Barb Prescott tidies up one of the gravemarkers at St. Luke’s Churchyard cemetery. Volunteers are being sought for a cleanup at the historic churchyard Saturday morning.

Cleanup efforts provide brush with history

Volunteers needed to help tidy up St. Luke’s Churchyard cemetery Saturday morning

A group of volunteers are pitching in to restore the condition of the final resting place for many of the area’s pioneers.

A community cleanup has been scheduled for the St. Luke’s Churchyard cemetery Saturday from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at the historic site at 3821 Cedar Hill Cross Rd.

“It continually needs work because moss covers the graves, and grass and weeds, so it’s an area that continually needs to be cleaned up,” said Barb Prescott, one of the organizers of the cleanup.

“It’s hard for the parishioners to do it all themselves and we found that there’s a lot of people in the community that have connections to that churchyard, that have grandparents, great-grandparents and other relatives buried there.”

St. Luke’s Churchyard is one of Victoria’s earliest church burial grounds, dating back to 1886, and serves as the final resting place of many Cedar Hill, Lake Hill and Gordon Head pioneers as well as others who settled in the area.

“I think that [1886] was the first recorded burial there but there could have been others prior to that,” said Prescott.

“There will be parishioners there that have additional information about the graves. Some of the people are descendants of people in the graveyard so they have some stories to tell about their family.”

The church’s lead group is hoping volunteers will be able to help with the cleanup, performing tasks from cleaning headstones to weeding and cleaning around graves.

But Prescott said the day won’t be all work, as people can also pause to have a look around the historic grounds.

“They can come and go as they please. We’ll take a break and have refreshments in the middle, so it’s a bit of a social time, too, to meet some other people.”

Those interested in helping with the cleanup are asked to bring gloves, pruners, clippers, hoes and scrapers.

Water is available for cleaning monumental markers, but volunteers are asked to bring their own bucket and scrub brush.

Another cleanup has been scheduled for Aug. 15.

editor@saanichnews.com

 

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