Involve In a New Light 3 5

The Official News Forum of InvoCare
Issue 3 September 2004
In a New Light
InvoCare’s first AGM
A New Age
Planting Bulbs
Commitment to Care
Editor’s note
It has been a busy few months for InvoCare and its staff, which is
Another illustration that working with
reflected in this edition of Involve. We cover a lot of territory in this
InvoCare is more than just a job is in
issue, from corporate developments, to marketing material, through
the story about a new presentation
to local events and personal achievements. Without any deliberate
which has been developed on the role
planning, the theme through this issue stands out as ‘Innovation,
of a funeral director. The keenness
Vocation, Care”.
and passion shown in the delivery of
The ‘Innovation’ extends from the use of new technology to ways
of offering new superior service to families. As far as technology is
this presentation adds to the theme
of this edition.
Anthony Perl
concerned, we have a new website for Guardian Plan which is now
It is easy to say you care about someone or something, but it is
on-line and the use of the audio-visual enhancements which have
another thing altogether to show it. When you read through the
been made to Northern Suburbs Memorial Gardens and
stories about the sponsorships and fund raising events you see
Crematorium in Sydney. DVD’s about the lives of loved ones are
some of what it really is to show how you ‘Care’. There are also
now being produced and played during the funeral service. This is
articles on the ‘Care’ shown in the way each service is delivered –
something which has also been successfully introduced in
whether it be a State Funeral for the last of Queensland’s World
Queensland. Metropolitan Funerals at Rockdale in Sydney has
War I veterans or a service held for a lady from the local nursing
introduced a new type memorial service to allow grieving families to
home, which led to a public notice of thanks from the family.
come together on one day particularly for them. There is also a
story about the Arrangement Forms and Contracts which have
been introduced to make things easier for families to keep together.
When it comes to ‘Vocation’ you need look no further than the
InvoCare is indeed living up to its name!
I thank everyone who contributed to this edition of Involve and trust
that you will enjoy the read.
three people profiled in this issue. Koos Adrichem, Graham Coward
Anthony Perl
and Herman Van Well have 93 years combined experience in the
Communications Manager
industry. They are typical of the dedication shown by staff.
CEO report
I am pleased to report that InvoCare has exceeded its forecast for
This edition of Involve touches on
its trading results to June 30 this year. Thank you to all staff for your
some of the outstanding work being
efforts in continuing to strengthen InvoCare through the level of
done by many staff on behalf of their
service offered to local communities. We remain focused on
location and brands in giving back
continuing to improve our service levels and extending the reach of
something to their local communities.
our already strong brand names.
It is an important part of what
In line with our focus on service, there has been an increase in our
customer satisfaction index. This index is generated from our
distinguishes InvoCare and is in line
with our core commitment.
ongoing surveys of our client families and measures responses to
We welcome the recent
all aspects of our service delivery. It also indicates that nearly 98%
appointments of Jason Maher, Barry
of those families would recommend our services.
Steward and Craig Renshaw to
Recently the Board spent some time in Brisbane meeting with
management and staff at a number of locations. Everyone was
pleased with the progress made since the last visit, particularly with
the plans management in Queensland has to develop the business.
As I reported in the last edition of Involve, the Epicor project, which
will deliver a more extensive computer based arrangement and
booking system for all our operations has successfully implemented
our financials with funerals also near completion. The
implementation of the new cemeteries and crematoria systems is
positions with the Australian Funeral Directors Association. They
join other staff who have taken a lead role with the industries most
prominent association.
I would like to extend a special congratulations to Koos Adrichem,
our National Operations Manager for Cemeteries and Crematoria,
who has just celebrated 40 years in the industry. He continues to
work tirelessly to improve the standard of all our cemeteries and
crematoria. This milestone, along with his achievements on the way,
is to be commended.
on track for later this year. All involved in the project are to be
Richard Davis
congratulated for what is often a thankless assignment.
