Dedication Ceremony for City's New Principal Cemetery

posted 12 Jan 2009, 14:32 by South Edinburgh Net Admin   [ updated 12 Jan 2009, 14:33 ]

A ceremony of dedication has been held to mark completion of work at Edinburgh's new principal cemetery.

The event followed eight months of construction work at the 15-acre site on Old Dalkeith Road, which was selected after an exhaustive search for a suitable location. This new cemetery has a capacity for some 5,000 grave spaces and will serve the city for the next 50 years.

The new cemetery is being named Craigmillar Castle Park Cemetery, after this name emerged as the most popular among members of the public who submitted votes. Other contenders included: Inch Park Cemetery and Sir Henry D. Littlejohn Cemetery (Sir Henry was Edinburgh's first Medical Officer of Health, and was a founder member of the Scottish Burial Reform and Cremation Society in 1888).

The dedication ceremony was attended by local MPs, MSPs, Councillors and representatives of a broad spectrum of faith and secular organisations.

It commenced with a welcome by Lord Provost George Grubb, who unveiled a plaque bearing the cemetery's name.

The Act of Dedication was thereafter conducted jointly by: Cardinal Keith O'Brien, Co-President of Edinburgh Churches Together; Rev. Colin Symes representing Independent Churches; and Humanist Celebrant Tim Maguire, of the Humanist Society.

There was then a tree planting by each of the four speakers, following a brief address by Rabbi David Rose of the Edinburgh Inter-Faith Association.

Councillor Grubb said: "This is an historic occasion as we are witnessing the creation of a new and important landmark for Edinburgh. Craigmillar Castle Park Cemetery will serve the city for the next 50 years, providing a beautifully sited final resting place for all residents and offering a place for tranquil contemplation for those visiting their loved ones."

Victor Spence, General Secretary of the Edinburgh Inter-Faith Association, said: "The Council has made a tremendous effort to widely consult the community on the development of the Craigmillar Castle Park Cemetery.

"The Faith Communities are very grateful to the Council for the wide consultation and detailed considerations made by their key staff in Bereavement Services.

"Craigmillar Castle Park Cemetery is a beautifully situated final resting place for residents of the city. Our hope is that it will bring some comfort to those who experience bereavement and grief."

Source: The City of Edinburgh Council