CEMETERY CONTEMPLATING COLUMBARIUM
The Gull Lake Cemetery Committee wants to know who in the community of Gull Lake would be interested in possible cremation in the future. The Committee is contemplating buying a new columbarium to house the urns and ashes of the deceased at a cost of $25,000 but needs to know if there is enough interest to warrant the cost of the structure.
“We now have quite a few more people interested in cremation so we thought the only way to formalize this and go ahead and proceed is we should consult the community to see how many people are really interested in it,” explains Les Potter of the cemetery committee. “And how many were interested in either buying a space or indicating where they want to be buried. We just want a commitment.”
Instead of buying a grave plot those interested would buy a space in the columbarium which would house their urn with a memorial plaque. It is one measure the cemetery committee is considering to lessen the burden of grave site maintenance in the future for those wishing to be cremated.
“The maintenance involved in keeping up the cemetery is a big expense to the community, and as people leave there is no one to look after their relatives. So if we had columbarium it would be maintenance free,” says Potter.
Currently the Gull Lake and District Cemetery is for the most part maintained by a dedicated group of volunteers with some support from the town. Given the diminishing number of people willing to come out and help cut grass, wash headstones or trim hedges, cemetery committee chairman Jim Helyar feels something like the proposed columbarium is going to be needed in the not so distant future.
“I think it’s on my top priority list,” says Helyar. “I’d like to see it in either before winter or in the first part of spring. I want it done last year because I think it is needed. But now is the time for people to approach the Town and let us know that you want it too. So talk to your families and let’s get this done.”
The Gull Lake Cemetery Committee is asking those expressing an interest in bringing in the columbarium to contact the Town office and leave their names. Helyar says doing so will give the committee a good indication of where to start.
“We are looking at either a 64 or 48 chamber unit right now. Since we’re looking at probably $25,000 to put the columbarium in we need to know if people are interested enough in it to justify putting that money out at first.”
PHOTO: The Cemetery Committee has been busy this year including the addition of a plot map that allows visitors an easier way to find their loved ones.