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Wednesday, February 27, 2008



Dear Editor

Have you ever wondered why it is so difficult to keep the St. John’s Public Cemetery and almost all our other cemeteries, apart from the one at the Anglican Cathedral, in immaculate condition? Some cemeteries are so dirty and unkempt, one is tempted to defy nature and live forever; unless one favours burial at sea or cremation.

I am suggesting that the primary reason is probably because the graves are convex instead of flat. Initially, it probably makes sense to pile up the dirt on top of the graves since excess dirt would remain after the interment. On second thought, it is probably better to spread the excess dirt around and leave the top of the graves flat. This would make for easier cleaning with a lawn mower.

Did we always have convex graves? If the main concern is for the settling of the grave over time then surely dirt removed from a new grave site can be added to an older grave that is settling and just beginning to become hollow. But graves as old as, or even older than seven years still have a convex mound. So why can’t we have flat graves by spreading the excess dirt around the grave yard? Surely it cannot be that we do not want to mix the dirt from one grave with another.

Dr. Lester CN Simon

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