The Belgroves Funeral Home Company Limited (BFHL) is a full-service funeral home established on August 15th, 1888. At Belgroves, we understand the loss of a loved one can be one of the most challenging times for you and your family. But we remain committed to being with you throughout this process. Therefore, our team of dedicated and highly trained professional memorial coordinators will help you navigate the next steps after the death of your loved one. When someone you love passes, it is not the big things you miss the most, but it is all the invaluable little moments and memories you shared that have a lasting effect. These were the things that mean the most and made your loved one undeniably special. We will special. We will facilitate any request you may have to plan a unique tribute service that embodies your loved one; providing a high level of service to celebrate the life and legacy of your loved one. Let us assist you and your family in creating a tribute service that honours the memories of your loved one in a meaningful way.
- January 1
The Genesis (1827 to 1833)
The Genesis (1827 to 1833)January 1, 1827
Setting ourselves apart as a company celebrating life’s precious memories, our story began with a dream; one of a courageous and ambitious enslaved woman from Barbados and mother of three sons, Mary Jane Belgrove. Mary was born to a slave mistress, Isabella Belgrove, on Boxing Day in 1827 in the Parish of St Lucy. As a young and courageous enslaved woman, she fully embraced her job on the plantation as an undertaker to the enslaved population. It was as if the stars were aligned, and the rest is history!
- April 6
Chains Broken.. A Dream Realised (1834 to 1910)
Chains Broken.. A Dream Realised (1834 to 1910)April 6, 1834
It was 1834 and shouting voices can be heard miles away as the enslaved people were now freed, Mary’s dream can be finally realised! Charting the trajectory of her destiny and that of her children for the first time. Mary and her sons made their way to Trinidad opening a funeral parlour in St. James and Victoria Streets, San Fernando. There she lived the rest of her days as a happily emancipated mother and entrepreneur.
- August 15
Exciting Times Ahead (1850 to 1912)
Exciting Times Ahead (1850 to 1912)August 15, 1888
For Mary’s son, Joesph W. Belgrove, and his brothers these were exciting times!
Helping their mom in the family business, they all got involved in constructing coffins for the next day’s funeral in their backyard. The pride Joseph felt in creating something new and from his free will taught him the most valuable lesson, that is, providing exceptional service to those who lost loved ones.
From there on, Joesph’s passion for the funeral business grew and he went on to expand the business which included haberdashery store, cabinet making and wheelwright services. he then moved the funeral agency to 88 Coffee Street on Wednesday 15th August, 1888 which is the date that we officially use as our Anniversary Date. Joseph was a well-respected businessman in the community and listed as a prominent businessman and funeral agent in the Collins Yearbook 1904
- January 6
A Glitch in the Time Continuum (1886 to 1952)
A Glitch in the Time Continuum (1886 to 1952)January 6, 1914
With World War I right around the corner, J. Archibald Vondyke Belgrove, Joseph’s son took over the business. Poverty and poor living conditions abounded as the world was thrust into the Great Depression after WWI. Access to basic necessities was problematic; how could people even afford to bury the dead?
With exceptional customer service being his focus; Vondyke did what he knew was right; he provided free funeral services for many – despite the great financial loss. Through the difficult times, Von was able to retain his most important inheritance from his father – the desire to provide quality service to people in the community.
And so, despite the loss of physical wealth, by the time the economy improved post World War II, Vondyke’s business began to recover. He even introduced the first motorized funeral coach to South Trinidad.
Perseverance at its best!
- May 12
The Revolution (1910 to 1978)
The Revolution (1910 to 1978)May 12, 1925
Being an eyewitness to the struggles his dad faced, Lionel Belgrove challenged himself to do better. A philanthropist at heart, he hosted weekly informal charities where he gave money to individuals who really needed it; right on Coffee Street in San Fernando.
His son Reynold, was the first US qualified funeral director and embalmer in South Trinidad and the second in the whole country. With foresight and determination, Lionel propelled the company into the next stages of development. By closing the wheelwright and haberdashery businesses, he focused strictly on the funeral agency, thus moving it to where it still stands today; Corner of Belgrove Lane and Coffee Street.
Did you know:
-Lionel Belgrove bought research from India to understand how cremations are accurately done, specifically for the Hindu Community and lobbied for cremation permits.
-Under his direction, his gardener, Sookdeo Sharma, built the first wooden pyre to allow the last rite of the Hindu Community to be performed in T&T.
-Lionel designed the open coffin, used up till this day in both Hindu and Muslim funerals.
So the next time you are at a cremation modern or traditional, give a salute to Lionel Belgrove who helped fight for our right to choose cremation.
- March 1
A Touch of Destiny (1950 to Present)
A Touch of Destiny (1950 to Present)March 1, 1950
It is widely believed that Lionel had a premonition of sorts on the night before he named his last son Keith to be his successor. Over the next 35 years, Keith would transform the funeral home into the Belgroves Group of Companies consisting of 5 funeral homes, 4 modern crematoria, a state-of-the-art private cemetery, 5 companies all geared towards the needs of the bereaved families and countless other innovations many of which are now norms in the funeral industry throughout Trinidad and Tobago.
Keith Belgrove’s actions over the decades have consistently pushed the bar of service higher. Among the innovations that he introduced to Trinidad & Tobago are the funeral service programme, televised obituaries, the sleek, modern design of the caskets manufactured by subsidiary company Caskets and Funeral Supplies and free bereavement counselling to clients.
He insisted that embalming become a norm as it allows families to view the bodies of their loved ones and protect the health of the public in the communities which Belgroves serves. He also created the first Funeral Directors Association of Trinidad and Tobago in the late seventies to bring professionalism to the funeral service industry and was awarded by his colleagues for his contributions in 1984 and 1985. Keith has created the only truly national funeral arena, the Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP) in 2005. The designation awarded by The Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice of the USA is reserved only for those qualified funeral directors worldwide who have demonstrated growth and professional service.
- May 3
The Future (1979 to Present)
The Future (1979 to Present)May 3, 1978
Still at the helm and forever the visionary, Keith Belgrove has named his successor; daughter Mercedes Belgrove. Holding a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Finance and Economics, a Master’s in Business Administration from the prestigious Emory University and Funeral Home Management training from Mount Ida College in Boston. Growing up upstairs the funeral home on Coffee Street, she has a thorough knowledge of the funeral services industry and focuses her work on continuously improving customer service.
Mercedes is well qualified and possesses the qualities and disposition to carry on the noble tradition that is the Belgroves Group of Companies.