Verigin Memorial Park Students

by Taylor, Victor and Andre

Working at Verigin Memorial Park this summer has definitely kept our lives busy; neverthe less, one of our goals has been to learn as well as inform new people that we meet every day, even if all they remember is one fact and a young student’s cheerful grin. Our names are Taylor Stoushnow, (full time) Victor Relkoff, (full time) and Andre Kanigan (part time) and we are the students lucky enough to work here this summer.

At the tomb, one of our most important daily jobs is to make sure that around the tomb, as well as the graves of Anna Markova and John J Verigin are clean and presentable. Keeping these areas clean entails deadheading the roses, aerating the flowerbeds, as well as trimming the lawn. Even though the tidiness around all graves is very important, the rest of the park was definitely not neglected. Some of our other daily duties are to trim the lawn, deadhead old flowers, aerate and weed all flowerbeds in the park, clean the bathrooms and guest house, as well as mop the floors and water all dry spots. As a group, we had a few other larger jobs to do around the tomb and surrounding areas, which we did alongside Mike Kanigan. These larger jobs were to clean up and widen the walking and driving paths by trimming the long grass and overgrowth of weeds, as well as cut down many blackberry bushes. Below the tomb was a lot of overgrowth, such as blackberry bushes and tall weeds. We were able to clear all the unwanted growth and pull weeds to make the park a little bit tidier. Just outside of the fence is the parking lot and sewer line. This was one of the larger jobs that took us a couple of days to complete. What we did was cut down more blackberry bushes, clear cut tall grass and other small shrubs in order to clear out a drive way so that Fortis was able to have easy access, as well as stacked and organized extra bricks.

Our most interactive daily job is to greet everyone that approaches the memorial park, as well as give tours and answer their questions to the best of our ability. On an average tour, we take our visitors around the park and explain the history of everyone buried here, as well as their contributions. At the front of the tomb, facing the wonderful view, we are able to point out some very interesting places of Doukhobor history such as the suspension bridge, the remains of the Verigin house, where the old jam factory was, where the industry buildings were and some of the orchards. After showing our visitors around the tomb we bring them into the guest house where we show them the images of everyone buried here and further explain the family tree using the visual aid. When the tour is complete we offer them pamphlets, tell them they are more than welcome to sign our guest book, to walk around as well as take pictures. Then again, we let them know that if any questions come to mind, to please feel free and ask.

Taylor, Victor and Andre