Amherst Daily News
AMHERST - He just wanted to visit his parents. Their graves, located in the Saint Charles-Nativity Roman Catholic Cemetery along East Pleasant Street, was a place Dick Bristol took to visiting and putting little lights up at their graveside so he could see them at night.
When the lights burned out, Bristol returned to the gravesite to replace them. As he was doing so, he said he was approached by one of the groundskeepers. He said the gentleman who approached him said he hoped Bristol had not spent too much money on the lights. Bristol decided against replacing the light and threw out the old one.
“We’re not here to argue,” said Bristol. “But how would you feel if you just buried your mother and father and you put a light there and you came up the next day, and it’s gone? Now I’m beginning to wonder what my rights are. Do I touch the stone, am I allowed to visit?”
Father Driscoll of the Holy Family Parish church said the rules and regulations regarding the cemetery were placed well before he came to the church 15 years ago. He was willing to set the record straight.
“They are allowed to put the grave saddles that go on top of the grave stones, and that’s all,” he said. “We just find it impossible to maintain the grounds properly (with excess) and we’re not the only cemetery that does it. If you go to areas like Joggins, you see the same thing.”
The rules, Driscoll said, help keep the cemetery looking clean and protect the maintenance workers who tend to the grounds.
Bristol’s wife Carol said she was a little surprised by the incident. She said the cemetery on West Victoria had lots of light on at night. She didn’t think placing a light or two at the site of her mother-and father-in-laws graves would cause any harm.
“Some people you notice they do it to excess, so it’s very difficult (for the groundskeepers) to maintain around. That’s not what we were doing,” she said. “So does everyone need to be penalized because someone decided to make a shrine out of a grave?”