Military veterans band together to clean Centurion cemetery

Pictured here are (from left) Stan Morris, Jan Bierman, Schalk Langeveldt, Martin Reehder, Smous Venter and Mike Huxtable. Photo: Supplied

After a minute of silence for the fallen heroes buried at the site, members jumped in with their own equipment to clean up the neglected cemetery.

A military veterans organisation banded together to clean up a neglected cemetery in Thaba Tshwane on Saturday morning, reports Centurion Rekord.

This comes after visitors from overseas to the area had expressed their shock at the state of the facility.

Members of the organisation known as Orde van die Boshoed (Order of the Bush Hat) cut the grass and cleaned the area, according to Stanley Morris.

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“This is not the first time we have clean the cemetery,” Morris said.

They also did a clean-up in 2014.

“Following a recent visit by veterans from New Zealand and the United Kingdom, we decided to clean the area again.”

A team consisting of 88 military veterans together with their friends and families arrived at the site on Saturday morning.

“Everyone brought their own equipment including mowers, chainsaws, and bush cutters,” said Morris.

Following a minute of silence for the fallen heroes buried at the site, members jumped in and cut the grass.

“Some even helped repair some of the tombstones, which had been damaged through years of neglect. It was a very emotional experience for the veterans.”

Morris said the cemetery consists of four blocks, each of which is about the size of a rugby field.

“The members managed to clean two and a half of the blocks. A second team will return over the coming weekend to clean the remaining area.”

Morris said the SANDF, to whom the area belonged, arranged to have the piles of grass and branches removed the following Monday.

“We would definitely like to see the SANDF do more to clean the site.

“They do have the resources to do it and a monthly initiative would be enough to return the cemetery to its former glory.”

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