Top News

Candlelight vigil planned to Celebrate lives of those buried at Sunny Valley Cemetery

Sunny Valley Cemetery was formed 133 years ago. On Aug. 23, a special ceremony is planned to remember all those buried at the site.
Sunny Valley Cemetery was formed 133 years ago. On Aug. 23, a special ceremony is planned to remember all those buried at the site. - Contributed

The people buried at Sunny Valley Cemetery will never be forgotten by the community and their loved ones.

On Aug. 23, their memory will be celebrated with a special candlelight service.

“The idea for a vigil came about at a meeting of the Sunny Valley Cemetery trustees, who were looking for a meaningful way to high light the cemetery and bring together community members to remember family and friends that are at rest in the cemetery,” explains Harold Uhlman, president of the board of trustees for Sunny Valley.

“A quiet summer night at dusk with candlelight was thought to be a good way to remember and celebrate those lives and to help remember the history of the cemetery, which was incorporated 133 years ago.”

The service, he said, will commemorate the lives of all of the loved ones buried at Sunny Valley, as well as mark the history and remember the community surrounding the cemetery.

“The present cemetery land was provided in 1886 by Francis Beck,” Uhlman explains. “It was then a part of his home property with his wife and children.”

Beck, who died Feb. 12, 1912, is buried at the cemetery. There are currently at least 10 of his descendants still living, several in Lunenburg County.

Originally named Centre Cemetery in the deed received from Beck, William A. Wentzell, Rufus Beck and Jeffrey Demone, it was later changed to Sunny Valley.

Although the exact date of the first burial is not known, the oldest gravestone is dated Dec. 10, 1879, wife of Samuel Whynot. The youngest person buried there is Floretta Feener, who died Sept. 21, 1887 at age three months.

The cemetery is also the resting place of local veterans, Uhlman says.

At the candlelight service, a tea light candle will be provided, which family members can place on a gravestone. It will remain there until it burns out to remember and celebrate those who were, and still are, an important part of our lives.

“It is a time of remembrance and celebration and a time to increase the awareness of the cemetery,” Uhlman adds.

The ceremony will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 23, with a rain date of Aug. 30.

Parking is available within the cemetery grounds.

The present cemetery land was provided in 1886 by Francis Beck. It was then a part of his home property with his wife and children. He was buried in the cemetery after his death in 1912.
The present cemetery land was provided in 1886 by Francis Beck. It was then a part of his home property with his wife and children. He was buried in the cemetery after his death in 1912.

Supportive volunteers

There are currently five trustees who volunteer their time to look after the cemetery – Uhlman; Brian Keizer, secretary/treasurer; Everett Lohnes, trustee; David Baugil, trustee; and Marilyn Weagle, trustee. An annual meeting is held each April, to which all are welcome.

The main service provided by the trustees is to maintain the cemetery with regular mowing, to have a volunteer spring and fall cleanup, and to level and seed grave sites as required. All of the mowing is done on a volunteer basis.

The Sunny Valley Cemetery is registered as a charitable organization with the Canada Revenue Agency and issues tax deductible receipts for all donations. Anyone wishing to make a donation can mail it to the treasurer, Brian Keizer, 11437 Hwy. # 3, Centre, B0J 2C0. Receipts will be mailed for all donations.

Burial sites are available, and questions can be directed to the treasurer, or call 902-634-3161.

Recent Stories