Fri | Sep 22, 2017

'Stop wasting money on expensive burials'

Published:Friday | March 24, 2017 | 3:00 AMChristopher Serju
Aloun Assamba, CEO of COK Sodality, speaking at the meeting on Wednesday.

Chief executive officer of COK Sodality Co-operative Credit Union Limited Ambassador Aloun Assamba wants Jamaicans to stop wasting money on lavish burials for family members and relatives and, instead, channel their hard-earned savings into improving the education of their children and quality of life for themselves.

"We don't believe in spending big money fi put box (coffin) inna hole," she told Wednesday's members meeting for the Half-way Tree branch of the credit union. The event was held at Carter Hall, Holy Cross Church, 77 Half-Way Tree Road, St Andrew.

Assamba, a lawyer by training and former politician and diplomat who served as Jamaica's ambassador to the United Kingdom under the recent People's National Party administration, was trying to sell members on the concept of the COK's Family Indemnity Plan as a practical investment, citing her family's experience.

"My mother died in June and thank God for the Family Indemnity Plan, because we didn't even have to think about where the money was going to have to come from. We don't believe in spending big money fi put box inna hole, because we say it's a waste. We did cremation. It is much, much cheaper and if you want, the funeral parlour will rent you a casket if you want to do the cremation later. That's what we did with my father, but with my mother we didn't even bother with that, we just did it. It costs much less," she divulged.

... Being MP brought realities to fore

Ambassador Assamba also disclosed that her stance against expensive burials was informed by her tenure as member of parliament for South East St Ann, which proved to be quite a learning experience.

"People used to come to me to bury their family and then I would say to them, 'But why you spending all a dat money fi somebody who dead already?' You can have a very nice service and I am telling you, my mother's service was fabulous," she said.

Citing her family's experience of having to finance two burials in relatively quick succession, the credit union CEO charged members to give serious consideration to investing in the plan, which provides coverage for up to six persons, for the price of one very affordable premium. She advised that it was OK to start small and move up the graduated scale, as their earnings allowed.

"As you get you little pay increase or your tax giveback, you can bring it up a little more and improve it to whatever," she explained.

The Half-way Tree meeting was the fourth in a series by COK Sodality Co-operative Credit Union Limited to stimulate more informed investments by members, as well as to increase its membership.