Page 1


winter 10


accanews winter10

MEMORIAL PLAQUES & ACCESSORIES Classic • Original • Authentic

The Benefits of ArrowScript: Advanced Easy to use E-mail your orders direct from ArrowScript to Arrow Bronze

accanews winter10

MATTHEWS BRONZE Pty Ltd – A.C.N: 007 171 486


CEO Centennial Park Cemetery Authority Telephone: 08 8276 6011

Executive Members Peter Deague

Page 12 Box Hill Cemetery

Page 14 Perth’s Natural Burial Areas

Page 16 Sydney Natural Burial Park

Page 19 Adelaide Cemeteries

Director Planning Metropolitan Cemeteries Board Telephone: 08 9383 5229

Page 20

Karen Hinrichsen

Page 24

Manager Toowoomba Garden of Remembrance Telephone: 07 4635 4866

Power by Teamwork - Arrow Bronze

Michael McMahon

Allambe Memorial Park

Armen Mikaelian General Manager Cemeteries and Crematoria Invocare Australia Pty Ltd Telephone: 02 8841 7810

ACCA Mid Year Seminar

Page 26 Page 28 China 2010

Page 33 Karrakatta Storm

Page 36 How to give a Eulogy 24 Power by Teamwork

CEO Catholic Cemeteries Board Telephone: 02 8713 5777

Darryl Thomas CEO Geelong Cemeteries Trust Telephone: 03 5221 1077

Executive Officer & Secretary Ken Manders Suite North 4, 215 Bell St PRESTON VIC 3057 Telephone: 03 9863 6914 Facsimile: 03 9863 6901 Unless expressly stated the views put forward in accanews are not necessarily the considered views or policy of the Association or the Publisher, nor is the Association or the Publisher responsible for the claims of its advertisers. Graphic Design by Andrew Spicer @ Ravelston Designs Printed by Digital Printing Published by ACCA Secretariat

16 Sydney Natural Burial Park

Bryan Elliott

AFDA Report

20 ACCA Mid Year Seminar


Page 9

Cover photo Fu Shou Yuan Cemetery – China

26 Allambe Memorial Park

Operations Manager Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust Telephone: 03 9737 2300

State Reports

33 Karrakatta Storm

Brendan O’Connor

Page 5

14 Perth’s Natural Burial Areas


Board Activity

19 Adelaide Cemeteries

Executive Committee 2009/2010

Page 3

28 China 2010

Formed 1986

4 State Reports

President’s Report

12 Box Hill Cemetery

Page 2

accanews winter10


President’sReport Preparations for our annual conference are well underway with the conference programme having been finalised and forwarded to members. Fremantle is shaping up to be a very informative conference with a healthy mix of presenters. I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Metropolitan Cemeteries Board for their assistance with organising the conference. Recently delegates of the board and executive along with number of ACCA members attended the 4th China International Funeral Expo (CIFE) in Beijing. ACCA & Association Platinum Partner Arrow Bronze jointly presented at the Expo and the booth proved to be extremely popular. Vice President Bryan Elliott has written a report in the Board Activity column of this issue. Brendan O’Connor

In May we held the annual midyear conference and by all reports the presentations were highly regarded as one of the best midyear conferences to date. This year the conference focused on team work and leadership with Eric Bailey a well respected motivational speaker drawing on personal and sporting experiences to test delegate’s thinking and abilities. I’m sure all delegates have greater understanding of what can be achieved when pushed outside their comfort zones. Thank you to Invocare & staff at Allambie Gardens for hosting delegates on the cemeteries tour.

ACCA has received submissions from two state TAFE Colleges and interest has been expressed from one other to deliver the Certificate 111 in Grave Digging & Crematoria Operations. This project has taken many years of hard work and negotiation to progress to this point. We are hopeful of commencing very soon. The second meeting of the state branches working party was held prior to the midyear conference, as a number of the representatives were already attending the conference it was an ideal opportunity to meet. The proposal of developing state branches of the national body still has a long way go however it is very encouraging to have positive feedback from all states. It’s not surprising that many of the states have concerns regarding the makeup of the boards, secretariat, legislation, budgets and existing funds; however, the working

party recognises that each of these points is relevant and important to each state organisation and that further debate and discussion is required to move this idea forward. ACCA recently accepted an invitation from the New Zealand Tourism board to inspect facilities and venues with a view to hold the 2011 conference in Wellington. The visit proved to be successful and the Board accepted the recommendations to conduct the conference there in 2011. While in New Zealand Ken Manders attended and presented an ACCA update to delegates of the New Zealand Cemeteries and Crematoria conference hosted by the New Zealand Recreation Association. Following the presentation many delegates expressed an interest in the state branches working party project and are very interested in forming a branch of ACCA in New Zealand. I was recently invited to attend the opening of administration facilities by two of our members. Both events were well attended by the local community with representation from local council, state and national association and historians. I congratulate Box hill Cemetery Trust & the Ballarat Cemetery Trust on their facilities and am sure these building will provide for the expectation of their community well into the future. As we go to print Katrina has just returned from her honeymoon in Malta. On behalf of the board and the membership I extend congratulations to both Katrina & Justin on their marriage and I wish them a very happy future together.

Brendan O’Connor President

From The Desk Of The Executive Officer • Cemeteries Conference: Wellington NZ 28-30 April 2010

ACCA Representation ACCA participation/representation at the following: • China International Funeral Expo & FIAT-IFTA Convention: Beijing/Shanghai 22-27 June 2010. ACCA exhibited along with ARROW BRONZE – ACCA Principal Corporate Partner at the Beijing Expo – Board Member Bryan Elliott reports in this issue.


accanews winter10

I attended this inaugural event and presented a report on the current and future activities of ACCA. With an 80 plus delegate list attending, this event was a great success. The concept of NZ becoming a Branch of ACCA was discussed and most delegates were positive in their support of such a proposal. ACCA Branches Proposal A meeting of the Working Party was conducted in May, and although there were a number of apologies, state reports were discussed and a Draft Vision

Statement was prepared. The next meeting will be held in Melbourne on 17 August. Details of this meeting will be relayed in the next issue. New Members Ordinary Member (Provisional) South Canterbury Crematorium Ltd (NZ) Please support ACCA News in 2009 – remember this is your journal and we encourage and welcome your input at any time. Thank you and take care.

Ken J Manders

BoardActivity The ACCA 2009/2010 Board. From left to right, front row: Vice President Bryan Elliott, President Brendan O’Connor, Peter Deague Back Row: Darryl Thomas, Karen Hinrichsen, Armen Mikaelian, Michael McMahon

REPORT ON VISIT TO CHINA As Vice President of the Australasian Cemeteries and Crematoria Association, I travelled to China with the Executive Officer for the purpose of attending the FIAT-IFTA 11th International Convention and Expo. Also accompanying Ken and I were Directors Karen Hinrichsen and Darryl Thomas, both of whom were financially supported by their respective employers, Toowoomba Garden of Remembrance and Geelong Cemeteries Trust. Shirley Cooke from Arrow Bronze also joined us. The following is a report to update members on the learning and networking opportunities experienced during the convention. Later in this edition is a pictorial display of the expo and some of the magnificent cemeteries visited. REPORT The main purpose of the visit was to attend the joint FIAT - IFTA Conference and CIFE (China International Funeral Expo) in Beijing and to visit cemeteries and funeral homes in both Beijing and Shanghai. FIAT – IFTA’s full name is “Fédération Internationale des Associations de Thanatoloques” (FIAT) – “International Federation of Thanatologists Associations” (IFTA). The objectives of FIAT – IFTA are: 1. To research and jointly study legal, moral, social and scientific issues relating to thanatological activities, especially with regard to services rendered in memorialisation and disposition of deceased individuals; 2. To promote international understanding and goodwill among the world’s funeral service professionals and to achieve uniformed standards, rules, regulations and treaties for the cost efficient international repatriation of deceased individuals; 3. To encourage and develop education in the field of embalming (thanatopraxy) throughout the world and achieve uniform standards and regulations in respect of embalming (thanatopraxy); 4. To increase the level of the professional knowledge of funeral service practitioners by assembling and disseminating to those in the profession publications, articles, and other works related to thanatological issues; and 5. To provide due respect and deference to the autonomy of national organisations and to avoid any interference in all matters pertaining to laws, regulations, customs and manners of individual nations.

Thanatological activities comes from the Greek word thanatos which translates to death. Therefore the federation is interested in the death care industry as a whole. As outlined above the objectives of the federation do have significance to cemetery and crematoria operators specifically in the memorialisation and disposition of deceased individuals. The opportunity to meet and discuss the rituals, customs and operations of the related death care operatives from around the world can and does explain some of the customs and expectations that exist within our society in Australia and where those influences originated. While the Australasian Cemeteries and Crematoria Association is not a member of this worldwide federation there is sufficient evidence that the worldwide contacts and information exchange would be of benefit to the Australasian industry. The funeral expo itself was on a scale that cannot be replicated in Australia. With over 8 million deaths per annum the sheer size of the industry within China ensures this fact. There were many displays that included: • Coffins, • Cremated remains urns (including timber, stone, metal and ceramic varieties), • A Chinese Bronze plaque supplier, • Elaborate catafalque designs,

• A myriad of columbarium designs that included one supplier offering electronically secured facilities with swipe card access to the individual niches, • Granite memorial supplies, • Florists, • Deep cold storage options, • Funeral Hearses that could accommodate mourners in luxury while also transporting the deceased, • A Korean stand which was purporting to be the franchisee for Promessa in the Asian area, and of course • Our ACCA stand promoting the Australian industry and the upcoming conference in Fremantle. Platinum Partner, Arrow Bronze shared the booth. It should be noted that the whole area of death and associated services is, like in Australia, a subject most people consider taboo. There certainly was no shortage of visitor to the expo over the days that it was open. The Australian delegation visited the building on the Monday to set up the ACCA stand. The scene was one of pandemonium and chaos that highlighted the lack of OHS&W concerns coupled with smoking on the job plus the army of people getting the building ready for the opening the following morning. The sceptic would have thought it would never be ready in time.

accanews winter10



Fu Shou Yuan Cemetery During our stay in Beijing all the delegates were treated with extreme courtesy with all transportation to venues in a fleet of busses that were given a police escort with roads blocked off resulting in large traffic snarls all around us.

