One of Antigua and Barbuda’s popular local bakers, Herbert “Dagon” Shiell, died yesterday morning at the Mount St. John’s Medical Centre.
His wife, Audrey Shiell, told OBSERVER media the 74-year-old was a diabetic who had been ailing for some time. He was admitted to the hospital last Tuesday after becoming extremely ill.
Dagon, as he was widely known, was the founder and owner of Dagon Bakery located on Baxter Street just off Tindale Road, which specialized in producing and selling bread, buns and other goods baked in “wood ovens”.
These are fuelled by burning tree trunks and branches, and many residents express a preference for bread produced through this method as opposed to those baked in gas or electric ovens.
As news of Dagon’s death spread yesterday, many persons took to social media to express their condolences to his family. Some referred to him as the ‘best bread baker’ and ‘a pillar in the community.’
His wife of 34 years describes him as having the special touch with regard to baking, a business he has been in since the 1980s.
“The bread was so nice they use to call him ‘Sexy Dagon’ and so it got the name ‘Sexy Dagon bread’. We started down in Grays Farm. We use to sell the bread in baskets,” Audrey Shiell said as she recounted the history of the business to OBSERVER media.
She also described the deceased as a loving father to both his biological and non-biological children, most of whom were taught his craft.
“He raised my children. I made two with him, but I have five and he raised them as his own so they call him ‘Daddy’ and then he teach them how to do the baking,” Mrs. Shiell said.
Shiell said that one of her sons in particular will be continuing his father’s legacy.