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Report on Select Committee on Ogden Point Lands

(Victoria, BC, now Ross Bay Cemetery)

ON OGDEN POINT LANDS. (From the B.C. Sessional Papers, 1876)

extracted by Hugh Armstrong

MR. SPEAKER: Your Committee, appointed to entire into the manner in which the Resolution of this Assembly, dated 8th April, 1872, as been carried out, viz:- "That 47 acres of the Crown Lands at Ogden Point should be set apart for the purpose of providing for a Public Cemetery, and for other public purposes on behalf of the City of Victoria, as Trustees in that behalf shall think fit, and also into the management and position of the trust thus created," Beg leave to report as follows:- That they find that Sub-sections 18, 19, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29, 31, 32, 33, of Section 18, containing 48 and fifty-four hundredth acres of Crown Lands at Ogden Point, have been placed in the hands of the Trustees named in and for the purposes as set forth in the deed, dated 7th June, 1872, hereto appended. That 18 and seventy-nine hundredth acres of this land have been sold for Six thousand four hundred and sixteen dollars; that Medana's grove, 11 1/2 acres; Nias' point, 91 acres; 2 acres in Sub-Section 28, and 9 acres in Sub-section 31, remain unsold, and that there is a mortgage for Four thousand dollars bearing interest at Ten per cent thereon. That out of the proceeds of land sold at Ogden point, the Trustees have purchased about 12 acres of land at Ross Bay, at the rate of Three hundred dollars per acre, and that it is financially unencumbered. That the $4,000 obtained by mortgage on the Ogden Point lands and other moneys have been expended on the Ross Bay Cemetery, in ploughing, fencing, house-building, laying out and gravelling walks, putting in brick drains, and surveying the ground into blocks and lots, and that the work has generally been done by contract. That the Trustees have allotted certain portions of the Ross Bay Cemetery to various religious denominations, subject to the rules and regulations of the Cemetery Board, and of the religions denomination to which the allotments have been made, and have granted to the Clergy of each Church to which allotments have been made, the power to decide who shall or shall not be buried in the ground set apart for the use of said Church, but that in all other respects the Board retain full control over the ground. That the Cemetery at Ross Bay bas been allotted as follows:- Block A containing 590 spaces or graves, Episcopal Church. " B 1053 " " " C 519 " Roman Catholic Church. " D 183 " " " E 198 " Unallotted. " F 707 " Reformed Episcopal Church. " G 816 " Wesleyan Church. " H 1017 " Presbyterian Church. " K 443 " Unallotted. " L 368 " Mongolians and Indians. That the unallotted portion is about one-tenth of the whole. That the Trustees claim that the "Cemetery Ordinance, 1870," contemplated such a distribution, and that the interests of the public warranted it. That Section 5 of the "Cemetery Ordinance, 1870," provides "that the Trustees shall net by any rule or regulation, or any act, matter or thing, at any time interfere, directly or indirectly, with the performance of any religions ceremony in the burial of the dead according to the usage of the communion to which the deceased may have belonged." That if the Trustees had thrown open the land at Rose Bay promiscuously, that such a course "would have interfered with the performance of certain religious ceremonies in the burial of the dead." That the allotment of the Cemetery as made has "interfered with the performance in some portions thereof, of certain religious ceremonies in the burial or the dead, according to the usage of the communion to which the deceased belonged." That the "Cemetery Ordinance, 1870," is conflictive, and that its remaining on our Statutes may cause further trouble. That the Odd Fellows Society made application for a separate allotment and were refused, and that they would have purchased a piece of ground if necessary. That the romaine of the late J. P. Fitterre were refused burial in Block C, in consequence of the deceased, during life, having been a member of a Secret Society. That the remains of the late Mrs. B. Thorne were refused burial in Block A, except upon condition that the burial service should be performed by a clergyman of the Episcopal Church. That the deceased lady belonged to the Reformed Episcopal Church. That the remains of the late Captain W. H. McNeil, a member of the Reformed Episcopal Church, wore interred in Block B by His Lordship Bishop Cridge, only in consequence of the right of burial having been purchased prior to the division between the Episcopal and Reformed Episcopal Churches. That the Municipal Council of Victoria City have frequently to, undertake the burial of paupers from all parts of the world, and that