Summer So[u]lstice celebration in cemetery earns international recognition

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The official start of summer marks the second year of celebration at Royal Oak Burial Park. This Saturday’s event honours life and the changing of seasons in the cemetery.

Leading up to the first so[u]lstice last year, organizer Paula Jardine wasn’t sure how the public would react to the burial park event, featuring random acts of poetry, live music and historical tours of the grounds.

“All in all, it was just really casual and friendly and social,” Jardine said. “(It’s) a social situation where even if we’re not talking to each other, we’re supporting each other, simply by being there. And it’s also a great way to introduce kids to the topic of mortality because it’s not a calamity and it’s an opportunity to see (death) as a natural part of life.”

The Summer So[u]lstice was later named Best Event by the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association.

Burial park staff will be available to help locate grave sites and answer questions about the community-owned cemetery, first opened in 1923. Historian Dave Obee will also be on hand offering his expertise.

The Summer So[u]lstice runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow (June 18) at Royal Oak Burial Park, 4673 Falaise Dr. More details at www.robp.ca.

nnorth@saanichnews.com