Cemetery attack has an emotional and historical toll

It’s easy to ask the question ‘why?’, but really, there’s no plausible or reasonable explanation for last week’s attack on Auburn cemetery.

It’s horrific, it’s devastating and, if you hadn’t seen it with your own eyes, it’s hard to comprehend someone could do such a thing.

This malicious act has affected every part of the community and, in fact, the state.

We’ve all put ourselves in the shoes of someone whose relative has had their grave desecrated. It’s absolutely heartbreaking to think someone could have such disrespect for those who are no longer with us.

As Frome MP Geoff Brock said on Sunday, a cemetery is supposed to be a place of rest – not somewhere people come and disturb you.

Aside from the overwhelming emotional toll this incident has had, the historical impacts are also evident. Many of these graves and memorials are the final resting place for the region’s original settlers, and are in themselves incredible works of art.

Historical headstones made of rare granites and marble which have withstood a range of weather conditions for up to 150 years have been shattered and, with them, a unique part of local history.

These aged monuments will be hard to repair, let alone replicate.

So what next? Clare and Gilbert Valleys Council has begun the unenviable task of identifying sites and contacting next of kin.

The state government has pledged significant financial support to assist with repairs – though some sites may yet be irreparable.

But what of the perpetrators? They knew where they were going when they went to this cemetery, which is about two kilometres out of town.

Someone must know something about this. Someone must have overheard a conversation, or noticed some odd behaviour.

If you know something, say something. Contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.