Our say | Respect? You should not need to be asked

IT beggars belief that anyone could think a cemetery was an appropriate place to allow dogs to run free off their leash.

But that’s exactly what seems to happening at Bathurst cemetery, prompting a call from Norwood Park general manager Stephen Beer for people to show a bit more respect.

But, really, should he even need to ask?

Who would have thought that someone might need to be reminded that letting their dogs play – and much worse – among the resting places of thousands of of local mums, dads, grandparents, children and friends might be considered poor form by others?

And it’s not as if this city is lacking in off-leash areas for dogs.

Bathurst Regional Council is aware of the demand for off-leash areas and also just how important dogs are to their owners, and has installed off-leash areas across the city in response.

The dogs, however, are not the only symptom of a lack of respect for our cemetery.

Two years ago $5000 worth of brand new furniture was stolen from the gazebo at the crematorium and Mr Beer says says the new sprinkler system and trees planted around the reflective pond have become a target for vandals.

The community has every reason to be upset.

Vandalism of any description is a blight on a community and an offence against all residents.

But vandalism at a cemetery is simply a case of selfishness taken to a new level altogether.

We can only shake our heads and wonder what these vandals might be thinking when indulge in these mindless acts.

We can only wonder if in a quiet moment, after whatever “rush” they might derive from vandalising a cemetery has worn off , they might turn their minds to why their behaviour might upset people so much?

Do these vandals allow themselves to think that cemeteries aren’t just places for the dead, but also places for the living to go and remember and celebrate those who have gone before us?

And will these dog owners think allowing their pet to urinate in an area held sacred by so many might be a little offensive?

Now the issue has been raised by the cemetery managers, we hope to see it resolved sooner rather than later.

But there should have been no need to raise it in the first place.