Thursday 15 November, 2018

New Pleasant $7Million burial grounds to meet North demands

Chairman of the Ember Investment Corporation, Peter Griffith speaking to media, flanked by the Minister of Health Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bostic and Labour Minister Colin Jordan.

Chairman of the Ember Investment Corporation, Peter Griffith speaking to media, flanked by the Minister of Health Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bostic and Labour Minister Colin Jordan.

With an investment of approximately $7Million, Ember Investment Corporation plans to continue to change the landscape of Barbados as it relates to funeral services.

Due to be completed in 16 months from today, the groundbreaking for the 600-seat chapel occurred this morning at the new Mount Pleasant Memorial Gardens lands in St. Peter. 

Chairman of Ember Investment Corporation, Peter Griffith said that though the site was open for burials from December 23, 2009, today the process for the construction of not just the chapel but the offices, staff and storage rooms are now underway. Pleased that this day has finally come after a long wait due to bureaucratic red tape and approvals, he said:

"While it's been a long journey in getting all the necessary permissions and the acquisition of the additional land to house the facility, we have finally come to this point. This is now the second phase of the project."

Mount Pleasant Memorial Gardens breaks ground

The company is also the driving force and entity behind Coral Ridge Memorial Gardens. However, in spite of him labelling Coral Ridge "a good success", Griffith admitted that over the years, they have learnt essential lessons from their flagship creation which they intend to use to improve services to their clients at Mount Pleasant. 

Firstly, with a more futuristic design, at Mount Pleasant Memorial Gardens there will be facilities for the harvesting of rainwater and runoff to use in the tending of the grounds. The St. Peter-facility will be a green space.

Speaking to one million dollars of the projected $7Million, Griffith said it will be used to further develop the sites over a period of five years. He said the aim at Mount Pleasant is to keep the ambiance and add more features will welcome the family members to visit their loved ones' graves and pay respects on anniversaries and birthdays or to feel so inclined as to come and just share peaceful, serene moments. He spoke of benches and tree plantings for shade, but in a release issued ahead of today's ground-breaking ceremony, they hinted at possible water features.  

The Minister of Health and Wellness, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bostic conducted the groundbreaking with the backhoe provided by the nearby Black Bess Group. The Minister in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Maintenance, Peter Phillips and Minister of Labour, as well as the constituency representative for St. Peter, Colin Jordan.

No discrimination

Once up and running, the facilities will continue to serve the more Northern and rural parishes such as St. Peter, St. Lucy, St. Andrew and St. Joseph.

"The location was selected with some careful thought...The landscaping will be similar to that of Coral Ridge, but here , we want to do some special work. Again, learning from Coral Ridge. 

"We believe that the North has been without a cemetery for quite some time, public cemetery, and grave space was not available for those folks who were not necessarily members of the established Anglican churches, and we think that we can have those needs fulfilled here; and not only fulfilled, fulfilled with some class." 

On the other hand as it relates to the needs to other non-Anglicans, persons of other Christina denominations and other faiths or religions in general, he added, "We have partnered before with some churches in having them establish some areas" for their dead. He highlighted the Seventh Adventist, the Brethren and the Muslim community. He said such has bee facilitated at Coral Ridge and promised that they are looking to the same at Mount Pleasant "where there can be some sections sectioned off for those persons who want to have those."

Beyond the projected year and four months till completion of the construction of the facilities from the inner road to the perimeter, Griffith additionally confessed, that it is his belief that it will be a good two years after that until "it really start to grow into its own."


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