Mayor vows considered response to desecration of Greek and Lebanese Orthodox Church section graves

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.

  • One of the graves that was damaged at New Dubbo cemetery.

DUBBO’S mayor has promised to look into security options to prevent a second spate of vandalism at the New Dubbo Cemetery.

Councillor Mathew Dickerson slammed the recent desecration of almost a dozen graves and vowed the council would take action.

“It’s a very sad fact that the final resting place of people, a very sacred area, is desecrated,” he said.

“I struggle to understand the mindset of the people who vandalised the graves.”

A man who would only be identified as Lonnie for fear of retribution said he was shocked to see a funeral cross thrown in his backyard on Saturday afternoon.

Lonnie, who lives across the road from the cemetery, was mowing the lawn when he sighted the cross intact and called the police.

“I couldn’t believe someone would do such a low thing like that,” he said.

Cr Dickerson said he was not in favour of security guards roaming the cemetery as it was too expensive.

Security fencing would be a better option which would be discussed with councillors based on cost and the frequency of vandalism attacks.

“It’s a sad reflection of our community that we’re contemplating this fact to stop it happening,” he said.

Cr Dickerson said there should not be a need to install a high security fence as it was a sacred area which should be respected.

“My guess is a few people a bit drunk from the pub walked through the cemetery on the way home and caused damage,” he said.

“If this fence goes up it would be difficult enough to get over and (this would) reduce the chances of vandalism.”

The council’s director community services David Dwyer said the current low-height fence was installed to prevent dogs and cattle from entering the cemetery.

He called on the council to install security to keep the vandals out.

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

The vandals broke off religious icons from headstones, smashed glass reliquaries and 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.

Police are continuing their investigation and call on members of the community with any information to contact the Dubbo Police Station.

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