• scattering ashes at sea (this includes specially charted ships that go out to sea with families on board (like a ferry) who then are allowed to empty the remains down funnels on the side of the boat that empty into the sea),

The official opening of the expo on Tuesday 22nd June was a grand affair with representatives from around the world invited to be part of ribbon cutting ceremony. This outdoor event was conducted in oppressive heat in excess of 40 degrees Celsius. Once the expo was opened the gathered throng swarmed into the building hungry for information and ideas.

• flower burial,

During the stay within Beijing and Shanghai it was obvious that the restoration and reconstruction of China’s funeral industry that has been underway for thirty years has progressed significantly. Funeral services providers are experiencing steady and sustainable development due to the policy of reform and opening up and the adjustment of associated government administrative policies. So far, in a large country, there are about 1600 funeral homes, most of which operate crematoria, 1200 city-operated cemeteries and 1000 enterprises producing and selling funeral equipment and products. In a country where cremation is mandated there are now a number of options for the disposition of cremated remains including:


accanews winter10

• tree burial; and • lawn burial. These options are becoming widely accepted by the public. It has already become a trend that urban cemeteries are built like gardens with aesthetic art and horticultural skills. As a result, some cemeteries are designed to be scenic spots, as well as to educate young people. The Chinese hosts were keen to show their visitors how far they have advanced both in the funeral homes and also in their “cemeteries”. The visits to these facilities were fascinating and informative and are detailed on Pages 28-30.

to host a convention for ACCA in China. There is no doubt that the contacts made in this region will be invaluable as more and more stoneworks and sculptures are being sourced from this region. Meetings were also held with the President Elect of FIAT – IFTA Mr Gus Nichols from Ireland who is keen for Australia to be involved with the federation on a much larger scale. Mr Kevin Daniels President of the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association based in the USA was also keen for a presentation by ACCA at their next conference to be held in Las Vegas in early March 2011. Henry Keizer, Secretary General of the International Cremation Federation also espoused the virtues of Australia becoming more involved in FIAT – IFTA. There were many other opportunities to discuss the customs and practices of the different countries that were represented at the conference to learn more about a worldwide industry.

MEETINGS IN BEIJING The Australian Delegation were invited to a special meeting with Mr Chen Qunlin, outgoing President of FIAT – IFTA (also a member of the Bureau of Civil Affairs) and Mr Wang Jisheng, a Director of the China Funeral Association (and General Manager of Fu Shou Yuan Group). While the Chinese hosts are keen to continue to visit Australia and learn more they are also keen to showcase their own works to Australia and are working on a proposal

Bryan Elliott Vice President


Cemeteries Association of South Australia (CASA)

• Seeking and supporting creative solutions to environmental issues.

Queensland Cemeteries and Crematoria Association (QCCA)


• Explore opportunities for improved environmental awareness within our relationships with members and stakeholders.


PURPOSE: The Cemeteries Association of South Australia (CASA) is committed to managing its operations in an environmentally sustainable and responsible manner. The policy aims to reflect CASA’s commitment to the protection, enhancement and rehabilitation of our natural environment and the promotion of sustainable cemetery development and operations.

POLICY: CASA is committed to the following environmental principles and practices: • Integrate sustainable environmental management and best practice into business processes and decisions. • Actively seek contractors and service providers that share our commitment to protecting the environment. Suppliers/ contractors shall abide by all federal, state and local environment laws. CASA shall favour suppliers/contractors that support energy conservation, recycle and properly dispose of waste.

• Purchase goods and services in accordance with sound environmental considerations, practices and life cycle assessment. • Periodically review and revise our Environmental Code and procedures to maintain their relevance. • Clearly communicating our Environmental Code and environmental responsibilities to members, contractors and the public.

DEFINITIONS: Best practice: A technique or methodology that, through experience and research, has proven to reliably lead to a desired result. Ecologically sustainable: To meet the needs of the present without comprising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Compliance: The act of complying with relevant legislation, a request, or demand; acquiescence.

• Complying with all relevant legislative and regulatory requirements, with the Commonwealth and State Governments’ environmental policies and initiatives and with prevailing environmental standards.


• Operating in an ecologically sustainable manner by focussing on sustainable water supplies and consumption, protecting our biodiversity, securing sustainable energy sources and minimising waste.

All members are required to carry out their responsibilities (within limits of their knowledge and resources) in accordance with this policy and to report any environmental concerns regarding cemetery operations and developments they have to the CASA Board.

It is the responsibility of the CASA Board to implement this policy and continually review our procedures to ensure compliance with the environmental policy.

This years QCCA Annual General Meeting will take place in the central Qld city of Mackay on Friday August 20th. The meeting will be held at the local art gallery, Artspace, in the conference room. The Annual General Meeting will see the election of office bearers for the next year as well as include a general meeting as part of proceedings and the naming of the Arrow Bronze Award of Excellence winner. After the meeting is concluded we will head out on a tour of some of the cemeteries located around Mackay including Old Mackay Cemetery and Mt. Bassett Cemetery and we will complete our tour with afternoon tea at the Newhaven Crematorium. Friday evening dinner will see the group venture to the Mackay Marina and enjoy a quiet relaxing meal overlooking the many large, large boats moored at Mackay. For something a bit different make the trip to Mackay and join us in the warmth of central Queensland, for more information contact

LAWS RELATING TO THE DISPOSAL OF DECEASED PEOPLE In June 2004 the Qld Attorney General commissioned the Law Reform Commission to review the laws as they relate to the disposal of deceased people. After initial consultation the commission placed the review on hold due to more important laws that required attention. Recently the Attorney General has asked for the review to be reinstated and thus the process has started again. Currently comments regarding the paper are being sought and expected time lines and completion dates will be conveyed soon, in the meantime the QCCA will continue to meet with the commission and provide advice and information as required. The current paper can be sourced from the Law Reform site which is www.qlrc. and click on current reports in the top left corner.

accanews winter10



QCCA 2011 CONFERENCE Planning has commenced for the next QCCA conference which will once again be held on the Gold Coast at the Watermark Hotel on the 16th and 17th of June. After the association’s last general meeting held in Toowoomba the meeting voted to change the format from a 2 day classroom style format to the 1st day classroom style and the 2nd day as an external full day trade exhibition including demonstrations. The trade day will take place at one of the Gold Coast City Councils cemeteries within close proximity to the hotel. The meeting felt this would widen the appeal of the conference opening it up to more field based staff as well as continuing to offer something for management and administrative staff. More details will be finalised shortly and passed on to members including ACCA.

Cemeteries & Crematoria Association of New South Wales (CCANSW)

Armidale Quarterly Conference A very successful Quarterly Conference was held in Armidale on 13 & 14 May 2010. The meeting commenced with a welcome by Joe Campbell, Phoenix Foundry, the major CCA sponsor for 2010. Following the General Meeting, an open forum commenced with Gerard Robbers, Austeng Engineering, providing an engineering update for our industry and Chris Brown, Glory Marble & Granite, providing a product update, including the November 2010 launch of Everlon Bronze. On Thursday evening the Phoenix Foundry Dinner was held at Echidna Gully, a rustic woolshed venue set in natural bushland. Members danced the night away to a local rhythm and blues band, featuring Ian Mitchell, CEO of Phoenix Foundry as the lead drummer. A great time was had by all, as can be seen in the accompanying photos. A number of presentations were held on Friday, 14 May, and these included a presentation titled ‘Cemeteries Seen Through the Eyes of the Local Historian’ by Graham Wilson. Graham discussed the historical importance of the cemetery, the various styles of headstones and the way that they relate to the existing values of our society. The talk also featured symbolism, religious beliefs, as well as tragedy, pathos and the sense of humour in the Australian character reflected through the epitaphs on our headstones. Christopher Lloyd, Professor of Economic History in School of Business, Economics and Public Policy, University of New England, Armidale, presented an interesting economic outlook paper. His paper covered areas such as Australia in 2010 – the boom is back! But where will it lead? The benefits and costs of an export boom for Australia and NSW, The Henry tax review and government medium and long-term economic policy.


accanews winter10

Greg Martin and Catherine RobertsonHodder, KPMG Actuaries, presented a paper titled ‘Financial Management, Equity and Sustainability of a Cemetery’. The presentation provided an actuarial perspective on understanding and communicating perpetual care fund needs and adequacy, the equitable and sustainable pricing of rights and services and related financial management issues, such as explaining the need and nature of “operating surpluses” and helping cemetery operators address the challenges ahead. Following the presentations members visited Phoenix Foundry, Uralla, for lunch and a tour of the recently updated foundry that has enabled vast improvements in quality and delivery times of their products. During the tour, members followed the cycle of a plaque from receipt of order through to dispatch, including a live pour of the molten bronze into the plaque moulds. We wish to acknowledge and thank our sponsors for the Armidale Quarterly Conference, being:Major Sponsor – Level A: Phoenix Foundry Sponsor – Level B Glory Marble & Granite Sponsor – Level C Arrow Bronze Austeng Engineered Solutions Frank Dimarco & Son Pty Ltd Globe Memorial Company Pty Ltd N & F Arciuli Pty Ltd Tyrrells Northern Suburbs Memorials Co Pty Ltd.

Industry Training Working Effectively in the Funeral Industry – TAFE NSW Course No 19443: Over the last few months, CCA has been working with TAFE NSW – Northern Sydney Institute to develop a course titled “Working Effectively in the Funeral Industry”.


On 24 & 25 June this 1.5 day course was delivered, covering:

Exhumation Techniques - TAFE NSW Course No 19442

Cemeteries & Crematoria Association of Victoria (CCAV)

• Identify the general structure of, and stakeholders within, the funeral services industry

TAFE NSW – Northern Sydney Institute is offering the above course for people employed as gravediggers or who perform work in related roles. The three day Exhumation Technique training includes two days of tuition and practical activities and one day of formal assessment. The next course is being held on 2 & 3 September, with assessment on 13 October.

The CCAV Country Conference was held in Wangaratta Friday 26th to Saturday 27th of March. There were over 60 delegates and more than 20 partners who attended the week end held at the Gateway Hotel.

