Jean Fisher wants to mark her husband’s grave with a granite base like the one pictured (right).
Jean Fisher wants to mark her husband’s grave with a granite base like the one pictured (right). Renee Pilcher

Widow forced to fight for rights

JEAN Fisher wants to remember her late husband in the best way possible but said she now had to fight for that right.

She wants to buy a granite headstone with a granite base to mark her late husband’s grave in the new Cassia lawn section of the Gympie Cemetery but she was told that new rules passed by the Gympie Cemetery Trust meant granite bases were now a no-no.

“It’s the very last thing you do for that person,” she said.

In a statement to the media, the Gympie Cemetery Trust said rules relating to grave marker bases were changed in October 2008 due to health and safety standards.

“In October 2008 the Board of the Gympie Cemetery Trust decided to no longer allow the 50mm granite/marble bases under a grave marker as they presented an injury risk to funeral directors and pall-bearers at graveside committals,” the statement said.

The statement also said the Gympie Cemetery Trust was happy to meet with Mrs Fisher to find a solution to her situation and understood her disappointment that the base of the grave marker could not be what she wanted.

Mrs Fisher wants to know why, if the new rules were passed in 2008, a granite base was used under a grave marker marking someone’s death in 2009.

She said glued tiles under the markers, as per the cemetery guidelines, wouldn’t last with time and that they were unappealing.

“I want it there for a few generations,” she said.

“In other sections you can have granite covering the whole (plot) area.”

Mrs Fisher wonders why there are more stringent rules for different sections of the cemetery.

Yesterday while waiting for The Gympie Times to arrive at the cemetery she was met by Gympie Cemetery Trust representatives.

One told her that she was wrong to contact the media, the other that she wouldn’t get what she wanted.

“I’m very angry, I’ve been through enough.”

She was also told that if the trust allowed her to use the 50mm granite base then they would have to allow everyone what they wanted.

Mrs Fisher said she didn’t want to erect a big memorial for her husband but just wanted a 50mm base – like other grave markers in the same area.

Her husband passed away about five weeks ago after battling a terminal illness for 15 months and his grave is still unmarked but Mrs Fisher hopes a resolution can be achieved in the near future.

“It’s been a horrible, dreadful experience.

“We were six months short of 45 years of marriage.”

Mrs Fisher said during the process of burying her husband no one associated with the cemetery explained to her that if she bought a plot in the Cassia section she would have to conform to strict guidelines.

Gympie Times

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