Sun | May 19, 2019

Regulation needed for the funeral industry

Published:Friday | April 12, 2019 | 12:16 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Kindly allow me space in your newspaper to respond to Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton as it relates to his address to funeral directors with regard to burials/interments in family plots, privately owned and operated burial parks, and church cemeteries.

I recently attended a funeral directors award ceremony put on by Meadowrest Memorial Gardens (a United Church of Jamaica and The Cayman Islands-owned cemetery), held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. The guest speaker was Dr Christopher Tufton.

The Gleaner carried the minister’s address as ‘Funeral home regulations still on ice’, while The Jamaica Observer carried it as ‘Land for the living or dead?’

Several municipal corporation-operated cemeteries are full, while others have to search diligently to find a grave or vault spot. A municipal corporation-operated cemetery was recently opened in Old Harbour, St Catherine. I am yet to visit same or have done an interment.

To date, I have not had any comment from the St Catherine Municipal Corporation.

Truth be told, municipal corporation-operated cemeteries, at the rate of how they are being used, will soon be exhausted, with little or no room for expansion.

I share the minister’s concern as it relates to the exhaustion of burial space in the municipal corporation-owned and operated cemeteries.

We must educate our citizens. We owe it to the bereaved families to ensure that in time of bereavement, the municipal corporation can provide space in the cemeteries for the burial of their loved ones.

We must pay attention to demographics. This is of vital importance as it relates to an ageing population and the mortality rate.

JOSEPH M. CORNWALL (Sr) JP

Managing Director/CEO

House of Tranquility

Funeral Home Ltd