Island families urge people to stop stealing from gravesites

·2 min read
This small red tractor flower pot is missing from a grave in Mount Carmel. (Danielle Gallant - image credit)
This small red tractor flower pot is missing from a grave in Mount Carmel. (Danielle Gallant - image credit)

Families with loved ones buried in the Evangeline region of P.E.I. are pleading with people to stop stealing their items for gravesites.

Cedric Joseph Gallant's old red tractor is still being used by his son, but the small red tractor that represented the man's love for family and farming is missing from his grave.

"Dad was a farmer his entire life," said daughter Muriel Williams.

Her father died a couple years ago and her husband came across a little red tractor flower pot at a local hardware store just a few months ago.

He bought it and the family placed it by the grave this past Father's Day at Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel Cemetery in Mount Carmel.

"We put the tractor down and it looked really nice, you know," said Williams. "It's red. It's almost identical to his own tractor he had for many many years."

She said they spoke among themselves that they hoped no one would steal it.

Submitted by Muriel Williams
Submitted by Muriel Williams

Williams said she put a solar light through the frame of the model tractor, trying to anchor it down so the wind didn't blow it away, and maybe deter theft.

"July 2nd would have been dad's 85th birthday. And when my mom went to put flowers on his grave she discovered it was gone."

Williams said her mom visits her dad's grave every day.

"Obviously, mom is devastated," she said. "She was just in tears."

Submitted by Muriel Williams
Submitted by Muriel Williams

Williams said she doesn't have much hope, but she's still pleading for its return.

"It would be really nice if it would come back, or let us know where to go find it and we'll go get it," she said. "It means absolutely nothing to the person who took it, but it means everything to us."

Williams's niece posted about the incident on social media in hopes that the tractor would be returned.

Gallant's grave wasn't the only one in the area to have an item stolen from it recently.

A 12-minute drive up the road to the St. Philippe and St. Jacques Cemetery in Egmont Bay, another item was taken from another grave.

Sandy Gallant said a bird feeder was stolen from his father's grave on Canada Day.

CBC tried to contact the people who manage both graveyards but did not hear back.

Neither person reported the thefts to RCMP.

Williams said she didn't want to tie up important police resources to search for the small red tractor.

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