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7 o’clock funerals would cut lost hours


7 o’clock funerals would cut lost hours

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I DRAFTED THIS LETTER about three months ago, and only now have I got the courage to submit it.

Joy Belle asserted: “We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding on to something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don’t have something better.” 

In most cases, financially stable, successful, progressive and productive countries pride themselves on their productivity, meaning the people. For those of you who have resided in any North American or European country, you know very well that come rain, snow or other inclemencies, people go to work.     

There are a number of factors that can impede our productive time. They include cricket, especially five-day Test matches, football and other sports; extended lunch hours; dropping off and picking up of our children from schools, creating traffic bottlenecks at certain times; three- and six-month long leaves from the job; tardiness (being late) and funerals.


Why? Because of the way we traditionally and culturally have done things in the past. 

In terms of funerals, let’s consider that there may be ten, or possibly more, in Barbados a day. Let’s assume that out of those ten, about 100 family members, friends and co-workers from Government and corporate Barbados attend during working hours for four hours, or take in some cases, a day off?

One hundred people multiplied by four hours in a given day, equals 400 non-productive working hours, and if that is done five days every week, that equals to 2 000 hours per week of non-production. Multiply by 52 weeks in the year; that works out to a frightening 104 000 hours of non-productive time.

This frightening number is based on only ten funerals per day during the year. But of course, there could be more. 

The question that begs to be sensibly and prudently answered is: can a small emerging young nation like ours afford this?

If your answer is in the positive, I wish you to agree with, or consider the following: that we conduct funerals at about 7 o’clock at night and to bury the deceased at about seven in the morning, thus giving the immediate family and close friends the opportunity to get to work on time (for those who work a regular 9-5 work day).  This would also allow church choir members, who are expected to attend, not to miss out on going to work regularly.


Such measures can possibly help ease the traffic, and allow for greater productivity. 

I close with the words of President Barack Obama: “Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”


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