the Cemetery Board have exacted from the Corporation the sum of Seven dollars and a half for each grave, and that the burial of each pauper costs the Corporation Fifteen dollars. That no portion of the Ogden Point lands have as yet been applied to "other public purposes on behalf of the City of Victoria," and that the following wording of the trust deed would probably preclude the intentions of the Legislature in that respect from being carried out, "and in the next place shall pay over all surplus moneys coming into their hands by way of rents, dividends, annual profits, interest on mortgages, interest of moneys in hand, (whether produced by sums paid for equality of exchange by sale, mortgage, or investment on mortgage,) but not any principal sum over and above what is required for Cemetery purposes and payment of debts, to the Mayor and Council of the City of Victoria, to be by them treated as General Revenue, and to be expended lawfully by them as other Revenue derivable under the "Victoria Municipal Ordinance, 1867," and the "Victoria Municipal Amendment Ordinance, 1869," and it is hereby declared that the receipts in writing of the Mayor and Council, or of such person as they shall in that behalf direct, shall effectually discharge the said Trustees paying the same there from and from being concerned to see to the application thereof." That a petition signed by One thousand and thirty-six of the inhabitants of Victoria and vicinity, praying that the Ross Bay Cemetery should be thrown open to the public, has been considered by the Committee, and that a Petition of His Worship the Mayor and the Council of Victoria, requesting that "a portion of the Ogden Point lands be placed at the disposal of the City for agricultural, recreative, educational and other purposes," has also came before them. Your Committee are of opinion that the Legislative Assembly, when placing these lands in the hands of Trustees for the purpose of providing a Public Cemetery and for other public purposes on behalf of the City of Victoria, did not contemplate giving exclusive rights or control over any portion of these lands to the Clergy of any religions denomination, but that it was the intention of the Assembly that a Cemetery public in all its parts should be provided out of a portion of the trust fund then created, and that the City of Victoria should receive a portion of the land. That it was the evident intention of the Legislative Assembly that a Public Cemetery should be provided. That the Ross Bay Cemetery is not a Public Cemetery, inasmuch as about nine tenths of it have already been allotted to different religions denominations. That the powers given to the Trustees by a deed bearing date 7th June, 1872, conflict with the resolution of the 8th April, 1872. Your Committee therefore recommend that the different religious bodies to whom the Trustees have allotted lands in the Rose Bay Cemetery be offered the privilege of purchasing the following allotments:- Episcopal Church, Block A, 590 graves. " B, 1053 " Roman Catholic Church, Block C, 519 graves. " Block D, 183 " Episcopal Reformed Church, Block F, 707 graves. Wesleyan Church, Block G, 816 graves. Presbyterian Church, Block H, 1017 graves. (Reserving the right of way for a road through Block B.)- Under the following conditions:- That they pay the same rate per acre therefore, as an equal acreage can be purchased, fenced, embellished, drained, and surveyed, adjoining the present Cemetery; the interest paid by Trustees to be added to the purchase money, and the new portion to be made as advantageous and to have every requisite as the portion sold. That the Trustees shall ascertain, immediately after the adoption of this Report by the Legislature, at what price they can have the refusal for 60 days of adjoining land suitable for Cemetery purposes and any improvements, that may be thereon, and that the Secretary of the Board of Trustees immediately notify each Church as above that 30 days will be given to them to decide whether they will purchase their allotment under the conditions contained herein or not. That in the event of any Church failing to secure its allotment by the necessary cash payment within the time specified, that the ground be thrown open at once to the public by the Trustees, by notice in the British Columbia Gazette signed by the Lieutenant-Governor, rescinding that portion of the British Columbia Gazette notice of the 9th August, 1873, approved 29th July, 1873. That no decision of a church to purchase shall be deemed binding or operative unless accompanied by a cash payment to the Secretary of the Trustee Board, of the actual amount necessary to purchase the fee of the adjoining property selected by the Trustees. That the balance of the money necessary for fencing, embellishing, draining, surveying, and making the new portion in every way as advantageous