Babies' resting place damaged
VANDALS have struck the Gympie Cemetery for the second time in two weeks – this time leaving their mark on what was to be a site for babies' graves.
And cemetery supervisor Lee Selby was lost for words.
The damage was done some time on Friday afternoon after a new slab, designed as a base to mount headstones dedicated to the memory of lost children, was laid.
Mr Selby said the 18 metres of concrete would now have to be completely replaced as footprints and what looked like a tag were etched into the cement.
He appealed for anyone who knew someone who wrote the word Kiwi to contact the police.
“It's got to be somewhere, on a pencil case or book,” he said of the word. Yesterday a scenes of crime police officer looked for evidence.
Two distinct sets of footprints can be found dried in the cement.
One looks like it was made by a Dunlop Volley and the other from a Colorado-brand shoe.
Mr Selby said the concreter would have finished up about 1 or 2pm on Friday and the vandals would have struck after that, before Saturday morning as the concrete would have been too hard to damage by then.
The unfortunate thing is the slab can't be repaired.
Mr Selby said more cement could not simply be poured over the top as it would crack in a few years.
Instead the slab would have to be re-laid for about $50 a metre.
“We were so close to getting it done,” Mr Selby said of the new section.
He said turf would have gone down this week.
“It's very disappointing. I'm just lost for words.”
The idea of the new baby section, overlooking a pond, was to provide a low-cost solution for people who had lost a child.
Mr Selby hoped people would keep an eye out for anything suspicious in the area.
If the culprits are caught: “I'd like to see them come in and remove it and pay for the repairs, that would be a good start,” Mr Selby said.
Gravesites at the cemetery were also vandalised over the Easter long weekend.
Now Mr Selby is thinking of ways to improve security as he is worried the vandals will come back.
He said all the sheds on-site already had video surveillance.