Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Heritage Cemeteries in Alberta

Sheila Johnston, Chair of the Heritage Cemeteries Ad Hoc Committee has recently submitted a report detailing the activities of this group. The Committee is dedicated to researching and preserving the history of "forgotten" Alberta cemeteries established decades ago by the denominations that eventually formed the United Church of Canada. Many of these pioneer cemeteries are no longer used and have become overgrown and neglected. Here is Sheila's report of the activities of the group that is determined to reclaim the memory of these historic sites:

In 2010 we helped support the work of the Alberta-Ukraine Genealogical Project which documented (photographed and recorded all available data) on eleven cemeteries in their East Central Alberta area with United Church (or our ancestor denominations) roots. This included the Wahstao Mission Cemetery (Methodist 1908) which prompted the work of our committee. (A DVD of this documentation is now in the Conference Archives.)

Our plans for 2011 include support for the documentation of a few more "UC Roots" cemeteries in this area, compilation of a list of cemeteries within the Conference with "UC Roots," and the installation of an interpretive plaque in the Wahstao Mission cemetery. Thanks must go to the members of the committee--Oliver Seward, Donna Krucik and Don Mayne, as well as our extraordinary volunteer in the area, Gran Gillard. If you know of a cemetery with UC Roots in your area, please pass the information to the secretary of your presbytery, to be forwarded to our committee.

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