Glengarry cemetery trusteeship handed over to committee

South Glengarry CFO Lachlan McDonald speaks to council about the Grinley Hill Cemetery trusteeship on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020. McDonald says transferring administration of the trust is a good step for the township. (South Glengarry/Zoom via Newswatch Group)

LANCASTER – The Township of South Glengarry is handing over trusteeship of a trust fund for a cemetery on Fallowfield Road, south of St. Raphael’s, to a local committee.

Council signed off on waiving it rights to administer a trust fund, giving that job to the Grinley Hill Committee, which the township says is “heavily representative of the families involved in the maintenance and upkeep of the cemetery.”

The Grinley Hill cemetery committee has its own bank account and a Guaranteed Income Certificate (GIC) to cover the long term care and maintenance of the graveyard, a township report states.

The township had to do the formal resolution to meet obligations for the Bereavement Authority of Ontario, the regulatory body that oversees cemeteries.

During Tuesday’s council meeting, South Glengarry CFO Lachlan McDonald characterized the move as a good step as the township doesn’t want to be in cemetery business. “I think this should be graciously accepted…because it is removing us, the government, from a very important patch of Glengarry earth for those involved.”

South Glengarry learned two years ago from the authority that the Grinley Hill Cemetery, which had been marked “abandoned,” was actually having active burials under the municipality’s licence.

The township transferred the licence for Grinley Hill Cemetery to Knox-St. Andrew’s United Church in Bainsville in October 2018.

While the township doesn’t run any active cemeteries, it does grounds keeping for four other abandoned graveyards.