Family shocked after flowers removed from brother's grave
CHRIS Hawes suspected vandals were responsible for the disappearance of family mementos at his brother-in-law's grave at Port Curtis Lawn Cemetery.
The Clinton resident offered a $1000 reward for information on the whereabouts of a vase of plastic flowers and other items including toy trucks and a toy windmill.
He was shocked to discover council was to blame.
Mr Hawes said he phoned Gladstone Regional Council on Tuesday morning.
"They confirmed they did have the missing items and removed them because they were a workplace health and safety issue for their employees," he said.
"I'm very confused because the items had been there for a year-and-a-half, why would they move them now?
"I was sure contact would of been made with the phone number connected to the site before touching a site."
Mr Hawes said the way the removal was handled was insensitive and suggested council leave a laminated note if they removed items.
"My mother-in-law came to me on Sunday morning incredibly distressed and upset about items on James's grave being taken," he said.
"We had the worst-case scenario running through our heads.
"We didn't know if this was vandals or someone who knew James and wanted to sabotage his site.
"It was very distressing, absolutely."
Mr Hawes said family members were still coming to terms with the recent death of his brother-in-law James Henzell, 32.
"James only passed away about two years ago and he has two young children. It's still raw for us," he said.
"He was such a loving guy, really hard working.
"My wife visits his grave every week."
Mr Hawes said more care needed to be taken of people's emotions.
For help call Lifeline on 131114.