• Identify and comply with workplace policy and procedures, and relevant legislation • Develop and apply knowledge of funeral services industry protocols and use effective communication strategies • Respond to grieving clients and colleagues appropriately, identifying social, cultural and religious differences • Apply appropriate communication techniques and interpersonal skills • Identify and apply strategies for person grief responses • Provide a service to clients. The course also included a visit to Macquarie Park Cemetery and Crematorium, allowing students the opportunity to view the operations of a leading Australian cemetery and crematorium. We would like to thank Ross Davis, CEO, Macquarie Park Cemetery and Crematorium for making this visit possible. Successful completion of the course provides a credit to students towards a SIF30208 Certificate III in Gravedigging, Grounds and Maintenance and a SIF30108 Certificate III in Cemetery and Crematorium Operations. As the course was oversubscribed, two further courses are scheduled for 5 & 6 August and 16 & 17 September.

Safe Grave Techniques - TAFE NSW Course No 19441 TAFE NSW – Northern Sydney Institute is offering the above course for people employed as gravediggers or who perform work in related roles. The 3 day Safe Grave Techniques training includes two days of tuition and practical activities and one day of formal assessment. The next course is being held on 5 & 6 August with assessment on 1 September.

Next Quarterly Conference The next Quarterly Conference will be held on the Gold Coast on 11 and 12 November 2010. It is a combined conference with CCA and QCCA. We expect some 100 delegates and guest will attend this exciting event. Industry delegates from outside NSW and Queensland are most welcome. To register your interest, please contact Mary Reid, Secretary, CCA on

The Committee welcomed delegates with afternoon tea on Friday and began the business sessions with Cr Roberto Paino from Wangaratta Council to open the proceedings. Ephriam Finch then gave an insightful presentation on Jewish Burial Practices and gave delegates some interesting handouts. The General Meeting was then held with Rod Shell who chairs the Communications Focus Group launching the new CCAV website. Ken Manders, EO ACCA, enlightened the delegates with ACCA’s recent activities and future plans. Fiona Pitman and Helene Regan from the Department of Health made the trip along with Carol Buttigieg and Sarah Poon. Helene outlined the changes to the cemeteries and crematoria act with regards to the metropolitan re-structure. Fiona presented the fee guidelines for class B cemeteries. Dinner Friday night was held at the Wangaratta Performing Arts Centre designed by CCAV member Philip Harmer from Harmer Architecture. Delegates were entertained by the very talented Paris and a few took the chance to sing along with him! Saturday morning delegates were on the bus by 9am to travel down the road to the surprisingly large Wangaratta Cemetery where host Paul Moss-Holland gave a talk on the 24th battalion and how they have engaged the youth through the local high school to become connected to the cemetery through this program. Mason Park Funeral Home across the road hosted us for a delicious morning tea and Glenn Bouchier spoke on the Changing trends for funeral directors.

accanews winter10



Back on the bus and off to St Patrick Catholic Church where Monsignor John White entertained delegates with the changes he has seen in the Catholic funeral service. A short stroll to the Anglican Cathedral where Fr Michael O’Brien spoke on his experiences with ceremonies. After lunch delegates had further business sessions with Bertram Dias Me speaking on hindu burial practices and his experiences as a Sri Lankan Funeral Director. Jazz Butler from Fawkner Memorial Park (Greater Metropolitan Cemetery Trust) gave a fantastic presentation on the cemeteries guidelines for Islamic burial practices. Delegates were then fortunate enough to hear from Tanzen from Bendigo who spoke on Budhist practices. Some delegates including Rita Woolley were feeling a little queasy with the very detailed and somewhat colorful description of some of the traditional Tibetan Budhist practices. The last presentation of the day was from the North East Multicultural Association who support migrants in the community in times of need such as the death of a loved one. The Saturday night dinner was at the Wangaratta Racecourse with a special charity horse race which involved Terry Woolley and a broomstick. Saturday night was also a chance to celebrate Phil Walker’s 60th Birthday. At the CCAV Committee Meeting held on the 18th May two letters of thanks from Hon Daniel Andrews, Minister for Health, were received. Firstly, for the CCAV’s feedback on how the proposed Subordinate Legislation Amendment Bill 2009 will impact the industry. Secondly, for our support with the implementation of the Metropolitan re-structure process. The CCAV Committee of Management has received and regretfully accepted Peter Green’s resignation. We would like to acknowledge Peter Green’s work both in the wider cemetery industry and within CCAV itself. His commitment to CCAV was seen through his enthusiastic leadership of the Environmental Focus

Group which has produced a number of guidelines for our members. He was employed with the Southern Cemetery Trust and previously Cheltenham Regional Cemetery Trust. The Committee would like to wish Peter every success into the future. There is a training focus group to be set up with Glenn Solomano as the chair. The group will be developing a terms of reference but their goals will be around continuing to provide appropriate training programs for the industry and pushing for national accreditation of existing courses. ACCA have started a working party to brainstorm possible future models to incorporate the state associations to give greater political strength at a national level. Whilst CCAV support the idea in principal, the committee acknowledges there is a great deal of work to be done by CCAV and the working party to find the appropriate model to facilitate this and design a concept that works for all the states. An Ethnic Burial Practice Guide is being created based on the country conference presenters and will be released to members once it is compiled. There are currently regional information sessions occurring which have representatives from Department of Health, VMIA and the CCAV presenting. The Department is explaining the guidelines for cemetery fees applicable to Class B Cemeteries and also how the changes to the act will affect them. VMIA are presenting on policy cover, insurance claims and how they can assist with risk management. CCAV representatives will be updating those in attendance with current industry issues and benefits of membership. Anyone is welcome to attend these information sessions. The June General Meeting was held at Lilydale Cemetery with an informative update from the Department of Health presented by Megan O’Keefe. There are training courses coming up in regional Victoria so if you require further details please feel free to contact the CCAV Office

Darryl Thomas CCAV President 8

accanews winter10

Australian Funeral Directors Association (AFDA) Report

The 2010 AFDA National Convention at the Hyatt Coolum was a huge success and it was very heartening for me as President and for our Executive to have so many participants, and especially newcomers, join us this year. The feedback we have received has been extremely positive, particularly from those participating in an AFDA Convention for the first time. Many commented on how welcome they were made to feel and how beneficial they found our program.

AFDA President, John Scott

I think for everyone attending we all received a wealth of information about such various topics as Successful Internet Strategies from Debbie Mayo-Smith and from Vasuki Paul, The New Fair Work Act. Vasuki presented a very clear insight into Award Modernisation and the Act and how this impacts our businesses. This highlights one of the many benefits of belonging to the AFDA. Socially, the events were not only enjoyable but they provided great opportunities for interaction and networking, which is invaluable for all the delegates, as well as building and fostering a stronger community. The convention also saw the Master Funeral Director Award presented to our Junior Vice-President Darren Eddy. Congratulations Darren on achieving this honour, and for your ongoing contribution to the AFDA.

Two days after our National Convention finished, Suzette and I had the privilege of attending the Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand (FDANZ) National Convention in Fiji. I would like to sincerely thank the outgoing President Neil Little and his wife Angela for their hospitality and support to us, and I welcome incoming President Tony Garing. I look forward to working with Tony and his Executive over the next 12 months. On 1 April 2010 the AFDA launched our CPD program, which has been widely accepted by our Members and has generated a great deal of interest from the media. I have been asked, both during and since the Convention, to respond to this interest on behalf of the AFDA which again raises our Member profile and illustrates the importance of being a Member of the AFDA. This initiative is so important to promote and participate in, as it highlights the importance of continuing education and promotes professionalism in our ever-changing industry. We have a busy few months ahead as Premises, Equipment and Vehicle (PEV) inspections are being carried out, the 2010 AIE Conference is being held in Hobart, and we wrap up the 2009-2010 financial year.

John Scott National President

accanews winter10



The premier engineering

setting the standard

Narrow Access Spida Crane

Side Tipping Trailer

in crematoria design and systems Austeng’s skills in design and management of crematoria projects in partnership with our clients have earned us a reputation for excellence. The latest “Joule” and “Newton” cremators are fully computerised and packed with many unique and innovative features that sets the standard for cremators world wide.

Narrow Access Backhoe

Heavy Duty Trailer

In Co-operation with:


Our extensive involvement in the cemetry and crematoria industry mean that we understand the challenges. We also supply engineering solutions to the cemetry industry. Our current range of equipment includes: > Grave Shoring > Grave Covers > Grave side safety Fence > Transfer Trolleys > Mausoleum Shutter Handling and Transfer Van Modules

Licensee for Furnace Construction


accanews winter10


providers to the industry If you have an engineering problem, we are the answer Australian distributor for:

Owners of:

Modern Burial System

Resomation Ltd Resomation ... an alternative choice to cremation with environmental benefits

> Quicker and more efficient > Greater land utilisation > Safety advantages > Flexibility > Aesthetically pleasing > Long term advantages > Significantly increases revenue

The Modern Burial System is a new approach to interment that significantly increases cemetery revenue. Austeng can provide advice and an overall systems proposal that would best suit your cemetries circumstances.

quality innovation eco -aware Australian Engineering Solutions Pty Ltd Austeng 78-80 Douro Street, North Geelong, Vic, Australia 3215 Phone: 03 5278 2044 Fax: 03 5278 5176 Email: Website:

Providing engineering solutions to the cemetery and crematoria accanews industrywinter10


BOXHILL HISTORY Box Hill, sixteen kilometres east of Melbourne, is today a thriving business centre with extensive shopping facilities and a population that has become more diversified in recent years with an influence of residents from Asian countries.

The area was first settled in the later 1840’s and was predominantly a farming community, but with the advent of the railway service from Melbourne in 1882, it gradually became more residential in nature as orchards and market gardens were developed into housing estates. Box Hill was proclaimed a city in 1927. The first moves to establish a cemetery in the area were made in 1872 when seven local residents were appointed as trustees at a public meeting and an area of twelve acres set aside for use as a burial ground. A Government grant of £10 was received for the erection of a fence around the site. The first burial was that of a three week old child, Jessie Lavenia Smith, and this took place the day after the cemetery was officially gazetted on 29th August 1873. After the rail service had been extended from Camberwell to Lilydale in 1882, an additional area of 1.2 hectares was added between the existing site and the railway line. This small section has always been referred to in cemetery records as the “New Survey”. The first internal roadways were constructed in 1874 and these were thrifty-three feet wide. The earliest scale of fees were set out in May 1875 and the sexton was instructed to meet funerals at the front gate and collect the fees before allowing entry into the cemetery as they wanted no bad debts.


accanews winter10

Until 1979 the main entrance to the cemetery was from Whitehorse Road via an attractive tree lined drive. The fine entrance gates and former office building and public shelters inside the gates at Whitehorse Road still stand today, but are no longer part of the cemetery. It was customary for mourners to walk behind the funeral cars along the drive and across the railway line into the cemetery proper through a large imposing archway built in 1923 to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the cemetery. The main entrance was relocated to Middleborough Road in 1979 to obviate the need for funeral cars to cross the rail tracks. Early records state that application was made by trustees for a foot bridge over the railway line for the safety of pedestrians – there were three trains a day. A wooden bridge was erected and in spite of a move in 1890 to remove it, the bridge remained until the line was electrified in the early 1920’s.

