Vandals desecrate Greek and Lebanese Orthodox Church section graves at New Dubbo Cemetery

Source: dailyliberal.com.au

Anna Sarantzouklis holds back tears as she looks in horror at her husband’s desecrated grave. 	Photo: KATHRYN O'SULLIVAN

Anna Sarantzouklis holds back tears as she looks in horror at her husband’s desecrated grave. Photo: KATHRYN O’SULLIVAN

One of the almost dozen graves which were desecrated. Photo: KATHRYN O'SULLIVAN

One of the almost dozen graves which were desecrated. Photo: KATHRYN O’SULLIVAN

One of the almost dozen graves which were desecrated. Photo: KATHRYN O'SULLIVAN

One of the almost dozen graves which were desecrated. Photo: KATHRYN O’SULLIVAN

One of the almost dozen graves which were desecrated. Photo: KATHRYN O'SULLIVAN

One of the almost dozen graves which were desecrated. Photo: KATHRYN O’SULLIVAN

One of the almost dozen graves which were desecrated. Photo: KATHRYN O'SULLIVAN

One of the almost dozen graves which were desecrated. Photo: KATHRYN O’SULLIVAN

One of the almost dozen graves which were desecrated. Photo: KATHRYN O'SULLIVAN

One of the almost dozen graves which were desecrated. Photo: KATHRYN O’SULLIVAN

One of the almost dozen graves which were desecrated. Photo: KATHRYN O'SULLIVAN

One of the almost dozen graves which were desecrated. Photo: KATHRYN O’SULLIVAN

One of the almost dozen graves which were desecrated. Photo: KATHRYN O'SULLIVAN

One of the almost dozen graves which were desecrated. Photo: KATHRYN O’SULLIVAN

One of the almost dozen graves which were desecrated. Photo: KATHRYN O'SULLIVAN

One of the almost dozen graves which were desecrated. Photo: KATHRYN O’SULLIVAN

One of the almost dozen graves which were desecrated. Photo: KATHRYN O'SULLIVAN

One of the almost dozen graves which were desecrated. Photo: KATHRYN O’SULLIVAN

One of the almost dozen graves which were desecrated. Photo: KATHRYN O'SULLIVAN

One of the almost dozen graves which were desecrated. Photo: KATHRYN O’SULLIVAN

One of the almost dozen graves which were desecrated. Photo: KATHRYN O'SULLIVAN

One of the almost dozen graves which were desecrated. Photo: KATHRYN O’SULLIVAN

One of the almost dozen graves which were desecrated. Photo: KATHRYN O'SULLIVAN

One of the almost dozen graves which were desecrated. Photo: KATHRYN O’SULLIVAN

One of the almost dozen graves which were desecrated. Photo: KATHRYN O'SULLIVAN

One of the almost dozen graves which were desecrated. Photo: KATHRYN O’SULLIVAN
One of the almost dozen graves which were desecrated. Photo: KATHRYN O'SULLIVAN

VANDALS desecrated almost a dozen graves in the New Dubbo Cemetery at the weekend, breaking off religious icons from headstones and smashing glass reliquaries.

The damage in two areas of the cemetery was discovered when families visited the graves of loved ones yesterday.

Police have begun investigating the attack and the Dubbo City Council’s director community service David Dwyer slammed it as a “pretty low act”.

Vandals scattered items from the graves in the grass near the two areas they struck – one general burial area near the centre of the cemetery and the Greek and Lebanese Orthodox Church section in a far corner.

One woman, who would only be identified by her first name Joina, said she received the biggest shock in her life on seeing her father’s tomb had been desecrated.

“This is bloody disgusting… very disturbing,” Joina said, choking back tears.

“How can you have the heart to do this?

“They (the vandals) won’t let anyone rest in peace. They have no morals. It’s terrible.”

A cross worth thousands of dollars was ripped off her father’s tomb and could not be found among other scattered grave items.

“I don’t think these people have a conscience because if they did they wouldn’t do this,” she said.

“We have enough grief to deal with. We don’t need this. This isn’t fair.”

She said the cemetery was a place of rest for loved ones and should be respected.

“How can you protect the dead from stupid people?” she said.

“Do you leave them in cages so you can protect their graves? Disgusting. Disgusting is all I can say.”

Joina said she had heard of grave desecration on the news but never thought it would happen in Dubbo.

“It happened to us today and I pray it will never happen to someone else” she said.

Anna Sarantzouklis struggled to understand why her husband Elias’s grave was targeted.

The vandals smashed the glass reliquary. Holy oil from Jerusalem was splashed on the grass. A cross with an icon of the Risen Christ on the headstone was broken into pieces and other reliquary contents were taken.

“Honestly I can’t believe it. What do they get out from it?” she said shaking her head.

“How can you explain this? They don’t have anything better to do? The cemetery is the last place I’d imagine vandals would come.”

Police arrived on the scene after repeated calls from families and found some items scattered at another desecrated grave.

Dubbo City Council’s director community services David Dwyer slammed the “pretty low act” of the vandals.

“To think someone came to the cemetery and desecrated the graves is disgusting… just senseless,” he said.

He called on the vandals to think of the consequences.

“Wake up to yourself. Look at the amount of distress and heartache you’ve caused loved ones,” he said.

Mr Dwyer said the council should look at security measures to keep vandals out.

Orana Local Area Command Inspector Brad Johnston said police were investigating the vandalism and called on residents with information to contact the Dubbo Police Station.

The attack at the cemetery follows a spate of vandalism incidents at public sites in Dubbo in the past few months.

1 thought on “Vandals desecrate Greek and Lebanese Orthodox Church section graves at New Dubbo Cemetery”

  1. what a cowardly act theses are for the familys to pay respect to there loved ones my dad is laid to rest here as im in qld i have no idea if his reasting place was trashed tis makes me sick

    Like

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