Promises of maintaining Pearl City’s dilapidated Sunset Memorial Park cemetery are back on hold again.
For years, the cemetery has been plagued with problems, including mishandled burials and stolen urns, and in last November, a group of volunteers selected a funeral director to lead them in taking care of the cemetery.
A couple of months later, a bill was proposed to get the state involved in the cemetery’s maintenance.
So what’s happening?
KHON2 spoke with a funeral director who was asked to lead efforts in cleaning up the cemetery. Darrell Salvador says that those efforts have come to a halt and his hands are tied behind his back if the state doesn’t step in to help.
Not much has changed since KHON2 checked on the cemtery’s progress in January. Overgrown grass and missing panels in the mausoleum were still seen there on Sunday.
“For us who come continually it’s sad,” said Annette Unger who’s uncle is buried there. “I think the nicest was in the 80s and now its down form here down hill.”
That’s when Unger last visited the cemetery and now more than 30 years later: “when I got there I was so shocked and I couldn’t believe it, next door there is a burned down building its been vandalized its just destroyed there is no roof.”
A bill that would require the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs to help with the cemetery’s upkeep died in the Senate earlier this year.
Salvador, who is leading the efforts, says without it, volunteers who want to help can’t. He also says working on other people’s plots of land would be considered trespassing.
“We are not the legal heirs neither are we the legal representatives for this cemetery,” explained Salvador.
The owner of the cemetery Reverend Lago Dozinn has told KHON2 in the past that he doesn’t have money for maintenance.
“Its not his fault all he did was step in and try to get the cemetary back how it was but limited funds which he can’t even touch you know his hands are tied as well,” said Salvador. “Unless we do it there’s no maintenance pretty much.”
The next meeting Salvador is hoping to have with state legislators and Friends of Sunset Memorial Park will be in November.
They will discuss reintroducing the bill or writing a new one.