A dominant feature within the grounds of the cemetery border is the Columbarium built in 1929 as a repository for ashes. This was designed by architects Rodney Aslop and Bramwell Smith and built by T. J. Crabb. It is listed on the register of Heritage Victoria. Constructed in the form of a Greek cross, the structure is surmounted by a central octagonal tower with copper dome. Externally, the building has a distinctive Mediterranean flavour with its red Spanish tiled roof, buff walls and well proportioned arched entrance porch. At the time of its construction, the tower and dome was considered to be one of only a few examples of its type, probably the best known one being on the Little Metropoli Cathedral in Athens.

Another of the cemetery’s historic assets is the large bell that is rung each day shortly before the closing of the gates at 5.00 p.m. to allow sufficient time for visitors to leave the cemetery. This bell, given to the cemetery in 1927 was previously used at the Box Hill Fire Station to alert volunteer fire fighters to a fire emergency in the area. The bell was manufactured in Manchester, England in 1886 and its sound can be heard well beyond the confines of the cemetery. It is regarded by nearby residents today as a local icon. In 1934 the cemetery was further extended with the addition of seventeen acres adjoining which had previously been used as a recreational reserve. The local council agreed to transfer this site to the cemetery for £7,000 which was used to establish a sports ground nearby. This transaction brought the cemetery to its present size of thirty-one acres. With little scope for the provision of any new burial sites, the cemetery was officially closed in 1984 and the trust therefore embarked on a project of building a mausoleum complex on a staged development basis. The first section with provision of 130 crypts was completed in 2003. The building was funded by public subscription through the sale of crypts on a pre need basis and was fully paid for on completion. Sales exceeded all expectations, and a second stage was

added in 2005 providing an additional 216 crypts. These buildings although independent of each other are linked at the roof line. They incorporate elements of the Californian Bungalow style of architecture, and crypts are faced with imported granite shutters. They were built by Milne Construction Co. The Trust proposes to add a third and final section in the near future that will provide an additional 528 crypts on six levels. This will generate funds to cover the long term sustainability of the cemetery. It is anticipated that the project will be completed in 2012. Much of the outdated infrastructure within the cemetery has been replaced in recent years. A more functional works depot with upgraded storage facilities was provided in 2007 and on 1st May of this year a new administration and staff amenities centre was officially opened by Councillor Helen Harris, OAM, City of Whitehorse. In conjunction with this occasion a rose garden established in front of the building was formally dedicated. Each of the three rose beds are named after past trustees. The Aspinall bed is named after Joseph Aspinall, pioneer settler and one of the original trustees. The Whitney bed is named after Jeanne Whitney, first female trustee and the Parer bed is named after Francis Parer, who was the longest serving Trustee of the cemetery. This rose garden provides 130 sites for the memoralisation of cremated remains, with

plaques fixed to polished granite desks. Box Hill Cemetery is the final resting place of several prominent citizens of bygone days. Among them are Sidney Myer and William Angliss, business men and philanthropists, C. J. Dennis, poet, Eduard Borovansky who established the Borovansky Australian Ballet Company, Lex Davison, racing driver, H. C. Sleigh, shipping magnate and founder of the Golden Fleece Petroleum Company, Robert Campbell Edwards, tea and coffee merchant, Joy (Hester) Smith, artist and Jane Sutherland, Box Hill Artists Camp. The Cemetery is currently governed by its own trustees as a Class B Cemetery Trust under the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2003, but the outdoor operations including burials and ground maintenance were outsourced to Lilydale Memorial Park and Crematorium in 2008 under a contract agreement.

E. L. Collyer

accanews winter10


Perth’s first

Natural Burial Areas launched

Providing a new choice for the environmentally conscious within metropolitan Perth, the Metropolitan Cemeteries Board (MCB) launched its first natural burial areas at Fremantle Cemetery and Rockingham Regional Memorial Park on March 31 2010.

Natural burials at Fremantle Cemetery are located within an elevated grove that overlooks the cemetery’s splendid bush land gully. Bordered by traditional burial locations, this unique pocket of bushland will be progressively vegetated with natural plant species as plots are utilised.

Officially launched by the Hon. John Castrilli, Minister for Local Government at Fremantle Cemetery, the natural burial areas are a departure from the granite headstones and manicured grounds of the conventional cemetery.

Rockingham Regional Memorial Park is Perth’s newest cemetery and provides a natural clear field upon which the first natural burial area will be established. As plots are utilised, a bustling native bush land environment; an ideal habitat for native flora and fauna, will be progressively established.

In response to the shift towards natural burials with minimal environmental impact as an evolving global trend, the new burial areas are being trialled at present and, if popular, may very well be indicative of the way in which Perth cemeteries develop burial areas in the future With a natural burial, the body is returned to nature in a biodegradable coffin or shroud made from natural fibres. So as to ensure a pure basis for new ecological life, the use of preparatory chemicals is strictly prohibited as is the placement of artificial tributes or commemorative items. Graves remain unmarked and no monumental work is permitted within these designated natural areas.


accanews winter10

Cemeteries Board Deputy Chairperson, Jean Hobson, made the following comments. “With the global ecological trend seemingly spearheading a return to the back to basics way of life, there is a possibility that the natural burial option could, over time, become the standard burial preference for those in metropolitan Perth”. She continued. “Natural burials provide families with a new option and the ability to express their preferences at a time when personalisation through commemoration is of great importance”.

Any enquiries regarding natural burials can be directed to Fremantle Cemetery on 1300 793 109 or alternatively via email to

OH&S EARTH CONTACT BURIALS Federal and State OH&S Laws exist throughout Australia to ensure that regardless of size, all businesses are required to protect the Health and Safety of their employees and visitors to their workplaces. Norwalk Concrete Burial Systems have been designing and manufacturing pre-cast concrete burial products in Australia since 1974. Their latest product, the Norwalk One Piece Earth Liner (OPEL), is designed with the input and co-operation of the Industry to meet the needs of Cemeteries and the bereaved.

EARTH CONTACT BURIALS In cemeteries, there is the obvious potential for cave-ins or collapses when preparing a site for burial. The situation is further complicated in the case of earth contact burials where members of the mourning party stand close to the edge of the open grave or descend into the grave as a part of their tradition for the interment of their loved one.

The OPEL is designed to provide a safe workplace for staff and mourners, whilst also addressing the requirements of earth contact burials. The OPEL is manufactured from pre-cast concrete so it is stronger and safer than earth contact burial systems which use wood shoring or metal liners to try to secure a traditional open earth grave prior to interment. It will accommodate three earth contact burials and has inbuilt ledges cast into the walls to securely support a purpose built aluminium step ladder for safe grave access and also to support each interment covering.

RECLAIMING UNSTABLE LAND The OPEL’s design makes it ideally suited for use in areas of reclaimed or filled ground transforming it into a usable and attractive lawn burial area. The OPEL will support the weight of lawn maintenance equipment as well as suitable memorialisation. Concrete lids are installed to support the earth and lawn

cover. These are designed for removal just before the service and replaced immediately after its conclusion without the need of expensive capital equipment, to maintain a safe and tidy lawn grave. For both applications, sites can be established pre-need, with up to 3,800 OPEL units being installed per hectare or singularly, where only a single plot is required. The Norwalk OPEL gives Cemetery Trusts a safe, efficient and inexpensive method of providing earth contact burials for their clients while meeting all the current State and Federal Government OH&S regulations.

OPEL - the one piece earth contact burial system that ticks all the boxes


he One Piece Earth Liner (OPEL) provides a safe workplace for both your staff and those who require a traditional earth contact burial where relatives are required to descend into the grave to place the deceased (usually without a casket). OPEL permits a faith respecting interment for Muslim & other earth contact burials Allows for pre-need planning Reclaims your unstable land Does not require specialised capital equipment Provides a safe workplace for your staff & clients Reduces on-going maintenance costs Supports monumental masonry Supports maintenance equipment The structural integrity of each OPEL makes it the perfect choice for reclaimed or filled ground as each unit is standalone. This makes it both individually and integrally stronger than other earth contact burial systems and is guaranteed

✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓

to give you unlimited access at all times in all seasons. Using much less space than other methods, the OPEL maximises your available area, giving you up to 3,800 units/hectare and each unit has the potential of triple interment. Contact Norwalk on the numbers below to find out how the OPEL One Piece Earth Liner will give you a safe, efficient & inexpensive method of providing earth contact burials for your clients.


97 1 e c n i S 47 Highlands Road, Seymour, Victoria, 3660

P R E - C A S T



(PO Box 595, Seymour, Victoria, 3661) T: 03 5799 0650 F: 03 5799 0651 E: accanews winter10 15

A living memorial Sydney Natural Burial Park, Kemps Creek Since the 1990s, natural burials have become increasingly popular overseas and are expected to become even more common here in Australia. To cater for this increasing demand for environmentally friendly burials, the Catholic Cemeteries & Crematoria have established a natural burial area at Kemps Creek. CEO of the Catholic Cemeteries Board, Michael McMahon said, “The aim is to return the body to the earth in a way that allows the body to recycle naturally and does not inhibit decomposition, making it more sensitive to nature“. This unspoiled natural burial park is the first of its kind in Sydney, with an abundance of birdlife and is fittingly named St Francis Field. The burial area will become the resting place of up to 300 bodies. The Right of Burial in St Francis Field is granted for 30 years, and can be renewed on expiry. The New South Wales, Minister for Lands, the Hon. Tony Kelly said there was an emerging need for more environmentally-friendly interment options,


accanews winter10

than traditional burials or cremation. “In this way, the St Francis Field will become a sustainable burial ground for Sydneysiders for generations to come” he said.

The field will be minimally maintained to encourage growth, protect trees, wildlife and wildflower seeds, and the use of horticulture chemicals avoided, creating a rich and self sustaining eco-system.

