Victoria's Chinese community is shocked and saddened after somebody defaced and vandalized grave stones at an historic Chinese cemetery.

Graffiti in the form of single letters greeted visitors to the national historic site at Harling Point in Oak Bay on Monday.

The twin towers of the ceremonial altar, used for burning incense and for offerings of food were tagged with spray paint and vandalized.

“I was very saddened, I was angry to some extent. I don’t think that this was anything racially motivated, I just think it’s someone being careless, insensitive,” said Charlayne Thornton-Joe, a Victoria city councillor and high-profile member of the city’s Chinese community. “This is a national historic site. It’s not something that we can just go and paint over, like graffiti on a fence, it’s not something we can power wash off.”

She called on the people responsible to come forward and help clean up the vandalism.

The site at Harling Point is said to be the oldest existing Chinese cemetery in Canada.

Anyone with information about the vandalism is asked to contact the Oak Bay Police Department at 250-592-2424.