Columbarium doors questioned

Riverview Cemetery in Clearwater now has a columbarium to hold the ashes of departed loved ones.

Should the niche doors of the new columbarium all be done in the same style or should each family be allowed to decorate them in their own particular style?

That was a question local funeral director Drake Smith brought to council last Tuesday.

“This past weekend saw the first inurnment in the columbarium,” said Smith. “I’m concerned about when the families start sending the doors away to be engraved or sandblasted … there needs to be a constant look for all the doors. If not, everything could be a dog’s breakfast.”

Council had earlier decided not to have bronze plaques put on the doors but instead opted for simple engraving. No guidelines were defined on what could go on the doors and that was a mistake, the funeral director felt.

“Once you do one, you’ve set the process in place to do more,” he warned.

Councilor Candus Graffunder appeared to partially agree with Smith but did not want to be too prescriptive.

“We want to find a balance,” she said. “What one person considers a dog’s breakfast might seem like beauty to others. I’ve seen some really unique art.”

Smith volunteered to work with a committee of council members and staff to develop a report for the next council meeting.