© Christopher Vaughan photo
Reg King was the winner of the St. Stephen’s Parish Cemetery Committee’s annual gasoline/ home heating ticket draw. From left: Sabrina Benoit; Mr. King receiving his $1,000 prize from Jessie Canning, committee chair; Millicent Penton, committee secretary; and Madeline White, committee treasurer.
Jessie Canning has a clear vision of what she wants to get done.
As chairperson of the St. Stephen's Parish Cemetery Committee, she's been overseeing enhancements of the Catholic burial ground along Stephenville's West Street for the past few years.
"It's not only about honouring the people resting there, but the beautification of the town," said Ms. Canning.
The committee hired local youth to trim the lawn during the summer, and some of the older headstones in the cemetery were recently cleaned and painted.
"We used wire brushes to clean them of accumulated dirt caused by the elements and time," she said. "We then painted them white with commercial-quality paint."
"It's not only about honouring the people resting there, but the beautification of the town." Jessie Canning
But some of the biggest improvements are yet to come.
The committee is currently raising funds to erect a two-and-a-half to three foot high stone fence around the ground's perimeter, complete with a stone arbour at the cemetery's entrance.
"It will add a lot of character," said Ms. Canning, noting stone construction would last much longer than something similar made of wood. The total cost of the fence and arbour project is estimated at around $150,000 to $200,000.
In addition to a recent gasoline/ home heating ticket draw, the committee is also selling tickets locally on a snowblower to raise funds for the project.