Damaged cemetery wall a disgrace

| 26/04/2017

I was wondering if you could find out who is in charge of maintaining the George Town (Dixie) Cemetery located at West Bay Road and Eastern Avenue. For nearly a month now, the broken and knocked-over wall sections have been lying on the ground immediately adjacent to the sidewalk there. Apparently these are in that position because a vehicle crashed through them. I’m not sure if any of the adjacent graves or grave markers are also damaged, but I do believe this awful condition is an insult to the memory and remains of our Caymanian forefathers.

Can something be done about this embarrassment? Certainly the government must have some duty to maintain this site, or force whoever is responsible to do something. At a minimum it shows a disgraceful side of Cayman to all of the cruise ship visitors who pass by this spot, at most it shows us how our loved ones (and us) will be treated by future generations of Caymanians.

Auntie’s answer: I tried my best to find out where the responsibility lies since I certainly agree that the mess you describe is very disrespectful to the memory of those people whose final resting place is at the Dixie Cemetery.

I thought this repair would fall to the Recreational, Parks and Cemeteries Unit under the Ministry of Planning, Lands, Agriculture, Housing and Infrastructure, but a ministry official told me the Department of Environmental Health (DEH) is responsible for this cemetery.

The official added they understood an insurance company was involved to deal with settlement and repair issues. I was also informed that DEH had arranged for the debris to be removed and repair was “imminent”.

Further calls did not lead me closer to a definitive answer so it seemed the obvious and most efficient way to confirm the condition of the wall was for Auntie to take a road trip to check for herself.

And I can happily report that as of yesterday (26 April), there was no debris and workers were building a new section of wall.

Here is the photographic evidence:

CNS Local Life

I cannot say when the wall will be as good as new, but it seems that the system has worked in this case, though things may have moved a bit slowly.

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Category: Ask Auntie

Comments (4)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Another drunk driver, are government looking to trace the driver and making his insurance company pay.
    And whilst on the subject I am fed up of reading of drunk drivers hitting CUC poles do CUC pursue the insurance company.

    • Jay Van says:

      I came upon the scene of this accident while the police and the crashed car were still present. It was middle of the day. It appeared likely that whoever the driver was was distracted to the point that they just went straight through the stop light and crashed into the wall. It might be best to add some form of barrier at that site to prevent a reoccurrence.

  2. Anonymous says:

    does it make a difference if it is a private grave yard? as i believe that one is.

  3. Rodney Barnett IV says:

    I must admit I was pleased to see the same repairs being made. Given the complexity of bureaucratic agencies and even the involvement of an insurance company, it seems this situation was handled in as quick a manner as possible. So, THANK YOU to all involved in making these repairs happen.

    I should also not that as strange as it may seem, many tourists find Cemeteries interesting places to learn local history, culture and heritage. Proper and respectful maintenance of these sacred grounds are key responsibilities of those entrusted to that task.