and having every requisite of the portion sold acre per acre, as agreed to be purchased by the different religious bodies, shall be paid as may be required by monthly installments, and the whole of the estimated cost shall be paid within six months after the decision to purchase the property. That should any further sum be found necessary by the Trustees to properly embellish the said new portion of the cemetery, that it shall be paid by each church in proportion to the land purchased. That no exclusive right of burial in any portion thereof shall be granted or a transfer made to any church of any portion of the Ross Bay Cemetery until the entire purchase money therefore shall be paid. That in the event of the Trustees or any person mentioned in the Report failing, neglecting or refusing to carry into effect the conditions of this Report, that the entire acreage of the Ross Bay Cemetery be thrown open to the public, and that the clergymen of any religious denomination shall cease to exercise any control over any portion of it. That the funds thus obtained be applied by the Trustees to the purchase and embellishing of adjoining land, which is to be preserved as a Public Cemetery in the true meaning of the term. That the "Cemetery Ordinance, 1870," be repealed. That the Trust Deed, dated 7th June, 1872, and Deed of Confirmation, dated 28th January, 1874, be cancelled by Statute. That the Ogden Point lands unsold be divided, and that Medana's Grove, 11 1/2 acres, be transferred, unencumbered, to the City of Victoria for public purposes, and that the Trustees retain the balance of the land for cemetery purposes. That the Corporation of the City of Victoria have the right to bury paupers in any portion of the cemetery, free of charge. That a Bill be introduced and passed by the Legislative Assembly this Session carrying into effect the views contained in this Report. W. F. TOLMIE, Chairman. 
MONDAY, 24TH April, 1876. MR. Hett, examined, said:- 18 acres and seventy-nine one-hundredths of an acre sold for $6,416; the whole sum expended on Ross Bay Cemetery. Medana's Grove, 11 1/2 acres; Nias' Point, 9 1/4, and 2 acres in sub-section 28; sub-section 31, containing 9 acres. The rest of the 48 acres have been sold. There is a mortgage of $4,000 on the property unsold; its term was two years, at 10 per cent. interest. Question - Out of the proceeds of the land sold, have you purchased any other property ? Answer - They have purchased about 12 acres at Ross Bay. No incumbrance on this property at present. Three hundred dollars an acre was paid for it. The four thousand dollars loan has been spent on the Ross Bay Cemetery, in fencing, house-building. Mr. Turner, examined. Question - Whether the whole of the land at Ross Bay is a public cemetery? Answer - I think it is a public cemetery. Question - Has any person the right of burial in all portions of the cemetery ? Answer - Yes; subject to the Rules and Regulations of the Cemetery Board and of the religions denominations to which certain portions of the land has been allotted. Question - To what religious denominations has the land been allotted ? Answer - The Roman Catholics have Block C and D ; the Episcopal Church, A and B Presbyterian, 11; Wesleyan, G; Reformed Episcopal, F. Question - What portion of the cemetery is unallotted? Answer - K and D, Block L, is allotted to Mongolians and Indians. Question-What proportion does the unallotted portion bear to the whole? Answer - Probably a tenth. Question - Is the unallotted suitable for cemetery purposes ? Answer - I believe it to be thoroughly drained. Question - Under what authority do the board claim the power to allot portions of the cemetery to different denominations ? Answer - The board considered that the Act contemplated such a distribution, and that the interest of the public warranted it. Question - What section of the "Cemetery Ordinance, 1870," bears you out in that view? Answer - Section 5. Question-Carrying out that view, how could the Cemetery Board provide for other denominations which might come into existence? Answer - They had other lands at Ogden Point which they could sell, and buy land adjoining the Ross Bay Cemetery. Question - Do you know any instances where parties have been refused burial in the cemetery? Answer - None have come under my personal knowledge. Question - Has the trust been applied to any other public purpose, excepting for cemetery purposes? Answer - No. Mr. Hett was here again questioned. Question - Whether any of the public have been refused burial in any particular portions of the cemetery? Answer - They have. Question - Upon what grounds were they refused? Answer - Because they were not members of the church to which the particular portion had been allotted. Question - Who are the parties who have refused burial to the public in different allotments? Answer - Bishop Seghers