St. Andrews West Cemetery wall struck again

Red flakes of vehicle debris are scattered among the stones of the wall at the St. Andrews West Cemetery, seen here on July 15, 2015. South Stormont Mayor Jim Bancroft said there needs to be a long term solution to stop the recurring damage to the wall. Click photo to enlarge. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

ST. ANDREWS WEST – The mayor is hoping to find a long term solution for the Roman Catholic church in St. Andrews West after the wall surrounding its cemetery was damaged again.

Jim Bancroft said he was notified that the wall on the northwest corner of County Road 18 and Highway 138 was damaged within the last two weeks.

It’s a continuing string of incidents where vehicles have clipped or run into the historic wall. In May 2014, a vehicle struck the wall causing several thousand dollars damage.

“We need to find a way now between the township and the counties and the people of the church how we’re going to fix that,” Bancroft told Cornwall Newswatch.

“They (the church) are struggling because the Diocese (of Alexandria-Cornwall) are using their insurance to help pay these costs and they’re going to get to point some time where maybe an insurance company may not be quite as compatible as they are right now,” Bancroft said.

The wall surrounds the cemetery which has the grave sites of explorer Simon Fraser, Captain “Spanish” John MacDonell and John Sandfield Macdonald, the first Premier of Ontario.

Cars on Highway 138 drive by the stone wall at the St. Andrews West Cemetery on July 15, 2015. The wall has been damaged again after being struck by some sort of vehicle. South Stormont Mayor Jim Bancroft said a long term solution needs to be found because the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall can't continue relying on insurance to pay for recurring damage. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)
Cars on Highway 138 drive by the stone wall at the St. Andrews West Cemetery on July 15, 2015. The wall has been damaged again after being struck by some sort of vehicle. South Stormont Mayor Jim Bancroft said a long term solution needs to be found because the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall can’t continue relying on insurance to pay for recurring damage. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

Mayor Bancroft suggests the long term fix “may be something other than bricks and mortar.”

There will be a meeting with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation during the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference in August where the mayor plans to bring up the problem.

“We are hoping that’s going to give us some kind of direction…won’t necessarily get any answers. I’m hoping that I can facilitate some kind of dialogue where we can find a recommendation where this thing is not going on every month for them every year,” Bancroft said.

Bancroft is a municipal appointee on the Cornwall Township Historical Society board.

The mayor also mentioned that a significant amount of money was put into the cemetery to improve it when Jim Brownell was MPP.

“We’ve got to find a way to help them along here some way or another.”

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