To ensure that the habitat is kept as natural as possible and in harmony with nature, the body (or cremated remains) are to be prepared without chemical preservatives. The use of materials from natural fibres and a biodegradable coffin will also allow the human remains to return to the earth organically.

A simple wooden pavilion enables families to conduct a memorial service or simply contemplate the tranquillity of the bushland sanctuary.

A central memorial feature in sandstone at the entrance to the field records the names of those interred and provides a place for reflection for families. Formal headstones or artificial wreathes and tributes are not permitted. Floral tributes can be placed at the grave for the purpose of the funeral service only and will later be removed. The planting of bulbs, plants or flowers etc are not allowed. Although graves remain unmarked, each grave is mapped and surveyed using GPS technology to accurately record locations.

Natural burial graves are intended for two burials and include inscription upon a communal memorial. Grave spaces may be purchased in advance but will be allocated by the cemetery. St Francis Field is an undisturbed place of rest - a living memorial to those buried, a home for native flora and fauna, and a beautiful place for family and friends to visit, a perfect completion to the “circle of life”. For further information or brochures on the Sydney Natural Burial Park, please contact the Catholic Cemeteries and Crematoria on – Phone (02) 9649 6423

accanews winter10



Welcome to Print-A-Plate, the new name plate system, which completes ALL sizes of coffin name plates and plates used on grave markers in seconds. There are NO set-up costs at all, all you need is a basic PC and a laser printer, we will supply the rest. When comparing the Print-A-Plate system to existing method of completing plates please bare in mind:

The Grim Eater:

fake mourner took doggie bag to funerals 17 Park Road Oakleigh Victoria 3166 T: 03 9568 6999 F: 03 9568 1813 Email:

A New Zealand funeral home has stopped a fake mourner who was gatecrashing funerals, eating the food on offer and even taking home leftovers. The Dominion Post says the “Grim Eater” attended up to four funerals a week during March and April before Wellington’s Harbour City Funeral Home decided he had gone too far and stopped him. Director Danny Langstraat said the company eventually grew concerned enough to take a photograph of the man and distribute it to its branches.

Print-A-Plate is the fastest way of completing name plates in the world. l The choice you will have with this system as opposed to your existing system. l The ability to complete ALL sizes of plates without wasting time adjusting machine settings. l There is ABSOLUTLY no maintenance cost with the Print-A-Plate system. l These name plates are completely weather resistant, and have been tested outdoors for years. l The number of plates destroyed by engraving mistakes.With this system you can see the finished article on the computer screen before printing, so printing mistakes will no longer be an issue. l

The man, thought to be aged in his 40s, went to different churches and venues around the eastern suburbs, including Miramar, Rongotai and Kilbirnie. Mr Langstraat said the man was respectably dressed and did not look like someone who lived on the streets. But he did suggest the man could have had mental health issues, as he was not discreet about taking the food.

For further information or to organize a promotional CD to be forwarded to you please call The Minter Group

GRAVE SHORING SYSTEMS Customised solutions for your industry

Panels are very light, approximately 30kgs each. The standard panels are 2400mm long x 600mm high x 40mm thick of structural grade aluminium, painted green or any colour on request. Other sizes are available. Panels can be handled manually or by small machinery often used within cemeteries. Base panels come with 600mm high legs in the corners to save damaging the coffins on removal of the shoring system. Ideal for use in sandy soil, panels can have built in or clip on edges. Lifting lugs on all panels. Panels can be stacked 4 high to a depth of 3000mm. Spreader bars, either screw jack adjustable or fixed length. Spreader bars double as a ladder for entering and exiting the excavation. Also available, extendable (lengthways) shield for monuments. Lite Guard are specialist aluminium fabricators of ground support and shielding systems. Lite Guard can manufacture to your individual designs or requirements. We can fabricate whatever you require.

Other products are: q Safety lids for open graves ,mesh or solid aluminium. Can be lockable and attach to the decking and shoring q Hand rails to meet the falling from heights regulations (if grave is 2000mm deep) q Checker plate flooring systems for around grave sites

q End closure panels q Monument stabiliser

We also supply synthetic grass All our products meet the Australian, USA, British and European standards


accanews winter10

Phone: +613 8768 8670 Fax: +613 8768 8671 P.O. Box 428 Hampton Park, VICTORIA 3976 Web: Email:

Adelaide Cemeteries

Robert Pitt Adelaide Cemeteries Authority appoints experienced cemetery manager as Chief Executive Officer The Adelaide Cemeteries Authority has appointed Robert Pitt as its new Chief Executive Officer. As former Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Centennial Park, Robert brings extensive cemetery management and industry experience to the Authority. Robert will lead the strategic development of the Authority’s business in providing sustainable, innovative and sensitive cemetery services and facilities to the community. He will also lead the management of the Authority’s operations and relationships with clients and key stakeholders. Robert is very familiar with cemetery management and the funeral industry, his recent work including cemetery planning in South Australia and the Northern Territory. He has held senior roles in local government and has extensive risk management experience, previously involved in safety coordination and management for major events such as the 2009 Royal Adelaide Show and the Big Day Out. Robert also has a Master of Business Administration, a Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Diploma of Horticulture.

West Terrace Cemetery comes to life

New Cemetery Memorial

West Terrace Cemetery was brought to life by a mixture of professional performers and emerging artists on Sunday 30 May as part of SA History Week.

Minister for Urban Development & Planning Paul Holloway officially opened the Caroline Clark Memorial Garden to honour people buried in unmarked graves at West Terrace Cemetery on Friday 2 July 2010.

Between 10am and 12 noon volunteer tour guides lead over 160 people through the cemetery to meet some of South Australia’s prominent figures and early pioneers. Among the personalities visitors encountered were international composer Percy Grainger, ballet dancer Madeline Parker, and explorer James Frew. The youngest performer, eight year old Martha Chew, portrayed young Elizabeth Beare, said to be the first white female to step foot on South Australian soil. At the end of the tour visitors were given an opportunity to sample some of the Menz family’s iconic confectionary, the FruChoc and Crown Mint, thanks to generous sponsorship from Robern Menz. This co-production between the Adelaide Cemeteries Authority and theatre company, Various People, was an outstanding success.

The new memorial provides families, in many cases several generations removed, who feel the lack of a place to visit and want to honour the memory of their ancestors, the opportunity to purchase and place a lasting tribute. The fusion of contemporary design, natural materials and native planting has provided a shaded, beautifully landscaped area for loved ones to visit, contemplate and remember. The memorial is named in honour of philanthropist and reformer, Caroline Emily Clark (1825 –1911), for her selfless contribution to the plight of destitute children. In line with the Authority Board’s continued commitment to the conservation and acknowledgement of West Terrace Cemetery’s history, the Minister also unveiled the first in a series of interpretive markers that celebrate the heritage of the historic cemetery and the state. The Authority encourages families with connections to West Terrace Cemetery that wish to create a permanent memorial for their ancestors buried in unmarked graves to contact them on 8139 7400.

accanews winter10


acca Mid Year Seminar Gold Coast 2010 “A Winning Attitude” & “Creating Inspirational Teams” ACCA’s Eighth Annual Mid Year Seminar was held in the Gold Coast from the 27th to the 28th May 2010 and was structured as a workshop dealing with Team Work. 43 delegates gathered at the Sheraton Mirage Ballroom early on Thursday morning eager to start the day’s proceedings. The seminar opened with President Brendan O’Connor welcoming all board members and attendees. To officially welcome everyone to Gold Coast, Brendan introduced the first speaker of the day Rob Luscombe. Rob began working in the funeral industry in 1986 in Victoria as a funeral director and embalmer. In 1999 he moved to sunny Queensland to continue his career in the funeral industry managing a cemetery, crematoria and funeral home. In 2004 he was invited to take up a position with the then Maroochy Shire Council as the Cemeteries Operations Supervisor and later the amalgamated Sunshine Coast Regional Council as the Cemetery Services Manager. Joining the Queensland Cemeteries and Crematoria Association in 2000, Rob had a short apprenticeship before taking on the Presidents role in 2001 a role which he still holds today. After the official welcome, the MC for the event Karen Hinrichsen, Manager of Toowoomba Garden of Remembrance firstly acknowledged the presence of two of our Corporate Partners Lyn Davis from Arrow Bronze and Joe Campbell from Phoenix Foundry. She then introduced the facilitator of the Thursday workshop, Eric Bailey. Eric is one of the world’s foremost speakers on the subject of motivation and vision. Drawing on successful careers in professional sport, executive management, sales, and as a husband and father, Eric is the spark that can ignite the burning passion that dwells in each of us. He draws on his unique life experiences and a wealth of knowledge in the field of personal and organizational excellence to create powerful and inspiring keynotes that leave audiences in awe. With presence and personality, he commands a room like few can.

The workshop allowed delegates to discuss different areas of team work, providing participants with different strategies to meet challenges head on, think outside the box, adapt to change, and cultivate passion in everything you do. Eric was a fantastic facilitator making sure everyone was involved in group activities and allowing attendees to express their thoughts and ideas. Overall, Eric gave a very professional and uplifting presentation and one which gave our delegates much to think about and hopefully put into practice back in their workplaces. Lyn Davis, Managing Director of Arrow Bonze concluded the first day with an Arrow Bronze Update. After a very full day of work-shopping the delegates retreated to their rooms to prepare for the Seminar Dinner. The chosen venue for this year’s dinner was the Horizon’s room at the Sheraton Mirage. Excellent food and wine with breathtaking views of the Hotel’s outdoor area made this evening a memorable one for all delegates. On the following day, delegates took part of a half day workshop facilitated by Vicki Bennett. Vicki is a well renowned keynote speaker, corporate trainer, life strategist, management consultant, author, and mentor. She has delivered workshops and keynote speeches on customer service, effective communication, achieving outcomes, leadership and building effective teams to hundreds of companies. Her presentation was fresh and thoughtprovoking and left the audience with practical and user-friendly knowledge and skills to take back to the workplace to share with their teams. The workshop concluded by lunchtime and delegates then proceeded to Allambie Memorial Park for a tour. The group had a lovely time and saw everything the Park had to offer. In addition, the delegates were treated to superb hospitality with lunch generously provided by Allambie Memorial Park. Once everyone was back at work, an evaluation form was sent to all delegates. The response was fantastic, some even commenting that Eric was the best speaker to date. Overall, the 2010 Mid Year Seminar was a great success!


accanews winter10

accanews winter10


2010 Conference Sponsors ACCA expresses sincere appreciation to the following organisations that have committed to sponsoring this year’s conference in Fremantle – ACCA 2010 – Our Changing Landscape

Trade Exhibition ACCA is delighted to have the following companies represented at this year’s Trade Exhibition.

