be playing on home ice for Campbell River Storm

This year’s roster includes three players from Campbell River

Drag racing open house attracts 200-plus in Campbell River

Proponents still need to provide more information to the City

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

B.C. man who left hospice to run in upcoming election dies

A week after leaving hospice to go to city hall to declare his candidacy, David Hesketh has died.

Tilray Inc sees $10-billion in market cap go up in smoke

Tilray’s share price closed at $123 US on Friday, a decline from its intraday peak of nearly $300 US earlier in the week

Most Read