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Partnership Program Memorializes Unmarked Graves in Surrey Cemeteries

City of Surrey program provides memorial markers for unmarked graves

October 29, 2013

Surrey, BC- Friends and family gathered today at Sunnyside Lawn Cemetery in South Surrey to commemorate the installation of memorial markers on loved ones’ previously unmarked graves. The occasion was made possible by a newly implemented City of Surrey program which provides memorial markers free of charge to families in need.

The idea for the program was spurred by the Provincial Ministry of Social Development program which covers the cost of interment services for families in need but not the cost of memorial markers. “It is important that people are remembered not only in life but in death as well,” said City of Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts. “To have an unmarked grave does not honour the memory of those who lived. It is important to rectify that and I am very pleased that we are able to implement such a program in this city.”

Among Surrey’s three civic cemeteries there are approximately 350 additional unmarked gravesites. The marker program is made possible through partnership support of local monument company, Stonemarks Engraving. City of Surrey Councillor Mary Martin remarked, “Since the marker program began earlier this year, 32 families have received memorial markers. We are grateful for the partnership and support of Stonemarks who are donating markers to the program.”

The City is also launching a second program to solicit community donations to enable the manufacture of memorial markers for all pre-existing unmarked graves in Surrey’s three civic cemeteries. This program is expected to be in place in early 2014.

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For media interviews:

Amanda Silvers
Senior Communications Specialist
Office of the Mayor
City of Surrey
604-591-4519

 For program information:

Owen Croy
Manager of Parks
Parks, Recreation & Culture
City of Surrey
604-598-5762