Arrow Bronze Austeng AEC Systems Florence Jaquet, Landscape Architect Lite Guard Milne Construction Australia Pty Ltd Phoenix Foundry Photo Tiles


accanews winter10


Champagne Dog H

The Aquatica BIO

Embrace Green Photo BIO

The Journey Keepsake Navy BIO

Simplicity Wood Grain BIO

Unity Wood Grain S BIO

Cocoa Teddy Bear H

Chest BIO

Embrace Maroon Photo BIO

Purity BIO

Unity S BIO

Unity Wood Grain M BIO

Comfort Club & Gold Locket H

Cocoa Teddy Bear Wings H

Embrace Autumn Leaves S BIO

The Journey Natural BIO

Reflect BIO

Unity M BIO

Unity Wood Grain L BIO

Embrace Autumn Leaves Me BIO

The Journey Keepsake Natural BIO

Shell BIO

Unity L BIO

Crucifix Stand Redwood 13", 10", 7", 4"

Snow Angel H

Huggable Cat H

Embrace Autumn Leaves L BIO

The Journey Aqua BIO

Shell BIO

Unity Pastel S BIO

Crucifix Stand Maple 13", 10", 7", 4"

Embrace Floral Bouquet BIO

The Journey Keepsake Aqua BIO

Shell BIO

Unity Pastel M BIO

Crucifix Stand Walnut 13", 10", 7", 4"

Snow Angel Wings H

Embrace White Hemp BIO

The Journey Navy BIO

Simplicity BIO

Unity Pastel L BIO

Crucifix Stand White 13", 10", 7", 4"

ALL HUGGABLE TEDDYS AVAILABLE WITH PINK, BLUE OR WHITE WINGS OR RIBBONS H = Huggable BIO = Biodegradable C = CloisonnĂŠ * = Other colours available

The Minter Group of Companies 17 Park Road Oakleigh Victoria 3166

T: 03 9568 6999 F: 03 9568 1813 Email: accanews winter10 23

Power by Teamwork

An article by Lyn Davis

Our Mission Statement is simply “Total Customer Satisfaction - doing whatever is necessary”.

We all have learned about the importance of teamwork within your organisation. The ACCA mid year seminar was no exception in highlighting what good teamwork can do in motivating staff and driving excellence in the business.

We classify ourselves as a Customer Service focussed company and we pride ourselves by ensuring that our customers get what they need on time and within their specification.

What many of us often forget is just how much we rely on our suppliers to help achieve our aims. At times we might take for granted the products that they supply, how they came about and the service provided to ensure success.

If not, we fix it without question. Within our team we encourage empathy for our clients asking them to put themselves in our client’s shoes knowing that an incorrect or late plaque can cause unwarranted grief for families.

I would like to take this opportunity to outline at Arrow how important team work is with our clients and some of the things we do to promote that relationship. Firstly, we are forever grateful for the custom that our customers afford us. From the foundry labourer right up to the Managing Director we all appreciate your support and loyalty. We all acknowledge that it is in our interests never to take this support for granted and to do the best we can to help our clients satisfy their needs and achieve their aspirations. In a customer supplier relationship, teamwork is a mutual desire to develop and provide products and services that benefit both organisations. Arrow’s relationship with its customers is longstanding and built on that good mutual understanding of each other’s aims and objectives. Working together we can help our clients achieve their fiscal and community service goals. In a world where ever increasing demands are placed on cemeteries and crematoria in memorial personalisation, site presentation and ease of doing business, cost effective solutions from your suppliers must be paramount to success. There are very few products that can boast that they will last a life time. An Arrow bronze plaque is one such product and its unique longevity is enhanced by Diamond ShieldTM Finish. Right from the start our clients have a product that they can trust with service to back it up.


accanews winter10

For Arrow, success enables us to perpetuate the cycle of providing those solutions with close consultation with the industry. Importantly our business remains healthy enabling us to: • Attract and make a fair return on the investment made by our shareholders in our modern state of the art manufacturing facilities and ongoing capital improvements. • Devote resources to product development by exploring new designs and researching local and overseas markets. • Provide exceptional customer service with on site representation, staff coaching, relevant information, quality advice and helpful e-technology. • Afford Industry support of ACCA, State associations, AFDA and other industry related Associations through sponsorship, thus assisting our clients in training and networking. So what are the key factors upon which Arrow concentrates to underpin teamwork with our clients?

We foster a preparedness and unreserved willingness to support by drawing on the vast experience we have with long term and qualified employees supplemented by ready access to our international resources. We strive for best product quality by adhering to a strict manufacturing specification within the guidance of Australian Standards. We have a multipoint quality checking system and we only use quality materials. We coat our products with our internationally renowned Diamond ShieldTM Finish for the most durable protection of the beautiful warm lustre of polished bronze. Importantly, we measure our performance and are always looking to improve. We follow the orders through our factory with due dates for every stage of manufacture to expedite our delivery goals. We measure delivery performance as a whole and by customer. We continue to develop a wide range of options in products, accessories and services based on needs and feedback from our customers. Our range of products is comprehensive with variations in sculptured designs, size, shape, colours, borders, motifs, vases plus accessories including urns. Lasting Memories TM - our plaques with fine bas relief replication of photographic images is a quantum leap in product quality and personalisation – beware of imitations.

Arrow has always been at the forefront of assisting our clients with displays. Under the adage, “What you show is what you can sell” we encourage improved sales by providing appropriate samples and literature, promoting “Good Better Best” options and in some cases display design ideas. We pride ourselves in the overall development of services for the industry.

ArrowScript our state of the art customer based plaque design package was first built in 1995 and has continuously been enhanced over the ensuing years. It is now the most advanced, powerful web based, windows compatible, user friendly and versatile customer service tool available to the industry today. It can be tailored to suit the products and services of individual cemeteries and crematoria.

Our range of product support material covers both generic and in particular specific where a client wishes to promote a certain size without the obvious distraction to lower cost or smaller product. Plaque brochures have been supplemented with publications such as our pioneering Sales Guide, urns, accessories, plaque maintenance and also a booklet with comprehensive verse examples.

Arrow again was first to develop and release an On Line Order Checking system, linked directly and live to our data base so that customers can check on order status, order details, invoices and sales history. So whilst this article may seem like a huge advertisement for Arrow, it is however, an honest and relevant example of how a supplier can be a significant contributor to your team. Arrow will continue to innovate and service the industry. We are a dedicated wholesaler to the industry and we will always be willing, proud and privileged to be a team player in the promotion and sale of memorialisation.

Arrow was first to introduce a CD based Emblem Browser with a search function to find suitable emblems from our vast library of motifs and badges.

Arrow’s website, again developed many years ago was the first to provide a powerful information resource. It is full of information to enable our clients to seek answers or even direct their clients to seek answers on what is bronze, why memorialise, what sorts of memorials are available, and answers to the many FAQ’s that we have received. It also provides a secure access for our customers for information on more sensitive commercial issues and protects the goodwill that cemeteries and crematoria have in the promotion and sale of memorialisation.

accanews winter10


Allambe Memorial Park Vaults into New Family Concept

The Gold Coast’s Allambe Memorial Park has become the first in the region to develop family vaults for traditional above ground entombment. Two of the three recently completed family vaults have already been acquired by local families, indicative of the strong level of interest that exists around the new memorial option. “Allambe Memorial Park made the decision to construct these family vaults in response to popular demand for culturally appropriate memorials,” said Amandha Scott, Family Service Manager. “This is a completely unique opportunity and it has never been done before on the Gold Coast.” Vault, from the Italian volta, is an architectural term for the covering over of a space with brick or stone in arched form to create a ceiling or roof. The earliest known historical example of a vault was uncovered at Nippur in Babylonia, and has been dated to approximately 4000 BCE. Vaults are most often utilised by people of faiths or ethnic backgrounds where it is traditional to have the deceased interred above ground, such as Roman Catholicism.


accanews winter10

With 23% of Gold Coast residents identifying themselves as Catholic, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the appeal of the new Gold Coast family vaults is understandable. Often it is first generation Australians, the children of migrants, who are particularly determined to preserve ethnic or religious traditions such as the entombment of their ancestors in vaults or crypts, thereby retaining the culture of their birthplace while also embracing the new. “Allambe Memorial Park’s family vaults have polished granite floors and bronze doors, and are fully lockable with each family member provided with their own set of keys. There’s even a chapel inside with an eternal light, powered by a solar panel,” said Amandha Scott. Each vault has the capacity for up to six entombments and in line with tradition, families are able to personalise the interior of the fault with vases, religious statuary and photos, and decorate the exterior with gold embellishments and custom wording. The quality of the vaults’ design and finish is unequalled in Queensland. Two are clad in red and white granite, with the third in red and black granite.

“Allambe Memorial Park strives to cater for people from all religions and cultural backgrounds,” said Amandha Scott. “This new development is all about meeting the needs of Gold Coast families. Some wish to keep the family unit intact when family members pass away, and these vaults allow people to do exactly that, and in quite an elaborate fashion.” Given that Australia’s overseas-born population increased in number by 13% between 1996 and 2006, and Italy was ranked in the top 10 overseas birthplaces for Gold Coast residents as of the last census, local demand for vaults and crypts is expected to remain on the rise. In addition to the new family vaults, Allambe Memorial Park offers memorial options including lawn sites, granite headstones, garden and niche cremation memorials and an extensive range of above ground crypts adorned with bronze plaques, vases and lights. The three existing family vaults are located high on the hill with sweeping views of the Hinterland, and Allambe Memorial Park has plans to construct additional family vaults to meet the Gold Coast community’s needs.



Jewellery Urns FREE office and consumer catalogues available now on request NO minimum order

A beautiful and intimate way to pay tribute to a life lived

Quality Handcrafted Jewellery Available in Sterling Silver or 14ct Gold View our full catalogue at or call 0403 202 430 with any enquiries

accanews winter10


Tianshou Cemetery

Tianshou Cemetery is located in the west of Nankou Township of Changping District which was created as a legal operating memorial park approved by the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Civil Affairs in 1997. It is hard to believe that the cemetery is no more than 14 years old. The overall size of the cemetery is unknown but the expansive grounds were manicured and extremely well presented. There were many examples of a diverse range of memorials that included the common offering of a position where a small underground concrete vault is covered by a granite monument. The park like setting also provides the opportunity for statues and other works of art to be dotted around to give a very peaceful and tranquil environment. It was of interest that the families can have a “service� at the cemetery where the urn holding cremated remains is placed into a special transportation box with four official pall bearers. The remains are ceremonially carried out to the interment site and then laid to rest.

