The Burdett cemetery began its existence in 1910 when Bob Pallister bought about five acres of land from Charlie Strand. The reason for this purchase was to have a burial place for Mr. Strand’s good friend Charles Smith who had passed away suddenly. Mr. Smith was the first person buried in our local cemetery and rests in the northwest corner. In May, 1914 George Thacker Sr. purchased the NW quarter of 24-10-12 from Mr. Strand for $4,050 and it was stated on the sales agreement that three acres in the northwest comer was not included in the sale. The land has been passed down through the G. Thacker family over the years but the cemetery has remained in its original site.

In June of 1961, a title to the existing cemetery grounds was given to the Village of Burdett and the Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Calgary. The Village owned the 290 feet by 400 feet on the west side and the Catholic Church owned the east 110 feet by 400 feet. This is how it exists today.
In 1968 trees were purchased through donations to the Burdett Christmas card fund. These trees were purchased from Brooks and were hand planted and looked after through volunteer efforts of Paul Edlund, Lome James and Ken Campbell. They were planted on the north, east and south sides at this time but in 1970 the west side was planted by Lome James and Eugene Cyr. Jack Morrison put up steel posts to mark the west entrance to the cemetery. It was at this time the grounds were surveyed and divided into blocks NW, NE, SW and SE with each block marked in numbered plots. In1970 the Burdett Community Cemetery committee held its organizational meeting. Its purpose was to establish a committee to oversee and maintain the cemetery grounds. The first executive was: President – E. Van Oostengrugge, Vice President – O. Torgerson, Secretary Treasurer – W. Poole Sr., Directors – K. Campbell and L. James. From the beginning volunteers turned up for annual summer cleanups and lunch was always served. In 1971 Neil Hurt was hired to do the cultivation of the trees. A metal sign was also erected at the west gate which read “Burdett Cemetery, Rest In Peace”. This was made by a Medicine Hat firm. An irrigation system was installed in 1981 and this made it possible to put in more trees and plant tame grass. In 1985, 51 blue spruce trees were planted throughout the interior of the grounds. In 1988 it was decided to improve the appearance of the west entrance, so some brickwork and a new gate were installed. The old gate and metal sign were moved to the north entrance. In 2001 we discovered that the Burdett cemetery was not registered as a cemetery and so would not be allowed to do burials until such time as it was registered with the Government of Alberta. The committee applied and received certification as a registered cemetery and can now legally perform burials. In 2003, with the help of an Alberta Government Lotteries Grant, they built a gazebo to house a directory of grave sites so family and friends could easily locate the graves of their loved ones. It was built in the center of the grounds and contains benches to rest on while looking at the directory.

The cemetery continues to depend on donations for the primary source of funds to maintain the grounds. Volunteers help with the two cleanups each summer to mow the grass, trim trees, use weed whips and serve lunch. It would not be possible for this small town cemetery to function without this community spirit and the generosity of family and friends who financially contribute. Cemeteries record the history of a community and reading the headstones tells of the heartaches suffered when a small child is buried, sometimes several from one family. It registers the loss to a community when an epidemic, as in 1918, sweeps through an area, taking young mothers or fathers. It tells of the short lifespan of our early pioneers but they came, they lived and they instilled a spirit of pride in our community even though they knew it would not be an easy life.

Courtesy of Medicine Hat and District Genealogical Society (MHDGS)

Deaths

Longevity

Address

Township Road 103 and Range Road 121
City: Burdett,
Province: Alberta

Map Location

Latitude, Longitude
49.8431, -111.51642

Map Location

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Surname Given Name Born Died Age Cemetery Location Obituary Narrative R Code

The 25 most common surnames found in this cemetery.

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The 25 most common given names found in this cemetery.

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