For their outstanding effort to preserve historic cemeteries, one Maryland resident and one organization have received the Periwinkle Award from the Coalition to Protect Maryland Burial Sites, Inc., Maryland’s only non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and protecting the state’s old family and public cemeteries, historic churchyards, and Indian burial grounds.
The awards were presented on April 27, 2013 in Forest Glen, Maryland.
All Hallows Parish Cemetery Committee
Our first recipient this year for the 2013 Periwinkle Award was the All Hallows Parish Cemetery Committee located in Anne Arundel County. Committee members include Bridget Blake and Joan Placido.
The Cemetery Committee is charged with protecting two parish cemeteries. Some statistics for the cemeteries: the earliest known burial at the All Hallows Brick Church Cemetery is 1730 and the earliest at the Chapel Cemetery is 1860. There are approximately 750 interments in the two cemeteries with an estimated 450 monuments plus footstones and family plot markers.
The Parish Cemetery Committee began their caretaking work in the cemeteries shortly after a condition assessment was made in 2009. Some of their activities since 2009 include: protecting the stones by planting periwinkle around the base of the markers to prevent damage from mowers and trimmers; securing funds to reset 65 markers and for other preservation work; being vigilant in ensuring the trees are in good condition, the bushes are maintained, and the gingko fruit is removed; protecting the records by purchasing a fireproof safe; and working with an Eagle Scout candidate and mapmaker to map the Brick Church Cemetery.
If not for their dedication and hard work their cemeteries would look vastly different than they do today. A cemetery that has an air of neglect or abandonment about it is a magnet for vandals and thieves. Their perseverance and commitment are instrumental in helping to keep their two cemeteries from “neglect, desecration, or other illegal activities”. They are an inspiration and support the concept that being attentive to the needs of a cemetery can be more important than having to jump in after benign neglect or calamity. Bridget Blake was present and received the award on behalf of the Committee. Unfortunately, Joan Placido was unable attend the meeting due to illness.
A DVD for All Hallow’s Cemetery, created by Bridget Blake’s son was played for the attendees.
Our second recipient for the 2013 Periwinkle Award was Robert Mosko. For over 10 years Robert has been an active, contributing member of the Coalition.
His contribution list is long but some highlights include:
- He has written many articles for the Courier over the years.
- His tenure on the Board of Directors began in 2009 and continues to the present.
- He was instrumental in obtaining space to hold our 2009 meeting in Perryman and the 2011 meeting in Thurmont.
- He has served on the Nominating Committee.
- He is currently an active member of the Outreach Committee. In that capacity he attends Outreach meetings and makes appearances on behalf of the Coalition.
- He is always ready, willing, and able to conduct Cemetery Preservation workshops and presentations and has done so many times for the Coalition.