refused the Odd Fellows leave to bury Mr. Fiterre in the Roman Catholic portion. Question - Do you know of any other instance? Answer - Yes; Bishop Hills has refused. In one instance he refused Mrs. Thorne, who was subsequently buried in the Reformed Episcopal portion. Question - Do you know of any other instance? Answer - I think he refused in the case of Mr. Theodore Davie's infant. Question - Do you know of any other denominations that have refused the right of burial in these allotments? Answer - No; I do not. Question - What improvements have been made in the cemetery that will represent the $6,000 expenditure? Answer - There is a new fence on the south side next to the sea; the land ploughed all over; the cemetery drained by a brick drain; the house moved, altered, and repaired; entrance gates were put up; roads laid out and gravelled; grounds surveyed into blocks and plots. Question - How was this work generally done? Answer - By contract. Question - Are the blocks E and L properly drained Answer - E and L have the benefit of natural as well as artificial drainage. The only water seen in graves during the winter season is surface water. Mr. Drummond examined. Question - Have the Corporation of Victoria ever made application to the Cemetery Board for any portions of the trust fund, on behalf of the City of Victoria? Answer - They have not. Question - Is there any particular reason why they have not applied? Answer - No. Did not know they had any claim. Question - The corporation has frequently undertaken to bury paupers, have they not? Answer - Yes. They have been obliged to pay for the graves for such purposes. We contested the claim, but were obliged to pay the claim. We had to pay $7.50 for each pauper's grave, many of whom came from different parts of British Columbia. This was merely the cost of digging and filling the ground, and for the right of burial there. There is a spot set apart for Indians, Mongolians, and paupers. Question - Is there, any religious service read over paupers ? Answer - No. They are convoyed to the cemetery in an express waggon. The total cost of a pauper's burial comes to $15. We have frequently to bury paupers from all parts of the world. Question - Has any foreign Consul contributed anything to the burial of paupers? Answer - No; not in my experience of five years. Mr. Drummond - I wish to make a claim on the lands situate at Ogden Point, for a place of recreation and instruction, &c. Question - Have the corporation any lands within the city limits? Answer - No; except what they have purchased with municipal funds. They have applied on several occasions to the Dominion Government, for the control of public lands - Beacon Hill, for instance - but have not received a satisfactory answer. Question - Do you know of any parties who have been refused burial in Ross Bay Cemetery? Answer -I do. Question-To whom do you refer? Answer - I refer to the case of Mr. Fiterre. Question - Will you state any of the circumstances? Answer - Mr. Fiterre died as an Odd Fellow, and as such was refused burial in the public grounds by Mr. Hett, unless he received the sanction of the clergyman having control of the ground. Question - Has application been made, on behalf of the Odd Fellows, for a separate allotment? Answer - Yes; but was refused by the Cemetery Board. Question - Was application made in consequence of other allotments ? Answer - No; he believed it was one of the first applications to the board, after it was first constituted. The fact that the cemetery was to be allotted was not generally known, and the Odd Fellows were prepared to purchase a piece. Question - On what principle, in your opinion, as Mayor of the City, should the cemetery be conducted, for the general benefit? Answer - As a public cemetery, under the control of the Municipal Council. Mr. C. Thorne, examined. 25TH April Statement by Mr. Thorne: - On the 27th day of January, 1875, 1 applied to Mr. Hett, Secretary of the Cemetery Board, for a plot to inter my deceased mother, Elizabeth Thorne. Mr. Hett asked me who was to conduct the service. I told him Mr. Cridge. Mr. Hett then informed me that I could not have that plot in consequence of Bishop Hills having issued an edict to that effect, unless a clergyman of the Church of England conducted the service, and under no consideration would Mr. Cridge be allowed to perform the religious service. Mr. Hett also informed me Bishop Hills had expressed regret at having allowed Masons and Odd Fellows permission to inter in the Anglican plot; but that it would be discontinued in the future. I subsequently was compelled to select a plot in another part of the cemetery, contrary to the wishes expressed by the deceased during life. (Signed) C. Thorne. Mr. Hughes examined. Question - You knew Mr. Fiterre? Answer - Yes; I did. Mr. Hughes made a statement, as follows:- I first waited