Fresh wave of volunteers gather to repair historic N.S. cemetery
Published Saturday, December 12, 2015 6:30PM AST
Last Updated Saturday, December 12, 2015 7:00PM AST
There was plenty of manpower in an historic Irish Catholic cemetery in Halifax Saturday as dozens of volunteers came together to help undo senseless vandalism.
As many as 70 headstones at Holy Cross Cemetery were targeted by vandals Monday night, with some of the graves damaged beyond repair.
The new volunteers joined a dedicated group, led by Brian O’Brien, that restored around 2,000 graves at the cemetery over the past eight years.
“Initially upset, but then responding positively and we're fixing a lot of the damage these guys have done,” said O’Brien.
Saturday’s extra help spanned three generations, with O'Brien's son and grandson joining.
(Brian’s) done a fantastic job rehabilitating this. It’s taken on a life of its own, so to speak.” said Dan O'Brien, Brian O'Brien's son. “
Members of the Saint Mary’s University football team and students also came out to lend a hand.
John Cole helped restore a stone of his namesake.
“It’s interesting – it’s pretty much the same name. He even had my first initials,” said Cole. “Felt good to come back out.”
The granite headstones weigh hundreds of pounds. Though some are broken beyond repair, it’s hoped more will be fixed in spring.
“Please God, this doesn’t happen again because it can be discouraging when you’re working to fix something and along comes some people who are improperly motivated and undo what you've done,” said O’Brien.
“They’ve undone about two years of work.”
O’Brien says the community’s assistance on Saturday helped repair about 20 headstones.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kelly Linehan.
Volunteers help lift a toppled headstone at Holy Cross Cemetery on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015.