Tempers flared yesterday as the National Conservation Commission (NCC) moved in at Bay Garden, Oistins, Christ Church, to take possession of the stall which Shirley Roberts rented for close to 30 years before she passed away in June.
However, the NCC workers who arrived to change the locks were met by three angry children of the deceased who charged that it was their mother’s dying wish that the food business remain in the family.
A large crowd gathered around the pink stall called Shirley’s Food Hut as police were called in by the NCC as well as the family.
Ken Roberts, Trudi Dottin and adopted daughter Monique Best, who was to be the one taking over the business, questioned why they were being treated in that manner by the state agency given that relatives of other deceased stall owners were allowed to take over their business.
Best, who spoke out about the situation last Friday, called the NCC’s actions “hard”, as they were still grieving their mother’s death.
An upset and emotional Dottin told police and NCC officials in no uncertain terms how she felt about the situation.
“I am not happy with this decision because my mother always said this business was to remain in the family. My sister may not be blood but she is my sister. My mother raised her from three weeks old and it was her desire that my sister take over the business. She has been working in this business for the past two years.
“She and I have worked out here with my mother so I don’t see what the challenge is, but because you have other people involved in this situation who feel they could supersede everything and get what they want, that is why they are doing things like this,” Dottin said.
“Uncle George is dead but somebody is carrying on his business,” she said in reference to a popular stall owner who also recently passed away. “I want to know why this specific one you are coming today, on Sunday, to take it over. Why you doing it in the way you doing it?”
Dottin, deeming the action “unlawful”, said the rent for the stall was paid up.
“My mother who owned this business for almost 30 years, why can’t it remain in our family? They accepted money and they should fulfil their obligations. This is not the way to do it. This is unlawful,” she cried out.
Her brother Ken angrily told off the workers as they got down to the business. ( MB)