Chief Executive Officer
Richard Davis
InvoCare’s first AGM
InvoCare Limited held its first Annual General Meeting (AGM) on
May 31st at the Westin Hotel in Sydney. Chairman Ian Ferrier led the
meeting which featured a presentation from Chief Executive Officer Richard
Davis on the company’s financial statements to date.
There was a small group of interested shareholders who attended and
took the opportunity to ask questions of the Board before and during
the meeting. On one hand it provided shareholders with a chance to
understand the direction of the company, on the other, it was also the
first time the Board has been able to meet some of the retail investors
face to face.
At the meeting the company
announced it was on track to achieve
its 2004 earnings forecast of 13.3
cents a share, subject to any change
in the projected death rates.
Just prior to the publication of this
edition of Involve, InvoCare shares
were trading at $2.84.
The AGM was reported positively by
several media organisations. Financial
columnists in various publications
Ian Ferrier
have continued to highlight InvoCare
since its listing in December last year.
COO report
As I pause for a minute to reflect on the first eight months of the year
business including Ansett. His
– there have been so many achievements and contributions it is
appointment represents the company’s
impossible to mention them all.
commitment to underwriting the
brand direction.
Survey Index (CSI) as perhaps our most outstanding achievement.
Our new funeral operating system
The CSI reflects families’ measure of our funeral service levels and is
Epicor commenced operating on
used by management and staff to provide a mechanism for
1 August. This new system will help
continuous improvement.
provide data and information to assist
This year we have experienced increases across all brands and all
states reflecting the efforts of our staff and work place trainers.
Following on from the success of this approach our cemeteries and
crematoria are working toward introducing their own customer
survey process in early 2005.
Our branding strategy continues to be rolled out successfully with
many NSW locations now reflecting the new look “Guardian Branding”
in their stationery and advertising. National steering committees are
providing direction and guidance that will in the long run assist us
presenting relevant options to particular market segments.
Also in NSW Philip Overdun has been appointed as the new
Regional Manager for Simplicity. Philip has a background in service
management and staff carrying out
their duties. Many staff have been
involved in this unique process all of
whom deserve thanks – however it
would be remiss of me if I didn’t
Mike Grehan
acknowledge the contribution of Philip
Shelley and Tim Adrichem.
As I said there are too many efforts to acknowledge individually so in
conclusion I would like to thank all staff and management for their
commitment and contributions over the past eight months.
Mike Grehan
Chief Operating Officer
It is hard however to go past the improvement in our Customer
Involve 3
All You Need To Know About Funerals
Over a number of years, InvoCare funeral homes have produced
preferences. As time passes, the significance of key dates
a booklet titled ‘All You Need to Know About Funerals’. The latest
(birthday’s anniversaries, religious days) grows, and so to does
updated version, which has just been produced is the most
the symbolic importance of a memorial”.
comprehensive yet.
All You Need to Know About Funerals has 24 pages of
The booklet is handed out for free to families and is often used
as a means of distributing information to people who enquire
about what is involved in arranging a funeral. Many of these
inquiries come during exhibitions or presentations given by staff
to groups such as Nursing Home staff, Hospital staff, senior
citizens and emergency services workers.
information covering everything from choosing a funeral director
who is backed by the Australian Funeral Directors Association –
code of ethics, to pointing out some of the choices you will have
to make in arranging the funeral, through to who to notify when
someone dies and what to say to a grieving person. There is also
an abridged version of another of the company’s free publications
In the latest edition there is more information on the reasons for
– a Personal Information Guide – which records information
arranging a memorial, following on from concerns raised in the
needed if you choose to prepay your funeral.
industry that people were not considering the implications before
choosing not to establish a memorial. “A memorial provides a
A copy of the information contained in ‘All You Need To Know
fixed place for all family and friends to come and reflect. It can be
About Funerals’ is also available on each of InvoCare’s funeral
personalised to reflect cultural, religious and personal
homes websites as well as on
Improving Service
As part of the continued efforts of InvoCare’s
funeral homes, cemeteries and crematoria to
better service its client families, a new format
has been introduced for recording the
arrangement details of the funeral service and
any memorial needs.
