Cemetery tour fundraiser set for Oct. 30 in Donaldsonville

Staff Report
The Save the Tombs cemetery tour will be in Donaldsonville.

Are you looking for something unique to do for the Halloween weekend?  

Ascension of Our Lord Catholic Church Cemetery in Donaldsonville will hold a cemetery tour fundraiser.

The tour will begin at the front gate just before All Saints Day on Oct. 30. 

This historic graveyard dates back to at least the 1800s, and it serves as a resting place for members of Ascension of Our Lord Catholic Church, St. Catherine of Sienna Catholic Church, and St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Smoke Bend.

A number of Donaldsonville’s former residents will be portrayed in the tour. 

It will be held immediately following the 4 p.m. vigil mass.

Tour groups will leave every 15 to 20 minutes in groups of 20. Participants are asked to bring flashlights.

Tickets can be purchased at the Ascension of our Lord Church Office or by contacting Margaret Canella at chicknft@cox.net.

Admission is $20. Payments can be made by cash, checks, or Venmo. Tickets will also be available at the gate.

The event will raise funds for the preservation of the Joseph and Anne Bujol Landry tomb, and as funds permit, the many other deteriorated tombs in the cemetery.

The Joseph Landry Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

More information is available at: www.landryfoundation.com.

The Joseph Landry Foundation was formed in 2008 by heirs of Joseph Landry and Anne Bujol.  

Emily Ford who works for the City of New Orleans as the superintendent of cemeteries and is owner of Oak and Laurel Cemetery Preservation, LLC, said she has admired the tomb for many years.

"It is a masterpiece on its own, but even more so considering its time period. Even in New Orleans cemeteries we don't have much that survives from before the 1850s," Ford stated.

Nick Black has been steeped in New Orleans culture. He is a graduate of Brother Martin High School and went on to study art and art history at Nicholls State University.

Following a four year program, he attended North Kent College in London to receive his diploma in Marine Surveying and Restoration.  

Being born and raised in the greater New Orleans area, he grew up appreciating the unique traditions and architecture of the Crescent City. He especially learned, early in life, the distinctive designs of our city’s cemeteries.

As a kid, he would go to the cemeteries at the foot of Canal Street to help his father and grandfather maintain the family tomb. It is this value for the continuation of family traditions, and honoring those who have gone before us, that guided him to develop a business that helps to restore and renew a cultural treasure unique to New Orleans.

With a background in art and art history his talents lie in the period correct renewal of family tombs, whether it be a simple cleaning or more detailed inscription work and repair, he seeks perfection and considers it an honor to help re-establish the former glory of these reverent places. 

Black is a native of New Orleans and the owner of NOLA Cemetery Renewal.