Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Australian Family Claims Son's Headstone was Removed Without Knowledge Over 'Offensive' Picture

HeadstonePeter Bridge, 33, of Australia died on April 4 of 2019 after succumbing to a life-long battle with cystic fibrosis. The man's father, Arthur Bridge, described his son as a “lovable character” with a “wicked sense of humor,” a memory he hoped to capture in choosing the proper headstone. Along with his name and other usual words, the headstone featured a small portrait of Peter extending his middle finger into the air.

Unfortunately, other visitors to the cemetery did not under the Peter's humor and complained numerous times. The Enfield Memorial Park in Clearview had the entire headstone removed, and Arthur claims that he was informed of its removal. Instead, he found out from a friend that discovered the removal while visiting Peter's gravesite. “If his picture did offend someone, why is it anyone's problem but theirs? That is our son’s personal resting space,” Arthur said.

Michael Robertson, Adelaide Cemeteries Authority Chief Operating Officer, said the cemetery did reach out to the family and left phone message before the headstone's removal. He said the cemetery has offered to replace the photo without the hand gesture or to have the picture covered by a plaque that can be moved by the family for viewing whenever they want. But the family refused both offers, believing that the headstone's current state accurately defines their late son's humor and personality.

See Paulina Dedaj, Australian Family Claims Son's Headstone was Removed Without Knowledge Over 'Offensive' Picture, Fox News, February 22, 2020.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/trusts_estates_prof/2020/02/australian-family-claims-sons-headstone-was-removed-without-knowledge-over-offensive-picture.html

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