Fort St. John bank touches up 90-year old graves

7/12/2017

A Fort St. John bank has touched up ten grave stones from the early 1930s after purchasing a piece of property 3-years ago that used to belong to an old church.

Bank members from the North Peace Savings and Credit Union found that the graves belonged to the old St. Martin’s Anglican Church.

"This area has history and we wanted to preserve it and also to be respectful of those families and their wishes,” says Chief Strategy Officer Ken Dickson.

“So we did a lot of consultation with them as to what they like to see on the property and what type of landscaping. We refurbished the markers with them."

Dickson says that many of the names on the tombstones were found in the church’s records and then they were abler to track down surviving family members.

They weren't able to find any records on two of the gravestones.

Glen Merwin is a surviving relative from one of the eight families that was contacted by the bank. His grandmother Christine Bremner moved to Fort St. John from Spirit River, Alberta almost 100-years ago.

"My grandmother and her family came here in the 1920s, so they’re pioneers. It’s almost 100-hundred years ago now," says Merwin.

Wednesday marked the first time he saw his grandmother’s grave since the restoration.

"I remember as a kid, back in the late 50s early 60s, my mom would bring us here and my grandmother's grave was an unmarked one and my mom knew where it was."

Lights will be placed in and around the cemetery and the bank will be holding a memorial service for all surviving relatives so they can come visit their loved ones.

Bank members are relieved that the project is finished and the deceased now have their final resting place.