Jeff Green | Aug 13, 2009
Back to HomeFeature Article - August 13, 2009 Restoring sacred ground at the Cloyne Pioneer Cemeteryby Julie Druker
Rev. Judith Evenden, Mary Kelly, Eileen Flieler and Margaret Axford
An important part of Cloyne’s 150th Anniversary celebrations this past weekend was Sunday’s 2:00 pm dedication service at the Cloyne Pioneer Cemetery.
The restoration of the cemetery was a partnership between several groups: the Land O' Lakes Garden Club, the Cloyne and District Historical Society, the Township of North Frontenac, the Community Foundation of Greater Kingston, as well as a large number of volunteers and neighbours.
Close to 100 people attended the intimate outdoor service that was led by Rev. Judith Evenden of the Cloyne/Flinton Pastoral Charge. Dignitaries present were Mayor Ron Maguire and county wardens Janet Gutowski and Gordon Schermerhorn, all of whom supported the cemetery restoration project. MP Scott Reid was unable to attend but Rev. Judith read a letter of greeting from him.
Representatives from various area churches included Glen Dixon, Tim Kuhlmann, Carol Lessard and Bruce Kellar, and each had a chance to say a prayer.
Reverend Judith gave a brief history of the cemetery grounds and the development of the project and highlighted the reason for the gathering. “A tremendous amount of work in terms of physical labour and painstaking research has brought us to this day. Today with this service we set apart this place and hope that for many years to come it will continue to be respected, maintained and honored as a sacred place to remember and give thanks.”
Margaret Axford of the Cloyne and District Historical Society spoke about how she, Eileen Flieler and Mary Kelly went about solving the puzzle of who was buried at the cemetery. With the help of Harry Meeks they worked from old Methodist church death records and checked against those against other church records. According to Margaret, “By the process of elimination we arrived at a list of approximately 40 names of people who we reasonably assume are interred here.”
Those 40 names have been engraved on the plaque. Margaret said that the search will continue through checking old newspaper records and that if and when more names are found, a new plaque will made and those names added to it.
It is assumed that 80 people were buried at the cemetery.
Margaret also spoke of the naming of Cloyne and its connection with the other Cloyne in County Cork, Ireland. She read a letter of greeting and congratulations from Cloyne, Ireland, which included a short history.
Mary Kelly of the Land O’ Lakes Garden Club spoke next. “This place has always been a very spiritual place for me…. We wanted to restore the cemetery to a place of peace and tranquility and to pay homage to the pioneers who founded our town.”
Mary paid tribute to Lynn McEvoy, the founding president of the Land O’ Lakes Garden Club, who drew up the master plan for the project. She also thanked members of North Frontenac Council for their ongoing support and the Community Foundation of Greater Kingston, who awarded the project a $4,800 grant, and of course all of the volunteers and neighbours who helped along the way.
Tod Dorozio then played the moving Brahms’ “Lullaby” on the recorder, which was dedicated to the children who rest in the cemetery. Eileen Flieler, secretary of the Cloyne and District Historical Society unveiled the plaque and read each of the 40 names engraved on it. Under those names on the plaque is written, “We thank you for founding our town; although most of your graves are not marked you will never be forgotten.”