Business dead at once popular funeral home
Stabroek News
July 13, 2004

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Business is bad at the once popular, 'Ashton and Debra Funeral Parlour' with perhaps one body per week being prepared for burial.

Located at 95 Castello Housing Scheme in a conspicuous mauve and white building, A&D is on its last knees while owners, Ashton King and Debra Douglas are in prison facing murder charges.

The parlour is still open but few people have been taking their dead relatives there ever since King was picked up along with Shawn Hinds and Mark Thomas for the murder of Princes Street cattle farmer, Shafeek Bacchus in January. Two weeks ago, King's reputed wife, Debra Douglas was remanded after being charged for playing a part in the murder of Shafeek's brother, George.

For now, the parlour relies on faithful customers, mostly friends and relatives of the owners, or persons who simply do not pay heed to Guyana's politics, a source close to the parlour admitted yesterday.

An employee said they had never closed operations despite the slump and the owners' troubles.

When it was established in 2001, A&D quickly became one of the most popular parlours in the country, offering discounts on storage, burial and other services.

The parlour also competed with Sandy's Funeral Parlour another home new to the business.

Apart from its low rates, A&D has a sound system which provided the music for soul funerals.

The parlour's modern hearses responded quickly to requests to pick up bodies and this helped to drive the business.

Now the employees hang around all day waiting for the phone to ring.