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Hillsdale Columbarium works completed

By Melissa Schilz, Postmedia Network

Hillsdale Cemetery has completed installation works of a new columbarium. Photo provided.

Hillsdale Cemetery has completed installation works of a new columbarium. Photo provided.

Hillsdale Cemetery’s new columbarium garden has been completed right on schedule with niche sales beginning Aug. 30.


The new section was added after a research conducted alongside Needham-Jay Funeral Home found a cultural shift; more people are choosing cremation over traditional burial plots. The Town of Petrolia wanted to make changes that reflect this while upholding the historic significance of the Lambton County landmark.


The changes also aim to offer family and loved ones a calm and serene environment to visit during their time of mourning. Located just beside Bear Creek, visitors will be able to enjoy a calming view of the water, wildlife and forests.


“We are pleased to have this at Hillsdale so that there is another option not only for both individuals during the planning process, but also for families to spend time in peaceful reflection,” Mayor John McCharles said in a press release.


The newly installed columbarium is the first of four to be constructed in the cemetery – Deputy Clerk Mandi Pearson said the next three will be installed as the spaces are purchased. The town allotted $50,000 for the works that have just been completed, and Pearson said more money will be set aside in the future to build the others.


“It’s about $26,000 for the single columbarium,” Pearson said, adding that she and Director of Operations Mike Thompson would decide when the next columbarium should be constructed.


As of last week, the town had a wait list of five people, which grew after the town announced that sales would be opening.


Each columbarium contains 48 niches, with each niche holding up to two cremations. The new area is located in section C of the cemetery and features gardens as well as a water display.


A dedication ceremony scheduled for Aug. 29 was cancelled due to poor weather, but Pearson said they are hoping to re-schedule this in coming months. For now, anyone interested in taking a tour of the grounds can contact staff for additional information.