Vandals make off with Michael’s Bay cemetery sign

­The Pioneer Cemetery sign has disappeared from its well-screwed down position on posts at the entrance to the site. Since there is no sign of the sign on the ground, volunteers cleaning the area believe it may have been carried off.

MICHAEL’S BAY—The cold winter months often cause a lot of damage to signs, fences and other exposed materiel across Manitoulin, but when Island heritage activist Doug Tracy of Little Current dropped by to check in on one of the cemeteries at Michael’s Bay he had no doubt that Mother Nature was not to blame for a missing sign that marked the entrance to the cemetery.

“No, no way that just blew off in a storm,” he said of the sign. “I had that screwed in there too well for anything like that to happen.”

Mr. Tracy noted that the sign was still well in place when an inspection was carried out in the fall. “A number of trees had blown over, but no damage to the white crosses nor the Pennie Pole fence,” he said.

But when the crew went back on May 13 it was a different story. “It was very noticeable that the Pioneer Cemetery sign was missing,” he said. “It wasn’t on the ground, so it must have been carried away.”

JM Pellerin, the developer who is attempting to purchase the Michael’s Bay property, said that it was not he, nor anyone under his direction, that had removed the sign. “No way, no, we respect the cemetery,” said Mr. Pellerin. “There is no way I or any of my people would remove the sign.”

Mr. Pellerin said that his lawyers were still locked in negotiations over the property. “We keep expecting to hear something any day,” he said. “We are anxious to get going on this. It will be good for the entire Island.”

Mr. Tracy said that no further damage was done to the supplies that the group had left behind after the winter.

Volunteers Mr. Tracy, Bill Wilson and Kyle Boyle were out on May 17 cutting fallen trees into small lengths, raking and picking up branches (with Darlene Wilson as overseer).

“Each Saturday afternoon in June there will be a raking bee,” said Mr. Tracy. “People can just bring along a garden rake and join the fun—it will be great exercise. Later on a rainy day we will plant some grass seed on the site.”

He advised those coming to the site to take the Mindemoya route as the Government Road bridge will be under construction.

Mr. Tracy said that anyone seeking more information could call 705-368-0847.