Surrey to help families pay for grave markers

The city of Surrey has launched a new program to help bring peace to citizens who have passed.

Surrey’s three civic cemeteries contain at least 350 unmarked graves, but in future, the city will help provide families with a place to mourn.

Stonemarks Engraving is partnering with the city to donate grave markers to needy families who couldn’t otherwise afford it.

Families gathered at Sunnyside Lawn Cemetery in South Surrey Tuesday to see some of the new memorial markers laid — 32 have been donated this year.

While B.C.’s Ministry of Social Development pays for internment in cases where families can’t afford it, they don’t cover the cost of grave markers.

Surrey also hopes to be able to go back and lay markers at the majority of the historic unmarked graves in the city, and is launching a community donation campaign to launch the initiative early next year.

“To have an unmarked grave does not honour the memory of those who lived, Mayor Dianne Watts said in a statement. “It is important to rectify that.”