A grieving family has been left angry after discovering a Werribee Cemetery plot, purchased a decade ago by their late father, has been sold.
George Harisis selected his final resting place in 2011, but when the 91-year-old died last month the Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust told his family that the plot he purchased was now unavailable.
Cemeteries Trust acting chief executive Andrew Eriksen said Mr Harisis had mistakenly been allocated a burial site that was already sold at the time.
“Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust does have an online record of the Harisis family’s purchase in 2011 of a burial plot in the Anglican section of the Werribee Cemetery,” Mr Eriksen said.
“Unfortunately, the vacant burial plot in the Anglican section purchased by the Harisis family … had earlier been sold by the previous administrator of Werribee Cemetery.”
In 2011, the trust had newly taken control of Werribee Cemetery which was previously overseen by Wyndham council.
“Given those circumstances, [the trust] supported the Harisis family with a selection of graves in the same section as the family selected one,” Mr Eriksen said.
Mr Harisis’ son, Nikolios, told
Star Weekly he was disappointed that the family had been “given the runaround” in their time of grief.
“I’m angry that, because of an administrative error, my 87-year-old mother and our family had added stress while we are mourning,” Nikolios said.
“My mother had misplaced the proof of purchase documents for the plots so we contacted Wyndham council three months ago to inquire about the plots.
“We were told, first by Wyndham council and then by the cemeteries trust, that they could not find any record of the purchase.
“The situation was poorly handled.
“All I want is an apology for the stress that they put my elderly mother and our family through.”
Mr Eriksen said an apology had been issued to the Harisis family.
He advised anyone who has bought a burial plot, but misplaced the documentation to contact the trust to be issued another copy.