Funeral home stalls service because of non-payment
An undertaker last week held on to a body and refused to take it to the church for a funeral because of the alleged failure to pay for its release.
Dozens of family members and friends gathered at the St Peters Anglican Church in Falmouth, Trelawny, to pay their last respects to their loved one. The service, which was scheduled to start at 11:00 a.m., did not get under way until more than an hour as there was no body in the church.
Funeral director Paul Patmore of Patmore's Funeral Home said he refused to take the body to church because he was owed some $250,000.
"I had the body from June 10 when I received a deposit of $50,000 on a $300,000 package. All different excuses were given why the rest was not paid, no arrangement to pay was forthcoming," Patmore told the WESTERN STAR.
The Reverend Basil McLeod, pastor of the church, told the WESTERN STAR that he had never experienced such drama.
"I have never been exposed to this kind of situation. I learned that the money for the funeral home was not paid only after I told a relative that if the body did not arrive by 12:00 I would cancel the funeral. It is very irresponsible and places us, as priests, in a difficult position," he said.
Patmore told the WESTERN STAR that "the frantic calls I saw being made were from persons calling me to get my account number and bank so they could lodge the money. Between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 $300,000 was lodged to my account. This is $50,000 more than I was owed so I will be returning that amount to that person who lodged $90,000," he said.
After the money was paid, the body was taken to the church at 12:20 p.m. and the service commenced shortly thereafter.