New Arrangement Forms for the funeral homes
and the Cemetery & Crematoria Contracts are
contained in a folder which features their
associated brand. The folders have a place for
staff to leave a copy of their business card along
with a pocket for any brochures to be stored.
Inside, all key documents are permanently
secured. The family leaves with a single folder
containing all relevant information and
A Fresh Look
Guardian Plan is a prepaid funeral plan
offered by InvoCare’s funeral homes. A new
brochure and website have just been
released to better explain what is involved in
the process of prepaying your funeral with a
Guardian Plan.
The aim of the new material is to make it
easier to understand what Guardian Plan is,
why you should plan ahead, what is involved
including payment options, where the money
is invested and how it is protected.
For a free copy of the new brochure visit
one of InvoCare’s funeral homes or
call 1800 151 158 or go to
New look promotional collateral making it
easier to understand what Guardian Plan is
all about
A New Age
You would not expect technology to play much of a role in a
This latest
funeral, but increasingly families are turning to DVD’s to
enhancement to
personalise the service. Families now have the opportunity to
services is possible
arrange for a DVD to be produced on the life of their loved one,
at places like
which is then played at the funeral as well as having copies
Northern Suburbs
available for family and friends to keep.
Memorial Gardens
They start off with a simple display of photographs and video set
to music and range through to producing segments to
accompany different parts of the service, to incorporating a video
of the service into the completed DVD that family and friends
can keep.
and Crematorium in
Sydney. There you
have the wonderful
gardens and a
heritage building on
the outside, and
inside you have a
blend of modern
technology combined with tastefully refurbished beautiful
chapels. Recently installed audio-visual equipment is being used
increasingly for these sorts of productions.
The production of these DVD’s was first successfully trialed in
Queensland, where they are continuing to grow in popularity.
Sydney’s Northern Suburbs Memorial Gardens and Crematorium offers a
combination of heritage architecture and a beautifully refurbished chapel,
fitted out with modern technology
There are a number of styles of presentations to choose from.
Involve 5
Lakeside Memorial Park - Wollongong
In a New Light
Continuing on our series from
previous editions of ‘Involve’, we
are taking the opportunity to
showcase some of the images
taken by photographer Christopher
Shain of each of InvoCare’s
Memorial Parks and Gardens.
The focus for the series of
photographs was particularly on
the natural local beauty each
location provides in its own unique
way. This issue we are featuring
Lakeside Memorial Park in
Wollongong, south of Sydney.
Lakeside is also in the process of completing some new crypts,
which have already been well received by the community with
many families opting to prepay for their memorial. The two
images above are artistic impressions of what they will look like
when completed.
Mother’s Day
Metropolitan Funerals ay Bankstown in Sydney, a Guardian Funeral
provider, this year introduced a Mother’s day memorial service.
Those invited to the service included the many families who had
lost a mother in the past 12 months. They were each given a
candle to light in honour of their mother. The service itself was
conducted by Rev. Tom Hamilton and Celebrant Diana Stewart.
More than 50 people attended the service including
representatives from local nursing homes and other local
community organisations. Many of those present asked to be
invited in coming years.
The event was organised by location manager Joanne Schembri
and continues on from her valuable work in both offering support
From left, Location Manager, Joanne Schembri, Rev. Tom Hamilton and
Arranger, Cheryl Prosser
and in giving back to the local community.
Metropolitan Funeral Home, a Guardian Funeral
provider at Rockdale in Sydney played host
recently to a bulb planting ceremony in their
garden. Around 40 families joined staff for a
service conducted by celebrant Diana Stewart in
memory of their loved ones. The ceremony was
formed around the notion of bringing grieving
families together for their own special day.
