Talking Pictures: Tom Giffin

Visit bit.ly/TomGiffin to see and hear this week’s Talking Pictures video.

Tom Giffin, of Rutland, serves Rutland City as cemetery commissioner, overseeing maintenance and upkeep for four cemeteries: West Street Cemetery, House of Corrections Cemetery behind Northwest School, Poor Farm Cemetery off Gleason Road near the transfer station and  North Main Street Cemetery. Giffin is a hands-on commissioner. He assembles crews of student volunteers and goes out to repair or replace damaged historic grave markers, some of which date back to the 1700s. Earlier this week, Giffin gave Talking Pictures a quick tour of West Street Cemetery. “Vandalism,” Giffin says, “has been huge in this cemetery. You look at the city reports over the last 150 years, this cemetery has been vandalized quite regularly.” Giffin says since he began working with schools and other groups, incidents of vandalism have decreased. He says most of the cemetery budget goes toward grass mowing and very little toward stone repair. The cemeteries, he says, depend on volunteers and the community to help do the work. Visit bit.ly/TomGiffin to see and hear this week’s Talking Pictures video.

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