By anguillian August 3, 2012 09:43



Rey's Funeral Home at George Hill

The long-established Rey’s Funeral Home in Anguilla is continuing to make plans for itsfurther development to better serve the people of the island. As part of that process, Owner and Manager, Mr. Hugo Rey, is actively working towards adding a crematorium to his mortuary business. It is a necessary and modern enterprise, he had been exploring for some years, which would save bereaved families money, and provide a solution to the limited burial spaces.


L-R: Mr. Hugo Rey, Mr. Ed Romero and Mr. Moran Rey

Mr. Rey told media representatives, on July 26, that he had brought to Anguilla Mr. Ed Romero, a consultant and salesman with Mathew’s Cremation Equipment, to help spread awareness about the importance of a crematorium for the island. “He was on a mission to St. Croix and we tried to get him here so that he can erase whatever doubts or fears there are, and give some clarity to the cremation project that Rey’s Funeral Home has been working on for a period now of eleven years,” Mr. Rey stated.


He explained that in the late 1990s he did a survey of the cemeteries onAnguilla, bearing in mind the island’s population, and determined that there would be a problem for burial spaces probably in the next two decades or earlier. Further, he was approached by a number of persons,especially from the expatriate community, about introducing a cremation service. In 2001, he submitted his findings in an application to the Planning Committee. His application was deferred pending an environmental impact study which he could not readily pursue due to its cost. He reapplied in 2007 but his application was again deferred and, in the meantime, certain persons signed a petition against the proposed crematorium.In 2010, he arranged for the undertaking of the environmental impact study which was again requested by the Planning Committee. The study was done by Ego Engineering Consultants Ltd. ofTrinidad. It was submitted in 2011 and was presented at a public meeting during which a number of persons expressed support for, as well as opposition to, the project.


Mr. Rey said he was now waiting on the Attorney General’s Chambersto complete the drafting of the necessary legislation to govern the establishment and operation of a crematorium. “We are at the point where we cannot produce any plans to the Building Board. We cannot make any plans for construction or the ordering of units,” he stated, adding that over the period of the delays he experienced new technology and improved equipment had become available. “The cremation unit we are hoping to bring in is going to be state-of-theart, and the most modern unit on the market at the moment,” he added.


Mr. Romero said he was an Equipment Sales Representative and a Certification Training Instructor for Mathews Cremation located in Orlando,Florida. “Mathews Cremation is the oldest and largest manufacturer in the world with over 3,000installations in over 50 countries,” he stated. “Our mission statement expresses a passion for both the success of our clients and for the environment. In keeping with our on-going commitment to preserve, protect and educate, we are also proud to champion cremation green which is our initiative to continually strive to develop new products, services and technologies to make cremation even more ego friendly than it is already.”

He said more and more families were choosing cremation as the final means of disposing their loved ones. In turn, more funeral professionals were electing to include the service in order to better serve families during their time of need.


“The majority of cremation units are located and installed even around residential areas, and that is because funeral homes are typically located within the communities in which they serve,” he went on. “By necessity, it has become even more important for cremation equipment to operate in such a way that there are no harmful effects on the neighbours or the citizens of the community.The equipment is specifically designed to operate with no smoke, no odour and no detectable sign that there is an operation.”


He said that since 1999 cremation technology had come a long way, with Mathews Cremation leading the industry in technological innovations.


Mr. Romero continued in part: “It is innovations such as these that have helped us to earn the approval of the governing body in nearbySt. Croix. The benefits that we hope to bring there as well as here [in Anguilla] include the following: better service and faster turn-around time for families during the time of need; there will be less fuel consumption as it relates to inter-island transportation of remains; more economical options for bereaved family members; and preservation of increasingly scarce burial space.”


Mr. Rey made the point that cremation “does not mean that there is no funeral service. You can have your funeral service, whether you want to purchase or rent a casket, and then you come back to cremation,” he explained.“The crematory will be here to serve the people ofAnguilla. It will be owned by Rey’s Funeral Home, but we are prepared to serve any other funeral home be it on Anguilla or off the island…Once it is positioned here it will not be  just under the operation of our staff and operators. It will be monitored by the manufacturers.”


Mr Rey, who has a number of his children certified and involved in the operations of Rey’s Funeral Home,is optimistic that probably within a year the crematorium should be in place. It will be located north of the existing funeral home.


By anguillian August 3, 2012 09:43


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