LEXINGTON, MA—The town of Lexington, which has a large number of diverse population, will hold a public hearing to discuss adding a crematorium in the town on Thursday, March 7, from 7:00-8:30 PM in Battin Hall at the Cary Memorial Building located at 1605 Massachusetts Avenue.
“The Selectmen appointed Ad Hoc Crematory Study Committee invites the Lexington community to share their thoughts and perspectives on the concept of what these needs might include, specifically if the addition of a crematorium might address national trends and Lexington’s changing demographics,” Sean Dugan, Lexington’s Public Information Officer, said in a letter.
With the planned rebuilding of the Westview Cemetery operational structure, Lexington has the unique opportunity to strategize over how an associated new crematorium might better meet the needs of Lexington community in the decades ahead, the letter said.
Asian-Americans, which include Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists who cremate bodies of their loved ones, constitute 25.1 percent of Lexington’s total population of 32,000 people.
The crematorium initiative was launched by Narain Bhatia, a long-time Lexington resident and civic leader. Dr. Dinesh Patel, MD, also a long-time Lexington resident and activist, has joined Mr. Bhatia in taking this initiative forward.
Town of Lexington was planning to redo cemetery building as it was wearing down and needed a new building, Dr. Patel told INDIA New England News.
“We thought that town should also provide crematorium for the citizens who believed in their loved ones’ last rites as cremation as burial for others,” said Dr. Patel. “Lexington town is very progressive and is moving on to respect diversity in all spheres as part of a good citizenry.”
He said Lexington has appointed to a Diversity Task Force, and “one of their objectives is to respect the diversity in thoughts and actions, not just in schools but other aspects too.”
Why is crematorium important?
“We are part of this society. We are citizens and participants in functioning of the town and tax-paying citizens. We would like to get our last rites in the town we lived,” said Dr. Patel. “Because of environmental factors and rising burial costs, people of many faiths are using cremation these days. A crematorium will bring pride to our town as diversity inclusive and meet the needs of all citizens.”
The agenda of the Thursday meeting is follows:
Call to order – 7:00 PM
- Public Hearing – The purpose of the Public Hearing will be to take public comment on the potential addition of a crematorium at Westview Cemetery located at 520 Bedford St.
- Presentation of project information
- Study committee charge and process
- Baseline information regarding cremation
- Public input
- Adjourn – Anticipated Adjournment 8:30 PM.