Riverside Funeral Home appeals for cooperation in observing safety guidelines

THE Five Rivers Management Services Society (FRMSS), responsible for the operation of Riverside Funeral Home in Delta, said on Saturday that it is following the guidelines of the government not only in letter, but also in spirit.

The facility is owned and operated by 15 charitable societies in the Lower Mainland.

The FRMSS pointed out: “This measure is taken to protect the lives of the staff and the families who visit the facility to conduct last rites / services of their loved ones.  To this end, the management has issued instructions to the Riverside Funeral Home staff to restrict the numbers of the family members to 20 persons.”

It noted that the number varies from province to province and ranges from 5 to 50 in Canada. It also quoted The Globe and Mail’s Robyn Doolittle (April 9): “Regular funeral services are more complicated now. No more than 10 mourners are allowed to congregate at a time and guests must maintain two metres of distance. These new rules are in place to prevent a situation like what happened in Newfoundland, where at least 167 cases have been linked to a single funeral home in St. John’s.”

Surindar Singh Jabal, President, FRMSS,, noted: “The management has taken a firm stand on the regulations to control the number of individuals permitted to the facility. However, as there is gradual return to normalcy, public would be informed through another press release on easing the restrictions. Until then the spread of coronavirus like [what happened in] Newfoundland in our community-run Riverside Funeral Home (only one in Canada) must be prevented. Management could not take the chance of even one member of our staff getting affected and funeral services getting shutdown.”

He appealed: “Media is requested to help the community and the community-run funeral home by informing the  public about the dire situation humanity is going through and not to use the radio waves to criticize restrictions as this is in the best interest of the public at large.”

He emphasized that the management of Riverside Funeral Home is requesting everyone to follow the guidelines for everyone to be safe.

On April 6, the FRMSS had appealed to the community for their cooperation to help them follow the important guidelines issued by the BC and federal governments from time to time for the safety of everyone.   

For all funeral / cremation / services:

  1. No walk-ins (by appointment only)
  2. Maximum two persons for funeral arrangement.
  3. Maximum of 20 people for funeral services (number may be further reduced depending on provincial social distancing)
  4. Service cannot be delayed more than a week after the body is received by Riverside Funeral Home.
  5. Discourage wash/dress and encourage dress up by staff members.
  6. Family wash/dress limited to five persons with their commitment of social distance.
  7. Not more than six members for cremation inside crematoria.
  8. Bring your own head covers
  9. Government guideline for anyone travelling from abroad is for 14 days quarantine and may not be allowed to attend service.
  10. Special policy ((no wash/dress/viewing or rental casket) is in place for funeral service where the cause of death is due to coronavirus or its suspicion.
  11. We appeal for your cooperation for the good and safety of service providers, the community and the families we serve.

THE VOICE: The community MUST follow the directions of the government and health authorities. It is not only the legal thing to do, but is also for everyone’s protection. As it is, the community is always facing racism – even when it’s not their fault, they are accused of all kinds of things. Why give others an excuse to attack us?