Graves exhumed to make way for road expansion

Three graves in a small private cemetery beside Shamrock Road were exhumed on Sunday to make way for the widening of the road.

The remains are being relocated to another part of the cemetery.

Bodden Funeral Services staff carried out the grave-relocation work in the morning.

Scott Ruby, general manager of Bodden Funeral Services, said the work had been conducted with respect for those buried in the graveyard.

He said, “We’re here today as professional funeral directors to make sure it’s handled with dignity.”

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The graves are located by the Grand Harbour roundabout, near the junction with South Sound Road.

The National Roads Authority, in response to queries from the Cayman Compass, said that in 2019 “after careful research” it had reached out to the family members and “in conjunction with Bodden Funeral Home discussed relocation of the deceased”.

“The Authority is following all protocols and procedures for a respectful relocation within the existing cemetery (the same property),” the NRA said in a statement.

Bodden Funeral Services staff exhume graves on Sunday morning. – Photo: Alvaro Serey

The NRA published public notices in the Compass over eight consecutive weeks in 2019 about its plan to move the graves. It said members of the public were requested to provide information and feedback to the Department of Environmental Health, but “No valid objections were received”.

The small graveyard is located opposite Grand Harbour, near the junction with Shamrock Road and South Sound Road.

The people in the graves were buried in the 1980s. Helena Chojnacka was born in 1897 and died in 1982; Myrtle V. Eden was born in 1901 and died in 1980; and Dollie Farrell McCoy was born in 1900 and died in 1989.

The NRA said the relocation of the graves was “unavoidable” if the road widening to six lanes was to be carried out to ease traffic congestion in the area. It said the relocation was being undertaken “in the most sensitive and responsible manner possible”.

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