A grave site in Victoria’s Ross Bay Cemetery was vandalized overnight with graffiti painted onto a tombstone and a nearby tree.
The grave of Sir James Douglas was the target of the crime, which the Victoria Police Department said happened some time between 3:30 p.m. Wednesday and 7 a.m. Thursday.
“No officer was dispatched as there was no witness, suspect information or CCTV footage to obtain,” said Const. Cameron MacIntyre of VicPD.
MacIntyre said it is unknown if the mischief was targeted.
A Facebook post made by Old Cemeteries Society shared photos of the vandalism Thursday morning. By Thursday afternoon, another post was made showing that the grave site had been cleaned and thanking the City of Victoria Parks department for the cleanup.
“The Sir James Douglas monument has been cleaned and tagging removed,” the post says. “Really nice to see the city react so quickly.”
According to the Canadian Encyclopedia, Sir James Douglas was governor of Vancouver Island and B.C. and was a fur trader who died in August, 1877. From 1850 to 1854 he negotiated 14 land purchases with First Nations on the Island, including land in and around Fort Victoria, Fort Rupert and Nanaimo. The purchases are known as the controversial Douglas Treaties.
At the time the treaties were signed, Douglas was then chief factor of the Hudson’s Bay Company.