Widower fights for flowers to be allowed at wife's grave through winter
An Estevan man says he has been fighting provincial officials for four years, seeking permission to put flowers on his wife's grave through the winter months.
Gerald Shauf's wife of 35 years, Linda, died in 2006.
Her plot is in the Green Acres Memorial Cemetery in Weyburn, which is managed by the provincial government.
Under current rules for the site, people may leave flowers in vases attached to grave markers, but the vases may not be used from October to April.
Shauf told CBC News it leaves the burial grounds looking bare and abandoned for too many months.
"To me it just looks like the whole cemetery as well as anybody that's been buried there has been abandoned," Shauf said. "Flowers, to me, is a sign of respect and remembrance and if there is no flowers there to show that then there is nothing there to remember people."
When contacted, provincial officials explained the rules are in place because of concern about possible damage to the vases in the winter months.
If the flower holders break, the province is expected to cover the cost of repairs.
Shauf has started a petition seeking a change in the rules and has about 400 signatures.
"If there's a community of interest that are interested in having the bylaw changed then I'm prepared to look at it," Eric Greene, an official with the government, told CBC News.
Meanwhile, Shauf said his persistence in pursuing the issue has led to him winning special permission to leave flowers at his wife's grave this winter.
With files from CBC's Joana Draghici