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At Squamish Legion's request, more space allocated in Mount Garibaldi Cemetery

District of Squamish council votes to allow more accommodations per grave plot.

Local veterans will likely now have a better chance of finding a final resting place in Mount Garibaldi Cemetery.

On May 17, council unanimously passed three readings on a bylaw amendment that would allow for more cremation burials in full earth plots, following a request from the Squamish Legion.

This bylaw is expected to be adopted soon.

Staff say the area is now experiencing space limitations and were supportive of the proposed change.

"The request makes good sense, and we'd like to support it by recommending the following changes," said Sharon Haimes, a municipal engineering services assistant.

Currently, a full-earth burial plot may contain one casket and up to two cremations or three cremations only.

Once this amendment bylaw is adopted, full earth plots will be allowed to have one full-earth casket and up to three cremains, or, alternatively, a total of four cremains.

Coun. Eric Andersen had the most to say about the proposed change.

"I'm very glad to see that staff have been able to find simple, practical solutions to address the suggestions and concerns raised from the Royal Canadian Legion," said Andersen. "The Legion has a very active committee looking into veterans research and how we commemorate veterans in the community."

He noted there might be other ways to incorporate other suggestions the Legion has raised.

One example Andersen gave was that the upcoming heritage strategy study might incorporate veterans' connections to Stan Clarke.

The cemetery plot initiative was spearheaded by Ken Ward, veteran research chairman of Squamish's Royal Canadian Legion Branch Diamond Head Branch 277.

"Right now, we were basically full," he said.

"We can go back and start putting one or two in each of the existing plots…it just gives greater use of our availability of the Legion plots that we have."

Ward said that the Legion has 40 plots in the cemetery.

Later, he sent a follow-up email summarizing his thoughts.

"The Squamish Royal Canadian Legion Diamond Head Branch 277 remains dedicated to [being] there for our veterans — from the time they enlist and become a veteran; throughout their career; their retirement; and then in perpetuity," Ward wrote.