on Mrs. Fiterre, as principal officer of the Odd Fellows, to ask her her wishes with regard to the burial of her husband, the late Mr. Fiterre, and she expressed her wish that he should be interred in the Roman Catholic portion of the cemetery, and from the Roman Catholic Church. I then waited on the parish priest, telling him what Mrs. Fiterre desired. He said certainly, he had no objection. He then told me to wait a little. He then went upstairs, and came down accompanied by Bishop Seghers. He then asked me if Mr. Fiterre had been a Mason. I said I didn't know, but I told him that lie was a member of the Odd Fellows. The priest then said, as he had become a member of a secret society, he had severed all connection with the church. I then asked him if lie would not permit him to be interred in the Roman Catholic portion of the cemetery. He said, decidedly not, but he was sorry it was a law of the church and could not be delegated. I sent a friend of mine to Mr. Hett. Mr. Hett said, no; permission must be had from the minister to whom the plot was allotted to. To make it certain that Mr. Hett's decision was usual, I went to the cemetery and saw the keeper. I asked him if that was the usual method, and if we couldn't purchase a plot. He said, in no portion of the cemetery could we purchase a lot, unless in a portion allotted to Indians and Chinamen. I then waited on Mrs. Fiterre, to inform her of the whole circumstances of the case. She said, not being permitted to inter her husband in the Roman Catholic portion of the cemetery, she wished the Odd Fellows to take the matter fully in hand. I then applied to the Rev. Mr. Russ, for permission to inter the late Mr. Fiterre in the Methodist portion. He said, certainly, with the greatest of pleasure, and would perform religions services, if required. He made a remark, at the same time, that if many similar cases occurred, he couldn't give permission. (Signed) L.M. Hughes. 26TH April. Bishop Seghers examined. Copy of letter from Mr. Hett to Bishop Seghers, 25th February, 1873: - "Rev. Sir, - I am directed by the Cemetery Board to inform you that a portion of the Ross Bay Cemetery has been set apart for the use of the Roman Catholic Church, and that such portion is marked 'C' upon the map of the cemetery, which may be seen at my office. I have, &c. J. Roland Hett, Secretary." Copy. "Humboldt Street, Victoria, March 4th, 1873. Mr. J. Roland Hett, Secretary to the Cemetery Board, Bastion Street. Sir, I acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 25 ult., notifying me that a portion of the Ross Bay Cemetery, marked 'C' on the diagram in your office, has been set apart for the use of the Roman Catholic Church. This intelligence shall be communicated to our congregation in due time. In the meanwhile you will oblige by kindly answering the following questions: 1st - What power is vested in the clergy of each denomination, with regard to the use of the portions of the cemetery respectively allotted to them? 2nd - In whose power is it to decide and determine who shall and who shall not be buried in such or such portion of the said cemetery? In other words, in case of doubt, who shall decide and determine whether a deceased person did or did not die a member of such or such religions congregation, and, consequently, may or may net be buried in such or such portion of the Ross Bay Cemetery. I have, &c. Chs. J. Seghers." Copy. Mr. Hett to Father Seghers. "Bastion Street, Victoria, 7th March, 1873. Rev. Sir, - In reply to your letter of the 4th instant, I am directed by the Cemetery Board to state, that the clergy of each church shall have power to decide who shall or shall not be buried in the ground set apart for the use of such church, and that in all other respects the Board retain full control over the ground. Any further information or explanation which you may require I shall be happy to afford, either by letter or verbally. I have, &O.J. ROLAND HETT." Bishop Seghers stated that the facts as read to him from evidence taken before this Committee are substantially correct, although he could not answer for the correctness of all the conversation reported. In 1873 he received a' communication from the Secretary of the Cemetery Board, notifying that a portion of the Ross Bay Cemetery had been set apart for the use of the Roman Catholic Church, and that such portion was marked 'C' on the map of the Cemetery. Wrote to the Secretary of Cemetery Board, 4th March, 1873 (copy in possession of Secretary), and received reply dated 7th March (also attached). My power having been acknowledged by the board, I applied the rules of the church to the case of Mr. Fiterre. Had no allotment been made, we would consider it a grievance. Question - What would be the nature of this grievance? Answer - The nature of the grievance would be that we would not be able to comply with the