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Holstein Cemetery celebrates 25th Decoration Sunday

A cemetery is a final resting place for loved ones; a niche where people can reflect about times past, or gather with friends and family to share anecdotes, and celebrate the moments that make up our lives.About fifty people gathered on Sunday afternoon, July 25, under sunny skies and a gentle breeze, to mark the 25th Anniversary of Holstein (Reid) Cemetery Decoration Sunday.Special guest speaker, Rev. Russell Rogers shared two stories from his time out west. In the first, a deceased man's final wish was to have his remains scattered by a cowboy. Rev. Rogers was privy to the request and worked with others to fulfill the instructions.On the day of the service, just before the final prayer, the funeral director handed the cowboy the remains. The cowboy rode west, then turned his horse and, as he raced his horse back toward the gathering, scattered the ashes in a wide arc. The difficulty was the ashes were scattered between those standing and their cars. Rev. Rogers, a self-claimed people watcher, noted folks picked their way to the car with care. Their explanation was they didn't want to walk on their friend.In the second story, a woman wanted her ashes scattered in the Neutral Hills of Alberta. People needed to drive 4×4 vehicles in order to navigate the terrain. When they arrived at the designated spot they found a structure made out of gas pipes welded together. The man who constructed the work said he created the piece to prevent cattle from walking on his mother's remains."By the actions of those who were deceased, the ground had become holy," Rev. Rogers said. "When we enter the cemetery, here are buried the saints in heaven, our friends and loved ones."Rev. Rogers congratulated the Holstein (Reid) Cemetery Board of Managers of chair Merlyn Nicholson, John Flanagan, Ross Taylor, Russell Love, Don Whyte and Murray Calder for tending the grounds and keeping the cemetery trimmed and beautiful.A lovely service complemented Rev. Rogers' words. Pipers Alex Watson and Kyle Calder enhanced the atmosphere with their playing. Emcee Murray Calder noted settlers in the area would have heard the bagpipes on a fairly regular basis, with many of them having come from Scotland. The gentle, lilting harmonies of singing group Musical Belles celebrated the hymns "Abide with Me" and "It's No Secret". "Memories live here," said Murray Caulder quoting Rev. Rogers. He continued the thought with his own words as he encouraged those present to stroll the grounds, "Every stone in our cemetery has a story to tell."

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