Rock of Ages Revisited

V39N1 FEB2011

It has been over 12 years since my article about cemeteries, called “Rock of Ages” was first seen in print.

I had hand-delivered it to the genealogical society editors to critique. I was expecting them glaze it over and say, “No.”

A week later, I was dumbfounded; they wanted to publish it!

It was a bigger surprise to see my favourite photograph on the journal’s cover, when it came out in February!

I also did not know it would be the main, showcased article. I only knew that it was going into print.

Since its publication, cemeteries, stones and markers, the art of stonemasonry, obituary writing, funerals and memorials has changed drastically. Some for the better and some not.

It is the Millennial Generation (people under 50years-old) from around the World that have taken a keen and growing interest in our limestone libraries, with their manicured lawns, trees of indigenous and evergreen varieties, glistening water pools, columbariums, and scattered walkways with park benches.

Photographic evidence of this can be found all over social media: on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Swarm; or in the walking tour-style videos on YouTube, Periscope and SnapChat for example.

If I were to write that same article now, it would be different. There would be a little more to include: 

  • memorial trees and benches instead of burials
  • QR codes now included on some memorials
  • BIOS vases (cremated remains that are contained in a bio-degradable “vase” and a tree is grown from it)
  • jewellery; and, 
  • more photographs of pioneer cemeteries, as there are not very many left

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