By YOURI KEMP
Tribune Business Reporter
The Bahamas Funeral Directors Association’s (BFDA) president yesterday said the post-COVID return of 100 percent church occupancy will enable the industry to hire more people.
Kirsch Ferguson told Tribune Business: “This means that we should get back to a level of normalcy where more staff and manpower will be required, and back to traditional ways. Families with this new shift in the protocol will be more inclined to do things they normally would do in terms of funeral arrangements.”
The Government, just in time for Easter, has removed the 50 percent maximum COVID seating requirement for churches, which means funerals can now be conducted indoors as opposed to graveside services with full COVID-19 spacing.
Mr Ferguson warned, however, that the economy is still soft and that will be a factor for persons seeking to give their loved ones the appropriate send-off. “People are now just getting back to work,” he added, pointing to affordability concerns.
As to whether more church funerals will translate into increased business for florists and print shops, Mr Ferguson said: “In some respects, yes, and in some respects, no. Be mindful that the shift that we’ve had in the past few years, people are now mindful that things can be done differently. They don’t need to go out above the norm and can still have a nice and decent funeral. So it’s just a matter of personal preferences.”
With COVID-19 restrictions slowly easing, and allowing funeral directors to work with families more sensitively, Mr Ferguson is still warning about unlicensed funeral directors in the market. He added: “As it stands now we are still hopeful that the proper thing will be done to properly regulate this industry, and we’re hoping that something changes real soon for us in terms of legislation being enacted and enforcing laws where only people who are properly trained to call themselves funeral directors are allowed to practice.”