Australian Cemetery Removes Offensive Grave Marker Feb 22, 2020 5:26:24 GMT -5
Post by Graveyardbride on Feb 22, 2020 5:26:24 GMT -5
Australian Cemetery Removes Offensive Grave Marker
A cemetery in Australia has removed the offensive grave marker of Peter “Pete” Robert Bridge (April 1, 1986 - April 7, 2019) that featured a photo of Bridge making an obscene gesture. The problem is, Enfield Memorial Park in Adelaide apparently carted off the offensive stone without notifying Bridge’s family.
According to Arthur Bridge, the deceased’s father, the cemetery did not contact the family before removing the memorial. When a friend advised the family the stone was removed on January 16, he immediately contacted cemetery staff and was told there had been complaints about the photograph.
“We did try and contact his family via phone and left voicemail messages for them,” Michael Robertson, the cemetery’s chief operating officer, told the Daily Mail. “We spoke to the monumental mason and tried to get them to give them a buzz as well.”
The elder Bridge is offended, claiming the removal is disrespectful. “It’s just another kick in the guts. It’s just wrong. Why do it to us?” he fumed to a reporter. “I want his headstone back to the way it was. I feel robbed to be honest with you. It might be their property, but we’re paying for that space, so we should be able to have it there.”
His son had a “wicked sense of humor,” the elder Bridge continued. “That’s Pete – he was always giving the bird to someone. He would be driving along and he would see a mate and the finger would be up to them, just joking around.”
The family has started a change.org petition demanding return of the marker. “We were not even notified of his headstone’s removal – there was absolutely no regard for the memory and resting place of our boy,” Arthur Bridge says in the petition. “That is our son’s personal resting space.”
In response, one signer of the petition wrote, “This is so wrong. Pete deserves his resting place to be respected just as everyone else does.”
“People need to lighten up,” another commented. “What happened to the Aussie larrikin spirit?”
“It’s PC nonsense to remove the headstone for such a trivial reason,” a third declared.
“He’d be stoked that we’re fighting for him to start with and he’d be telling us to go all the way with it,” Bridge added. “Not a day goes by that we don’t think about him.”
In the meantime, Robertson confirmed the cemetery offered to pay for a new headstone without the photo and also offered an alternative option allowing the family to retain the photo in a “discovery series” plaque wherein it could be opened like a book. However, the family rejected the offers.
The marker also featured a quote from the 2008 Batman film The Dark Knight: “Why so serious?”
Bridge died following a life-long battle with cystic fibrosis just days after his 33rd birthday.
Sources: Natalie O'Neill, The New York Post, February 21, 2020; Emma Robertson, The Sun, February 20, 2020; and Charlotte Karp, The Daily Mail (Australia), February 19, 2020.