By Carlena Knight
A lack of funding is being blamed for the delayed commencement of construction of a new public cemetery.
This is according to Health Minister Sir Molwyn Joseph who spoke briefly on the matter to Observer media.
“I can say to you that all that we are waiting upon is funding to construct the new cemetery. All the technical work has been done both by an expert from the United States who developed the Arlington Cemetery, as well as local architects and engineers. We have the plans in place, the renderings have been done and it’s a matter of raising the funds,” Joseph explained.
He mentioned that the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has also plagued the government’s efforts in acquiring the sufficient funds for this venture.
The estimated EC $2 million project is expected to feature a non-denominational church, crematorium, and an ecumenical centre spread across about 10 acres.
In 2003 Antigua Barbuda Labour Party first announced the plan to relocate the public cemetery in the vicinity of Heroes Park, in Tomlinsons, as the St John’s Public Cemetery had exceeded its capacity.
Back then, the decision was scrapped almost immediately after residents raised objection to the cemetery being located along the busy main road, which has since been renamed Sir Sydney Walling Highway.
The new public cemetery is earmarked to be constructed under the name Tomlinsons Park or Tomlinsons Garden Cemetery.