Cemetery club to document burial purchases

Published 11:17 am Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Managers of the Helping Hand Cemetery Club in Courtland are working to ensure that if anyone has bought a plot — or thinks they did — that they’ll have a place for their final rest. Specifically, Alton Darden and Gayle Lover ask that such buyers contact them and provide documentation, so as to ensure their site won’t be inadvertently sold to someone else.

Board members Darden, who lives in Florida, and Lover, who resides in Houston, each said they have family ties to the town and burial ground on Main Street.

“We will honor anybody who has a receipt so that spots won’t be given away,” said Darden.

He added that the club and cemetery, which has been predominately for blacks, has been around since the 1920s. His parents, Wallace and Edna Darden, were also members. The organization was formed for people who couldn’t afford the expenses of the burial. Being in that club would cover the costs.

Having people confirm burial purchases will help map out the sites.

Ronnie Babb in Courtland has been hired to perform monthly maintenance on the grounds, said Darden.

If people can’t produce some written document, he added, then a fee will be established from that point onward.

To reach Darden, call 313-414-9430 or email amd18084@aol.com. To contact Lover, call 619-701-8815 or email glover8311@aol.com.