True Sympathy and Sincere Service

The Augustus Family Legacy
Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

It’s amazing how one decision can impact generations. Three generations of service as funeral directors is not easily buried. Since 1948, D.H. Augustus & Sons Funeral Home has kept the traditions alive that were established by David Henry Augustus, and they continue to provide new and innovative services in the field.

The Augustus family’s goal has been “to provide quality services that honor the memory of your family members and friends.” They are proud to say that, while they have grown physically and expanded their services, their commitment to the community has remained the same. Today, with everything from a traditional cedar casket to photo urns on offer alongside their reputation for service and affordability, they are proud to be a part of Bermuda’s community.

D.H. Augustus & Sons Funeral Home was formed as a career decision by the late David Henry August after attending the Berkeley Institute, and then working in the construction industry as a mason for several years. With support from his parents, David Nathanial and Mary Augustus (who had migrated to Bermuda from St. Kitts prior to the birth of their sons), Mr Augustus studied overseas and received a degree from the New York School of Embalming, qualifying him as a licensed funeral director and embalmer. Empowerment, education, and community seem to be a theme for this family, as David Nathanial was a shareholder in the Bermuda Recorder and a Trustee for the Devonshire Recreational Club.

After returning to Bermuda, Mr Augustus found work at various construction sites, and even drove taxi, as professional work in his field was hard to find. Along with ‘his family’ from the West Indies (specifically St Kitts and Montserrat), he had to endure being ostracized here in Bermuda, and most of the early business was from fellow West Indians who had relocated here. Despite the challenges, David Henry and his wife, the former Pauline Caesar, raised five sons: David, Calvin, Derick, Raymond, and Gary.

When David Henry secured enough money to start his own business, it was in a three-room one-story building that was located on Park Street in Hamilton, across from Victoria Park. Today, that location is where the Dallas Building stands.

Mr Augustus later purchased a building on Elliott Street, located between Court and Princess Street. In later years the building was sold and is a residential dwelling today. As the business grew, Mr Augustus later purchased a two-bedroom house one block away and relocated the business to where it remains to this very day.

This is truly a family business. After twenty-seven years of business, David Henry was assisted fulltime by his oldest son, David Eugene. D.E. Augustus followed in his father’s footsteps, attending the American Academy McAllister Institute (AAMI) in the US. During this period, both father and son supplemented their income by driving taxi part time, and doing odd jobs.

As the business grew, Mr Augustus’ son, the late Raymond Augustus ended his career in the hotel industry to join the family business. In addition, grandson David achieved his license in 1998 from McAllister, and also returned home to assist full time in the business.

Through all the ups and downs, Mrs Pauline Augustus stood by her husband throughout his career, ensuring that he had the tools to make it through the day. As a housewife she prepared three meals a day for him, assisted him in the business, and cared for their five boys – all while working part time outside of the home.

She recalls a time at the beginning of the business, she walked from Friswell’s Hill to the construction site that her husband was working at in Devonshire Bay to deliver an important telephone message to him regarding a funeral. If there were pedometers in those days, she would probably have broken a record!

True to its name, D.H. Augustus & Sons Funeral Home have the assistance of many family members who help it to achieve its goal and motto. Today, the immediate Augustus family business consists of mom Pauline as overseer, with fulltime funeral directors David Eugene and David Shannon Augustus alongside Malike Richardson, who also attended AAMI.

Keeping it in the family, grandson Derek Jr is the Office Administrator with two assistants, and brother Derek Augustus Sr is the carpenter who makes the coffins. Brothers Calvin and Gary serve as Trustees, while uncles St. Clair (Sonny) and the late Alfred previously assisted as family employees.

The family has big plans for the future, including digitizing their records, offering a variety of programs, hosting quality video services, and internal upgrades. They already cater to different faiths, offer non-traditional burial services, and can handle everything from placing obituaries in the local media to creating DVD memorials, and ordering personalized monuments.

They still have it all in the family, but are moving with the times. Another venture the family engages in is a takeout restaurant which offers catering services. The restaurant is co-owned, operated, and solely managed by brother Gary, assisted part time by brother Calvin.

With their goal to “Continue to achieve the highest of standards with compassion, confidentiality, and dignity and affordable service” today the Augustus Funeral Home provides numerous traditional and personalized services to meet the desires of each family. They’ve been doing it for over seven decades, and are truly thankful to all who have supported them over the years.

Write A Comment