Catholics visit graves of the dearly departed on All Souls Day

GEORGE TOWN - Candles were lit, prayers were said and flowers placed at the graves of the departed as Catholics marked All Souls Day.

At the Western Road Christian Cemetery in Jalan Utama yesterday, hundreds of Catholic families took the opportunity to spruce up the graves as well.

All Souls Day, which is observed on Nov 2 every year, also goes by its official name as "The Commemor­ation of All the Faithful Departed".

Housekeeping manager M. Thev­­a­sa­gayan, 57, arrived at the cemetery with relatives at 10.45am yesterday and laid flowers on his father's grave.

"The weekend makes it easier for us to gather here to honour my father," he said, adding that they would do it twice a year - during his birthday and on All Souls Day. His father passed away in 2000.

Thevasagayan was also accompanied by brother Chulia, 42, sister Rosy, 48, and brother-in-law A. Johnson, 50.

Supermarket promoter Susan Lim, 61, said the day to commemorate the departed was now even more poignant after the demise of her mother late last year.

"My father passed away 33 years ago and I would come here every year with my mother. It feels odd without her this year," she said.

Lim also laid flowers and recited prayers at a grave which had a life-sized dog sculpture on top of it.

The grave belonged to Andrew Duncan who passed away in 1931.

She said that according to stories, the dog had stayed by its owner's grave until it died.

"I heard that the deceased's wife had ordered the statue to be placed on top of the grave," Lim said.

All Souls Day for clerk A.M. Pauline, 56, was always a busy time as she, her two sisters and two nieces would spruce up the graves of her ancestors. "We think about them every day but today is the day when we show them extra love," she said.

Outside the Western Road Christian Cemetery, a flower stall operated by the Islander's Tamil Youth Network enjoyed brisk business.

Its project coordinator Irene Augustin, 20, said proceeds from the sale of the flowers would be channelled to the network for their activities.