rules of the church with regard to funerals. The Roman Catholic burial ground in Ross Bay Cemetery is not consecrated. We cannot consecrate a burial ground unless in possession of title deeds thereto. Whenever we have only the exclusive use of a portion of a cemetery then we bless the grave at each funeral. Should the cemetery be thrown open to the public promiscuously, we would have to abstain from blessing any grave. Question - Does your Lordship consider it to be the duty of the Province to provide a burial ground for the exclusive use of the Roman Catholic Church? Answer - If the Government is willing to do us full justice we would expect the right of property and title deeds of the cemetery allotted to us. Question - In the event of the Government finding itself not in a position to render the full, justice you claim, would your church be willing to purchase the fee simple of that portion of the cemetery now set apart for its use? Answer - We would at a reasonable rate. Question - If the Trustees by rule had decided to throw open the cemetery promiscuously, would such a course have interfered, directly or indirectly, with the performance of any religious ceremonies in the burial of the dead, according to usage of your communion? Answer - Most decidedly. (Signed) CHAS. J. SEGHERS, Bp. of V.I. Bishop Hills. Question - On what grounds was the late Mrs. Thorne refused burial in the portion allotted to the Anglican Church? Answer - Certain regulations were necessary to be made with respect to interments within the ground; and the general rule is that only those burials take place there that are performed by a minister of the Church of England. Then it was necessary that exceptions, of course, should be made, and the rule that I have laid down with a view of meeting the feeling of relatives in exceptional cases, is this: If the near relative, say husband or wife or child of a person already buried in the ground be desired burial by the friends, or by wish expressed before death, so as to be laid by the grave, burial in that case is allowed by the minister of the denomination to which the party belonged. Several instances have already occurred of that kind. The application was for Mrs. Thorne to be buried in the Church of England ground by a minister of her own denomination. She had no near relative laid there, and there was a ground belonging to her own denomination. But even in such a case, there was no objection to burial being performed by a clergyman of the Church of England, should the wish have been expressed. Here Mr. Thorne's evidence was read. The Bishop said, with regard to the Masons and Odd Fellows, the case was this: If I remember rightly, there were two deaths at the time; one was a Mason, the other an Odd Fellow; both burials the same day. The friends had made all their arrangements to bury in the Church of England ground, and the service to be performed by a minister of another denomination from that of the Church of England. There was no reason for this to be an exceptional case, on the ground already stated of near relationship to any person previously buried; but, as they had made all their arrangements in ignorance of the rule referred to, not wishing to put them to inconvenience, I allowed the burials to be taken as they had arranged, but I expressed the desire that it should not be taken as a precedent, my remarks not having reference to Masons or Odd Fellows. Question - Your Lordship claims the right to refuse burial in the allotment, under authority from the Cemetery Trustees? Answer - I have assumed from, the fact of a certain portion of the cemetery having been assigned for the use of the Church of England, that it was my duty to carry out, as far as possible, the rules of the Church of England as to the interment of those deceased; and, therefore, if any case was in contravention of the rules of the church in such cases, not to perform the usual offices. Question - Evidence has been given to this Committee that an application was made to the Trustees of the Cemetery that a portion of the ground should be set apart for the Anglican Church? Answer - Yes. Question - On what ground did you think it necessary to make that application? Answer - It is an invariable rule of the Church of England to have separate grounds for burial, if possible. In England universally. Question - Would the non-possession of the ground interfere in any way with the rites and ceremonies of the church? Answer - Yes. Question - Do you consider it the duty of the Province to provide such a ground? Answer - Undoubtedly. Question Why? Answer - Because there are conscientious feelings amongst very many members of the Church of England upon the subject, and considering that the members of the Church of England contribute their share of the taxes, it is only fair that the feeling upon so sacred a subject as the burial