Linstead | Drama At Funeral As Top Of Grave CollapsesJanuary 14, 2022
Tempers flared inside Commodore Cemetery at Linstead in St. Catherine after the top of a freshly built grave caved in on the casket.
Mourners accused men working on behalf of the funeral agency of pouring concrete on substandard material. The funeral home was responsible for construction of the grave as part of the package purchased by the family.
When the top of the grave collapsed, expletives were traded and a gun reportedly was drawn.
Deen Anglin said his 48-year-old wife of 20 years, Salvator Tait-Anglin, who died on December 1 after a period of illness, did not deserve such chaotic send-off.
“My wife is a very peaceful person and, to have a situation like that, it really have me torn up… I am really upset about the whole circumstances,” he told The Beacon while elaborating on what caused the furor during the burial on January 11.
“What happens is that I went to bury my wife and the people used rotten zinc and bamboo instead of ply to cover the grave. While they were pouring the material on it, everything just caved in on the casket. It reached a stage where argument came until one of the parties drew a gun to shoot one of the persons that came with us [to the cemetery]… The whole thing went into a mess,” Anglin added.
He said the apologetic manager of the funeral agency got wind of the situation, and invited members of the bereaved family to a meeting regarding the incident and an issue that resulted in wreaths not being brought to the cemetery.
The family member who collected the buttons and programmes from the funeral agency is the one that mistakenly left the wreaths behind, said Seron Cunningham, manager of Beautiful Gate Funeral Services in Bog Walk, St. Catherine.
In relation to the grave that collapsed, Cunningham stated that his company takes full responsibility although a sub-contractor was the one at fault.
“When we get funerals like those, what we normally do is go by the cemetery and pay any one of the guys that do grave in the cemetery to do the grave. When we called on the guy that normally build the graves for us, they said he was not feeling well and so he had someone else there who would build the grave. Normally we pay to build the grave and that’s it,” he explained.
Cunningham said he usually checks the graves ahead of burials, but he ended up having to travel outside the parish on the day of the funeral in question.
He told The Beacon that, in addition to apologizing to the bereaved family, he gave a 15 per cent refund.
“I spoke with the family. They apologized and I apologized for what took place. The guy who build the grave; he actually came here at the office and explained that it is not Beautiful Gate [that is at fault] and so on… I actually pay them back 15 percent of the package,” he told The Beacon. “The family was not the problem; it was the followers [at the funeral].”
Cunningham said it is the first his company is having an incident of the sort.
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