Fri | Sep 22, 2017

Chinese community bemoans widespread vandalism at cemetery

Published:Sunday | April 9, 2017 | 4:18 PM
Vincent Chang, supervisor of the Board of Directors of the Chinese Benevolent Association of Jamaica, points out the damage to the headstones and the graves at the Chinese Cemetery in Kingston today, during the association's celebration of the annual Gah San ceremony.

The Chinese community in Jamaica says documentation of its ancestry is becoming increasingly difficult due in part to continued vandalising and theft of headstones in the Chinese Cemetery on Waltham Park Road in Kingston.

Speaking to The Gleaner during today's Gah San annual memorial for the dead at the cemetery, former president of the Chinese Benevolent Society, Vincent Chang, said at least 50 per cent of headstones have been defaced or stolen by thieves, who target them for their marble. The stolen assets are then used to make other headstones which are sold.

He says the cemetery, which was established after the 1907 earthquake, is historically significant to the Chinese population in Jamaica, because it contains information about fore parents who migrated to the island.

The cemetery is the resting place of approximately 3,600 people of Chinese descent in Jamaica.