of the dead should be respected where no injury be done to any other portion of the community, to whom the same privileges may be granted if desired. Question - Does your Lordship consider it necessary that the ground should be consecrated? Answer - Certainly, according to the rules of the Church of England. Question - To carry out that rule, is it necessary you should be put in possession of the fee simple of the ground? Answer - Usually this is the case, but not necessarily, so long as the separate use can be secured for the Church of England. In England cemeteries are invested in the Municipal Council, and a portion is set apart and consecrated and yet retained under the management of the Board of Health. Some such arrangement would, I think, be satisfactory in this case. Question - In the event of the Government finding itself not in a position to carry out your views, would your church purchase the fee simple of the ground set apart for its use? Answer - If we have to purchase ground, we might possibly desire to have it elsewhere, under our immediate control at the same time I do not feel able to give a definite reply, though my opinion is that such an arrangement might be desirable. Question - If the Trustees by rule had thrown open the cemetery promiscuously, would such a course have interfered, directly or indirectly, with the performance of any religions ceremonies in the burial of the dead, according to the usage of your communion? Answer - We should have considered it so inconsistent with the rules of the Church of England as to have been driven to obtain a separate ground elsewhere for ourselves. Question - Has the Church of England allotment been consecrated in the Ross Bay Cemetery? Answer - No, it has not; but we desire that it should be consecrated, with permission to build a chapel upon it. Question - Would the fact that the deceased having been a Mason or au Odd Fellow, or having belonged to other secret societies, exclude such person from burial in ground set aside for or consecrated by the Anglican Church? Answer - Certainly not, on such a ground. Question - Would objection be made to the performance of the Masonic service, or the service of other secret societies, at the grave? Answer - We consider it objectionable, after the final christian burial service bas been concluded, that another burial service, not professing to be christian, should be performed; but, though having such an objection, I should not refuse burial in such a case if the friends of the deceased insisted upon some further ceremony. In England, the Masons attend funerals in honour of their deceased brethren, but where the funeral service of the Church of England is performed, they do not add their own burial service. (Signed) G. COLUMBIA. James Judson Young. 28TH APRIL. Question - What do you know as to the burial of the late Captain McNeill? Answer - Captain McNeill, on his death bed, requested that he should be buried near my children, in the public cemetery, and I was told by several that Bishop Hills would object on account of my having joined the Reformed Episcopal Church, to which also the deceased, Captain McNeill, belonged. Bishop Hills permitted the interment and performance of service by our clergyman, only because I owned burial ground in the Church of England allotment of the public cemetery, which land I obtained before the division in the church. (Signed) JAS. JUDSON YOUNG. Robert Paterson Rithet - I am a trustee of the Cemetery Board. Question - When the division of the cemetery into separate lots; was mooted, were you in favour of such division? Answer - I was not, because I did not believe in the principle. Question - As a trustee, do you know of any religions denomination objecting to this division? Answer - I do not know of any formal objection having been made. Question - As a trustee, do you know from whom the request for allotment came? Answer - From the Roman Catholics first, through Mr. McTiernan, also a trustee. Question - What other applications followed? Answer - From the Episcopal Church, through Mr. Pearse, likewise a trustee; from the Presbyterians, through myself as Secretary, by letter to the Secretary of Cemetery Board. Am a member of the Presbyterian Church (St. Andrew's); from the Methodists, through Mr. James E. McMillan, a member of the Cemetery Board. Question - Did each member of the board happen to ho an adherent of each church at that time in Victoria? Answer - Yes; I believe so. Question - Did you divide the greater part of the cemetery amongst the religions bodies you were attached to? Answer - Yes. Question - Was it the intention of the Trustee Board, at time of making these allotments, to give exclusive rights to those bodies ? Answer - We didn't see what good the allotments would be unless we did so. (Signed) R.P. RITHET.
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