Beijing All Buddha Cemetery 28

accanews winter10



Beijing All Buddha Cemetery (A B Cemetery) is a large scale funeral business enterprise created by the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the Beijing Municipal Government. The cemetery is a garden-style cemetery which combines the functions of funeral commemoration, tourism and cultural display. The cemetery covers an area of approximately 260 hectares (657 acres) and has over 100 employees. The cemetery grounds cover a vast area including steep hills sides. A beautiful setting has been provided to memorialise the deceased that compliments the hillsides making the most of the geographical features available. While it is a delight to see that cemeteries can be a feature even on steep hillsides the challenge of zoning requirements would lead to such opportunities being limited within our own environment.

The remains can then be gathered up. There was no opportunity provided to go further behind the scenes to view the “real working area” of the crematorium. Suffice to say that while the visit was occurring so too were cremations; however there was no evidence of smoke plumes in the air.

The complex has 19 farewell rooms and 15 cremators as well as 38 funeral vehicles. We were shown an area where there were four witness of charging cremators. These cremators are slightly different in design to those utilised in Australia. The coffin is placed on the insertion device which also doubles as the floor of the cremator. In this way the coffin and floor are inserted into the cremator and, once the cremation is complete, retracts back out. A hood then comes down over the remains to cool them.

The interaction with the families can be conducted over the telephone, through face to face negotiations and full guided services provided by trained staff. It was also pointed out that the funeral home had 32 funeral service stations in the areas hospitals that provided advisory and booking services.

The facility is reported to stand on an area comprising 70,700 square metres with total building area of just less than 30,000 square metres. The total number of employees was reported to be in excess of 200.

Babaoshan Funeral Home

Babaoshan Funeral Home was founded in 1958. It is a large funeral service organisation established by the Beijing municipal government. The facility provides funeral services for state leaders, military and political leaders, social celebrities as well as the general public. The services offered include body transportation, cold storage, body preparation and presentation, farewell services, cremation and ashes placement services. The number of funeral services performed was in the order of 20,000 per annum.

Due to the sheer volume of services provided the whole process does take on a ‘production line” appearance making it a somewhat impersonal service.

accanews winter10


Longhou Funeral Parlor - Shanghai

The Longhou Funeral Parlor is an impressive array of buildings and organisational efficiency. This is a necessity considering the facility handles over 25,000 funeral services per annum. Unlike the Babaoshan Funeral Home in Beijing the Longhou facility does not have cremators on site. Upon investigation it was identified that the crematorium was some 15 minutes travel time away. Should a family wish to witness the insertion the cortege would follow the hearse to the crematorium once the service had been performed at the parlor. The facility had many “chapels” of varying sizes, negotiating rooms a sales area where funeral clothing for the deceased could be purchased as well as a coffin and urn selection area. Interestingly the dearest urn that was on display was prices at 32,398 yuan which, at an exchange rate of 5.6 to the AUD, is the equivalent of $5,785. The facility had a florist shop as part of the facility and a restaurant where receptions could be held. The facility also has a museum on the fifth floor of part of the building that is a record of the evolution of the funeral industry in Shanghai since the Second World War. The following is an extract from a history book all delegates were presented with: “After the liberation of Shanghai, the Health Bureau of Shanghai people’s government took over the old funeral administration of health bureau and began to transform the funeral system. Firstly, private operation funeral industry was alteration by socialism. Through public-private joint management, the ownership was transformed. Secondly, the funeral industry transferred the relationship of administration from health bureau to Civil Affairs Bureau.

Thirdly, rectified the funeral corporation, completed the regulation of funeral and interment, and enhanced the administration of the funeral industry. From July 1949 to the end of 1954, after several years of hard working, 100,000 coffins, 240,000 above ground coffins and 130,000 unburied corpses were cleaned up in Shanghai. From mid-1950’s to mid 1960’s, a massive propaganda for promoting cremation was launched ........ prior to the cultural revolution, Shanghai became the city with the highest cremation rate in whole country. At the same time Shanghai reformed the funeral custom with great efforts, abolished many old backward custom, promoted to replace coffin burial with cremation, replace burning incense and candle with flower and wax fruit, replace wearing mourning apparel with wearing black armband and yellow flower, replace kneeling down and kowtow with mourning in silence and bow, replace old funeral ritual with memorial meeting. During the Cultural Revolution, the funeral administration was abolished and replaced by insurrectionists’ “fight, criticise, reform” group. Under the slogan of “destroy four olds”, most of Shanghai’s funeral facilities were destroyed, most of the cemeteries were under military control. All corpse burial were replaced by cremation, all funeral custom and practice thought to be old were forbidden. The history book goes on to identify that it was not until the mid-1980s that further reform allowed the rebuilding and forming of new cemeteries to accommodate the interment of ashes. In truth most of the current practices, funeral buildings and cemeteries have developed since the mid-1990s representing a relatively young industry.

Unfortunately due to time constraints it was not possible to see the whole facility; however, what was seen clearly demonstrates that visits to Australia and America have allowed the managers to think more laterally in their cemetery design and their memorialisation options. During our visit we were present at the official opening of the Shanghai Humanism Memorial Museum. This impressive structure is divided into three floors, consisting of a comprehensive


accanews winter10

pavilion, old movies cinema, study of celebrities, coffee bar and meditation rooms. Upon inquiry it was revealed that the whole structure took eight months to construct, again an impressive feat compared to equivalent construction times in Australia. The importance of the Australian visitors to the opening was highlighted by the fact that we were afforded a personal tour of the facility by the General Manager Mr Wang Jisheng, who was justifiably proud of the museum. There is no doubt that wide open spaces, water, sculptured gardens with artworks and statues dotted throughout a parklike environment offers a setting that can not only be pleasing to the senses but a calming influence to all visitors.

Fu Shou Yuan Cemetery

Fu Shou Yuan Cemetery is an impressive facility that is spread over 550 hectares! Established in 1995 the grounds are immaculate and show imagination and variety for the memorialisation of deceased.

Shanghai Yang Yi Gardens Engineering Co Ltd

The final organised visit was to the Shanghai Yang Yi Gardens Engineering Co Ltd who is a granite memorial fabricator as well as supplier to the cemetery industry of many of the monuments seen throughout our visit. There is no doubt that the spread of various options for monuments and columbarium features gives plenty of ideas that can be incorporated into cemeteries and memorial parks in Australia. Given that a significant amount of the memorial fabrication we see in Australia is done in China and imported it is also an experience to visit such a fabricator first hand. Importation contacts of this kind could prove beneficial in the longer term.

accanews winter10


Axiom Business Systems Sales Lead Management (CRM)

Web & Palm Pilot

Accounting & Financials

Touch Screen Kiosk

Countless cemetery software needs. One integrated system.

(+613) 8740 0046 Cemetery Records

Property Mapping

Point of Sale

“Honouring Their Unconditional Love� At Best Friends Memorial Services we not only help people with the loss of a beloved Pet our aim is to help all people in their time of a loss. Our extensive range of Cremation Urns, Keepsake and Memorial Jewellery and our Grief Resources are suitable for anyone experiencing a loss in their Family. Please visit our website to view our catalogue of over 1000 Very New Products available to you and appropriate for the Cemetery and Crematorium Industry Not Just the Pet Industry. Prices shown on the website are recommended retail prices and not applicable to Cemetery and Crematorium Wholesalers for your price list please email sales@ or telephone on the listed number. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

PO Box 2057 Bennettswood Victoria 3125 Phone 0402 031 670 32 accanews winter10

Karrakatta picks up the pieces after Perth’s Big Storm

KARRAKATTA STORM Ask anyone who was working at Karrakatta Cemetery when Perth’s freak hail storm hit on March 22 2010 and they will more than likely concur with the Insurance Council of Australia’s classification of the storm as Western Australia’s worst natural disaster. Shortly after 4.00pm on March 22, the swirly grey sky across the city delivered a short, sharp and devastating burst of golf ball sized hail that, in the course of 30 minutes, left a path of destruction across the metropolitan area. Perth’s prestigious western suburbs, particularly Karrakatta Cemetery and the nearby University of Western Australia, were amongst the worst hit and bore the full brunt of the storm. At Karrakatta, the main administration building roof collapsed in several places filling the entire building with ankle deep water within minutes. Staff evacuated the building amidst a deafening roar as skylights and windows were shattered. Taking shelter, many watched helplessly as parked vehicles nearby were pounded relentlessly, with the smashed glass and battered panels collectively equating to an insurance write off. Karrakatta Mausoleum post hail

accanews winter10


All of Karrakatta. Mulched from above All of Karrakatta’s chapels and condolence lounges sustained flooding damage with major repairs required prior to them being recommissioned for use by the public. Chapel repairs are ongoing with a temporary marquee filling a void created by the flooded condolence lounges.

Lech Pawlusiewicz, MCB Building Trades Officer, says it all.

Perhaps the largest visual impact was within Karrakatta’s historic grounds, with almost each and every plant being shredded as the hail made its way downwards. To quote one onlooker, the entire site looked like thick mulch had been applied over each and every inch of the cemetery. An unprecedented move, all services at Karrakatta were cancelled for the day following the storm whilst damage was assessed. Uninhabitable until repaired, the administration building was completely evacuated with a temporary office for processing incoming funerals set up in the nearby Karrakatta Lodge; ironically the oldest building in the cemetery and the only one to not sustain significant damage.

Ankle deep at the door

Administration staff not required onsite to process funerals were redirected to Pinnaroo Valley or Fremantle Cemeteries and many were required to work from home whilst the offices were rebuilt. According to Chief Executive Officer, Peter MacLean, the storm was a natural disaster unlike one ever encountered at Karrakatta. “The effect of the hail was devastating for Karrakatta and, for many staff, devastating on a personal level with vehicles and, in many cases, homes significantly damaged. Despite this, everyone collectively pitched in to bring Karrakatta back online within 24 hours. A stellar effort!” Staff from all sites joined together at Karrakatta for a ‘We survived the Great Storm’ breakfast on May 25.


accanews winter10

Karrakatta’s main office. Flooded throughout

MCB Marketing Assistant, Jenny Ashworth, survived the storm and has the shirt to prove it!



