Victorian Health Minister Mary-Anne Thomas must immediately address the management of Remembrance Parks Central Victoria to ensure Goulburn Valley and central Victorian families don’t have to go through the heartbreak from which they have just come.
Member for Shepparton, Kim O’Keeffe, has written to Ms Thomas to address concerns after Pine Lodge Cemetery management removed personal keepsakes from graves without any warning or consultation.
Ms O’Keeffe said it was vital that cemetery management approached the situation with compassion, something which they did not do, instead removing items without notice.
“I am devastated, this has caused so much heartache and pain to many people,” Ms O’Keeffe said.
“It is just appalling that these flowers and sentimental keepsakes to loved ones have been removed, without any notice or compassion from management.”
Ms O’Keeffe said she had been contacted by individuals and families who have been affected, including Kath Hilton, whose son Mitchell passed away in May 2011, aged 16.
“Kath has complied with the rules around what could be displayed on headstones for 11 years at her son’s grave and believed what she had been doing had been acceptable,” Ms O’Keeffe said.
“Kath was away for Christmas and returned to find Mitchell’s gravestone at Pine Lodge had been left bare, without any warning or correspondence from management.
“Cemetery management should understand families are grieving and an action like this would cause significant pain and anguish.
“I have written to Victorian Health Minister Mary-Anne Thomas to ask she immediately address this matter with Remembrance Parks Central Victoria management and ensure people aren’t put through this pain again.”