Submitted by Barbara McFarlin-Kosiec, Ph.D.President of the Fernie Heritage Cemetery Society
The Fernie Heritage Cemetery Restoration Society currently is engaged in a fundraising campaign in order to continue the restoration of the old section of St. Margaret’s Cemetery.
Since 2009, the society has achieved the following: Collected and researched archival maps and records in order to identify and verify internee data in sections A, B, C and D by researching records of churches, cities, towns, the province, coal companies and newspapers and produced updated maps for Sections A, B, C, and the Legion portion of the Cemetery in Section D.
This information has been published on an interactive website. The purpose has been to preserve the history of Fernie and the Elk Valley.
Yearly, volunteers have put in countless hours in restoring the grounds to develop a park-like status of the cemetery for family members and visitors. One of the most significant accomplishments was receiving 33 stones for veterans from the Last Post Fund.
The goals for the 2015-2016 year are as follows: to continue the research of internees in order to have a more accurate history of the life and times of the era and the lasting contributions of the internees; to provide information to the public, academic, family members and/or other persons who may have interest; to photograph with a GPS camera the grave sites of sections A and B and to place each one on the website fernieheritagecemetery.com. A person will be able to Google, find and see clearly the gravesite.
With the GPS location, a person looking for a specific stone can simply provide the GPS location to a smart phone app that will guide them to the stone location in the cemetery.
The Society receives inquiries from all over the world requesting information about one’s ancestors.
The GPS mapping of each stone and its place will aid in providing information to those who are unable to visit the cemetery.
The society relies on funds from grants, business organizations and private donations, or fundraising events.
For the 2015-2016 year, the society has received grants from Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance, Columbia Basin Trust and the City of Fernie.
The society is seeking donors to be able to continue with the restoration of the Cemetery to make it a beautiful serene park-like space and to continue the research to update the web site.
The society invites you to make a contribution to Fernie Heritage Cemetery Restoration Society, P. O. Box 1451, Fernie, BC V0B 1M0.
All donations will be appreciated and go toward the continued restoration of the old section of St. Margaret’s Cemetery and research.