T r a d i t i o n


o f

Q u a l i t y


P T Y . L T D .

accanews winter10 35 Toll-free USA: 1-800-547-4909 • Toll-free Australia: 1-800-121-310 •


BEST TIPS FOR CREATING AND DELIVERING A GOOD EULOGY Giving a Eulogy is Hard To Do... But Good Things RARELY Come Easy Most people will probably say they dread giving a eulogy. This is partly because one of the biggest fears most people have is public speaking, and partly because it is so difficult and emotional to summarize a person’s life story in a series of moments. I recently delivered a eulogy at a loved ones funeral, and I will not hesitate to tell you that it was extremely difficult. Afterwards I felt like I had experienced just about every emotion possible. Some of the toughest parts were being nervous, having to reflect on my grief and loss, worrying about getting through it without breaking into tears, and trying not to forget anyone. Some of the best parts about this was reflecting back on all of the great memories, the special people in her life, the amazing things she did for me and others, the funny stories, and being able to heal by sharing and expressing my thoughts and feelings. I worked so hard, for what felt like countless hours, to try to find all the right words, recall all the most important memories and stories, and mention all the key people in her life. And to be very honest, I wish I could go back and do it again. To this day, I still look back with regret, wishing I could go back and say some things I neglected to mention.

Tips To Giving A Good Eulogy In the event that you...or anyone you know...needs to give a eulogy, I have put together some tips that I learned that I hope can help you:

Giving A Eulogy Is A Good Thing For You It may hurt to write a eulogy, and it also might be hard to read it. For some, that is the worst part. The world might spin a little, and everything familiar to you might fade for a few minutes. But remember, remind yourself as you stand there that you are the lucky one who gets to tell everyone about this special person.

You were selected to face the group, the family, the world, and summarize the story of this loved ones life. You are the one being asked to do something at the very moment when nothing can be done. You are the one who gets the last word in the attempt to define the outlines of a life. You are the one who gets to tell everyone who this person was, the differences they made in so many lives, and the reason their life should be celebrated. You are the one who gets to heal through this process. So it really doesn’t matter what you say, or how you say it. The reality is this opportunity is both a privilege and a gift.

Don’t Feel Like You Have To Accept This Offer If on any level you are not interested in taking on this task, for whatever reason, that is perfectly OK. Some people may choose to decline this gift for a variety of reasons. They might feel putting together the story of someone’s life is too difficult, or too emotional. Some people are simply too overcome with grief. Some people may feel like they are not the most appropriate person. Others may feel as if they are not great expressing feelings or emotions publicly. So know that whether you choose to accept this gift and give a eulogy, or not, there are no wrong decisions. It is totally a matter of preference and comfort.

Creating A Eulogy Will Be Difficult Be prepared for the harsh reality that this will be a difficult thing to do, from beginning to end. Writing and reading of a eulogy is, above all, the simple and elegant search for small truths. They don’t have to be truths that everyone agrees on, or even that everyone knows about. The should just be the ones most people will wither recognize or appreciate. This can be surprisingly hard to make note and mention of some of the smallest of details of a life. But some of these details can define a person, and even serve as a form of recognition.

What I am referring to is small examples like: She cared more about her family and her friends than she did herself. He loved to talk about his football team, his military background, his career. She never wanted to talk about herself, but rather listen and learn about you. He had a loud voice that could be heard across a crowded room. She always said and did the right things. He was never found anywhere without a cigar in his hand or mouth. She lived for gardening, and I will always think of her with every beautiful flower.

Don’t Worry About Time They may tell you they have a specific period of time, and that there is a set schedule. They may tell you that you have three minutes, or five minutes. They may tell you to take all the time you want. Don’t listen or follow any limitations, as I firmly believe that time constraints are always an insult at a funeral. Of course you want to be respectful and work within the finite space you’ve been given, and remember that the eulogy is just one part of the memorial service. However, tell your story, express your feelings, and it this ends up being shorter or longer than others may wish, it does not matter at all.

Remember Who To Speak To As you stand there, think about the room as being filled with rings of loyalty. The people in the nearest ring, or those closest to you, likely in the front row, are owed the most. You should speak first to them. And then, in the next measure, consider speaking to room itself, which is the next ring, which is usually filled with the closest family, friends, and loved ones. Then consider speaking to the last right, which is the physical world outside, the neighbourhood, the town, the place, the groups, the clubs, the associations, the companies, etc. So try to remember your rings of loyalty, and also try to speak to them in the order they deserve.


accanews winter10

Be Sure To Put Your Thoughts In Writing You must be sure to write down all of your thoughts. In grief, people can have a tendency to wander through memories that may not be acute, relevant, wellframed, or purposeful. Sometimes people can move off track into a personal feelings, stories or conversations that are not necessarily appropriate. Therefore, make sure to have you thoughts documented, or at the very least a general outline.

You Might Be Struck With Emotion Or Cry Giving a eulogy is one of the most emotional experiences you can go through in life. With that in mind, you must accept that fact that you might get extremely emotional, cry, or even reach a point where you cannot continue. But if possible, try not to give up. Just remember that everyone who is in attendance and listening can fully understand and relate to the fact that giving a eulogy is an extremely difficult and emotional thing to do. And also remember that everyone admires and respects you for having your courage and contribution to express these special words with them. Since you may become overwhelmed with emotion or cry, this is another reason why you should have everything in writing. This can help you stay on track, not lose your focus, and pick up where you left off should you need to stop for emotional reasons. One final suggestion is to have a backup plan. Sometimes close loved ones can break into an emotional state where they simply cannot recover or continue. If you feel like this might happen to you, make sure you ask someone to be there for you, and be ready to come up and help you finishing giving your eulogy. Again, everyone understands and appreciates you for sharing, whether you finish or not.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Consider Using Humour

As with any public presentation, the best thing you can do is practice this speech. Read it aloud until you feel comfortable with the content and how it flows. Practice and rehearse to the point where you might even be able to give this eulogy without reading if you had to.

For many people humour and laughs can be a pivot point in a funeral. Especially when the deceased is someone who was known to have a good sense of humour. Eulogies don’t have to always be about the sadness or the loss. They can be about the funny memories, person, or stories.

Another major advantage to practicing is it will help you evoke the emotions you have inside, and determine which parts are the most difficult to deliver. This can help you prepare more intensely in certain areas, or even redesign your eulogy if you feel like you need to minimize some of your emotions to get through this.

Prepare Yourself For In Case Something Goes Wrong Often times during public speeches, especially during such sensitive gatherings as memorial services, events can occur that will throw you off course. There might be a noise, an unexpected emotional outburst, a child crying, or the microphone failing to work properly. Again, this is where practice helps by allowing you to stay on track and keep your composure. If it helps, make up something you say to yourself to help you through those moments and allow you to regain your refocus. Also, one other note is that many people choose not give a eulogy by reading everything word for word. The use bullet points and the expand on their thoughts from each bullet point, topic, or subject. Keep in mind this during such an emotional and sensitive speech, you may say something that feels “out of line” or inappropriate. But like I mentioned above, that is perfectly normal, to be expected, and something to prepare for and be ready to work through. Finally, practice speaking slowly, and during times of great importance or intense emotion, learn to pause. A pause is good for you because it allows you to collect your thoughts and gather you composure should you need to. A pause is also good for those in attendance because the silence helps to create a stronger and more powerful message.

In fact, some of the best laughs come by forcing people to remember who this person really was, versus strictly “glorifying” them. For example, one of the best ways to use humour is through telling a story about something everyone can relate to about this loved one. This can even be about something that was not among their best qualities. At the closing of your story, the element of surprise always brings a good laugh when you can summarize with a conclusion that no one expects.

In Summary During any good eulogy, you can expect that there will be moments of panic, silence, laughter, sadness, or moments when the speaker gets choked up. Giving a eulogy is almost always accompanied by challenges and surprises. This is one of those things you can fully prepare for, but have no idea what to expect. However, if you can find the strength to take advantage of this great opportunity, I am fully confident you will be glad you were able to tell your story and express yourself with so many other who share in your thoughts, feelings, and loss. But always remember that no matter what happens, no matter what you say, no matter how you feel before or afterwards, you will be loved and appreciated by those in attendance, as well as those listening above. Article written and reproduced with permission by Christopher P. Hill, Founder of

accanews winter10



SINCE 1983

Row upon row of Paupers graves 38

t:0419 983 641

accanews winter10

f:(03)9882 2442

INDUSTRYEVENTS 2010 We are increasingly becoming an international/global business community. Following is a snapshot of the industry conferences and seminars we have been informed of for 2010. Web links to the organisations are below, if you would like further contact details of any of the organisations listed, please contact the Secretariat Office.




6 August CCAV AGM



Moonee Valley, VIC

4 – 7 August CANA 92nd Annual Convention Sheraton Waikiki Hotel, Honolulu, Hawaii USA

27 – 29 September ICCM Conference Chesford Grange Hotel, Kenilworth UK

10 - 14 October ACCA Annual Conference and AGM Fremantle, WA

10 – 13 October NFDA International Conference and Expo Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA














NFDA (Southern Africa)

Cremation Society of Great Britain





accanews winter10


Pinegrove Memorial Park - Sydney - NSW - Australia Completed May 2010 - Mausoleum, Garden Crypts & Family Vaults


accanews winter10

Designers and Builders of First Quality Mausoleums, Garden Crypts, Family Vaults, Cremation Niche Walls, Monuments and other cemetery related works

Office & Showroom: 6 East Pde, Eastwood, NSW, 2122

N&F ARCIULI PTY LIMITED Established 1970

T: +61 2 9804 7232 F: +61 2 9804 6077 E:


New Improved On Line Ordering * * * * * *

Completely redesigned safe and reliable interface; Secure Username and Password; Full colour layouts; Complete design flexibility; Real time layouts to aid sales process; Increase end customer satisfaction while decreasing costly administration expenses.

Woodgrain Plaques * * * *

Sculptured woodgrain edge; Natural looking finish; Perfect for bush gardens or Natural Burial settings; Range of sizes available.

Phoenix Foundry 44 Duke Street, PO Box 5 Uralla NSW 2358 TEL 1800 806 064 OR +61 2 6778 4803 FAX +61 2 6778 5069 EMAIL

ACCA News Winter 2010  


Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you