|Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe??|
Work on the St. James Cemetery is expected to get under way soon, as Government continues its plans to upgrade its three state-run burial sites.
Word of this has come from Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, who said upgrading of the cemetery was expected to last between six and eight months, while work on the Bushy Park Cemetery should start next year.
"The St. James Cemetery is in need of some radical refurbishment, as the chapel is not in the best of condition," Dr. Lowe dicussed, noting that work on the cemetery could be to the same extent as that done on the completed Westbury Cemetery.
Praising the contributions of the Maria Holder Trust, by assisting Government with resources to carry out the upgrade, Dr. Lowe stressed that the overall presentation of the gravesites and their surroundings needed to be enhanced.
"It is not flattering seeing how disorderly and unkempt some of the cemeteries are," the Minister pointed out.
He explained that Government, at the request and expense of a deceased person’s family, erected structures around gravesites. But, he stated, those structures were later abandoned, leaving the area untidy and unkempt.
However, Dr. Lowe indicated that a proposal was on the cards so that families who wanted to erect structures on their loved ones’ gravesites would be required to pay a maintenance cost, or maintain it themselves. "Those fixtures make it more cumbersome to maintain a site," he said.
He pointed out that while the physical design of the cemeteries was being upgraded, there were also plans to modernise the information systems at the three burial sites.
Dr. Lowe disclosed that after restoration of the three chapels was completed, there were plans to upgrade the electronic filing of information at cemeteries so as to make it easier to identify gravesites.
Dr. Lowe said part of the modernisation of the service was an aspect of the Ministry’s drive to bring to bear new expressions of what environmental sustainability could be even through such channels.
"The pursuit of first world status is not only in economic terms, but also, in environmental sustainability terms," the Minister noted.