Parents' outrage at grave attacks

Elizabeth Curnuck was heartbroken when she and husband Graeme discovered vandalism to the infant section of Bundaberg Cemetery.
Elizabeth Curnuck was heartbroken when she and husband Graeme discovered vandalism to the infant section of Bundaberg Cemetery. Mike Knott

A DISTRAUGHT dad has called for heightened security at Bundaberg Cemetery after finding his baby son's headstone lying chipped and cracked metres away from his grave.

Graeme and Elizabeth Curnuck's son, James, died on December 16 last year aged just 10 months, from complications resulting from the rare chromosome condition Tn-Syndrome 13.

The couple place a single flower on top of the headstone each month in James's memory.

On Monday night, as the couple returned from a training session at the nearby SES Bundaberg headquarters, they stopped in at the cemetery.

But as Mr Curnuck made his way through the infant section, he noticed a number of gravesites had been vandalised and that his son's headstone was missing.

"Your heart sort of drops down into your stomach when you see that sort of thing," he said.

The headstone had been reefed from its cement mounting and lay metres away from the grave with its bottom edges chipped and cracked.

It was the second time the couple has been the victim of vandalism at Bundaberg Cemetery this year.

Mr Curnuck said there was a growing trend of vandalism at the cemetery and he called for Bundaberg Regional Council to increase security measures.

"The cemetery's wide-open all day and night and they go in there and do what they please. There's no deterrent," he said.

"But they've got six-foot high fences up at the dump."

Council health and environmental services spokeswoman Mary Wilkinson said the authority sympathised with Mr and Mrs Curnuck.

Cr Wilkinson said the council had installed a sensor light system at the cemetery 12 months ago and urged anyone who witnessed vandalism or suspicious behaviour in the vicinity to report it to police.

Brown Family Funeral Homes has offered to re-erect the headstone free of charge.

Topics:  bundaberg cemetery grave security vandalism

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