Policy to not allow ornaments on graves upsets grieving mum
WHEN Melanie Rogers' daughter Brianna drowned at their Raceview home on January 13, 2007, she was devastated.
Brianna was only 21 months old when she drowned taking a bath with her three-year-old brother.
Brianna was buried in Tallegalla Cemetery and her family started to make regular pilgrimages to visit her simple grave site.
Her mum hasn't been able to afford a plaque so the family made do with trying to dress up the grave site with ornaments.
Now she is devastated those ornaments have been removed.
"My sister went to visit on Saturday and everything has been removed," she said.
"I rang them and they said they had all my stuff in a bag to collect.
"It's not right; she was only 21 months old. I'm just in shock that they've just taken everything.
"Coming up here and having nothing; it's heart-breaking having to tell my kids because they bring stuff up here. I had little angel statues; I've had heaps of statues over the years. We come up here at Christmas and bring maybe a little Christmas ornament.'
She said she always removed ornaments if they had broken and cleared other items away if they had been there too long.
"We've had teddy bears and stuff over the years but I always take them back when they get tatty," she said. "From the road you could always see where she was and now it's just nothing."
Cr Andrew Antoniolli, who is in charge of Ipswich cemeteries, said the policy wasn't new but he sympathised with people like Melanie.
"I can understand her wanting to dress to the grave site but we have a friends of the cemetery committee and a nursery sub-committee made up of people who have lost infants.
"One of the things they agree on is ornaments on grave sites is unacceptable, especially if they are made of glass or porcelain.
"We're happy to work with people to find a way to decorate grave sites that is acceptable."
Grave decorations policy
- Vases - a maximum of two vases are allowed on each grave. These vases cannot be made of breakable material (such as glass or ceramic).
- Flowers - fresh flowers are permitted to be placed. Artificial flowers may be permitted provided they are placed in an approved vase.
- Ornaments - no ornaments, garden edging or other materials are permitted to be placed on the grave or garden.