Managing and preserving historic cemeteries in Argenteuil was the topic of a workshop held in Gore on May 10.
The workshop, organized by the MRC d’Argenteuil, included 25 volunteers who are involved with the maintenance and management of 13 different cemeteries throughout the region.
Most cemeteries in Argenteuil were founded in the 19th century and bear witness to the history of the settlement of the region and constitute an important part of its heritage to preserve for future generations.
In the fall of 2017, the MRC d’Argenteuil released a cemeteries inventory report that stated the importance of volunteers, associations and churches responsible for management and maintenance of cemeteries. The report recommended that information meetings, consultation and training for those volunteers be organized.
The workshop was led by Catherine Paterson, a cemeteries restoration-conservation consultant and technical support officer for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Historian Robert Simard, who participated in developing the inventory of cemeteries of the MRC d’Argenteuil, was also present.
Topics discussed at this workshop include security issues, the principles of base for the maintenance of cemeteries, best practices for the restoration of monuments, documentation of interventions, burial and cemetery plans, and funding strategies.
Several volunteers expressed interest in participating in a hands-on monument restoration workshop. Two of those sessions will be offered and managed by Paterson by next fall.
The MRC d’Argenteuil cemeteries inventory is now available in English. Copies are on sale for $25 at the station, located at 540 rue Berry in Lachute, and at 430 rue in Lachute.
The inventory can also be downloaded for free in English or French, on the website of the MRC d’Argenteuil in the arts, culture, and heritage section at www.argenteuil.qc.ca
The cemetery preservation workshop was made possible through financial support from the Québec government.