The names of those who were commemorated on
the day were read out and, before the service
ended, one of the attending family members rose
to share a special poem. The candles remained
alight as everyone left the chapel and proceeded
to the garden adjoining the funeral home. There each family took
a bulb and buried it with the utmost care and love - many taking
a mental note of where ‘their’ bulb was located, with the
intention to return in the spring to see the flowers in bloom.
Many photos were taken, as people planted their bulbs and then
posed in their family groups. The photos were then posted to
them, which everyone greatly appreciated. One lady who called
to say thanks had said that she had not been coping particularly
well with the death of her father and initially had not wanted to
Those who took part varied from a girl of four years of age to a
attend. She came with her mother and sister and was surprised
lady in a wheelchair who had to be assisted to plant her bulb for
by how healing she had found the experience. Many people
her husband of nearly sixty years. Some came alone, some with
phoned to say how grateful they were for having been given the
a friend, others with several family members of up to three
opportunity to share in such a positive day. Several asked if the
generations. A woman even flew in from Darwin to attend with
ceremony was an annual event and expressed an interest in
her mother and sisters.
attending future services. One man even visited a few weeks
later to sprinkle some ashes of his late wife around the bulbs that
Refreshments were served afterward and several people
he, his son and his grand-daughter had planted in her memory.
remained for quite some time, taking comfort in what they had
Sandra Wolf
time they had walked through the doors of the funeral home.
Location Manager
experienced and enjoying a happier atmosphere than the first
Involve 7
Committment to Care
‘Commitment to Care’ is a program which was introduced 18
months ago in conjunction with two nursing homes around
Epping in Victoria. The program is aimed at nursing home staff to
help them address issues with death, in particular grief and loss
as they become familiar with their patients and form strong
bonds. When patients pass away the nursing home staff also
experience a sense of loss and need to grieve.
Michael Hooper is the Manager of Mulqueen Funeral Services at
Epping and it is his professional approach to this program which
has seen other nursing homes become involved. He is in
demand to provide support and programs to them all.
Since the program began Michael has become the focal point of
the training seminars. He also conducts tours of the funeral
home. Over these few months he has developed a great rapport
with these very committed nursing home staff, who often call into
the branch for a quick chat or coffee.
Mae Pickering with Michael Hooper a.k.a. ‘Bob The Builder’
Among the nursing homes to partake in the program is Meadow
Such was the impact made by Michael, that when the family
Glen, where Michael became friendly with many of the patients,
placed a death notice in the Herald Sun the last paragraph paid
visiting them regularly both on a professional basis and as a
tribute to him. It said, “Special thanks to Mulqueen’s and in
friend. One resident, Mrs. Mae Pickering gave him the nick name
particular Bob the Builder (Mae’s idol for all the fun times, she
of ‘Bob the Builder’, which has stuck. Sadly she passed away
loved you all)”. This was a testament to the commitment and
recently and the family immediately requested Michael.
support shown in delivering the type of funeral service that the
The family insisted that as the service was to be held in its
family wanted.
entirety at Mulqueen’s chapel with a private cremation, Michael
Brian Bennett
was to lead the coffin out dressed as ‘Bob the Builder’.
Regional Manager
A Special Service
Tobin Brothers Funeral Directors in Canberra, The Canberra Hospital,
Calvary Hospital, John James Hospital Pathology Units and Norwood
Park Crematorium have joined together to begin providing a
Memorial Service for unborn babies pre 20 weeks. The service
happens every three months at The Canberra Hospital Chapel.
Tobin Brothers provide the small coffins for the babies and transfer
them to the crematorium for the cremation. The ACT Government
made allowance in the ordinance to allow the cremation of the small
coffins together. The ashes are scattered over the memorial provided
at Norwood Park Crematorium, which simply reads on a plaque with
MEMORIES." The Memorial is a garden with a large rock where the
Families who lose a baby in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy are
provided with an information letter about this option for a service.
plaque is attached. The ashes are placed within the garden and
Dr Jane Dahlstrom was the prime coordinator in bringing everyone
families can visit if they wish. Families are provided with a map and a
together to provide the service under the approval of Dr Sanjiv Jain,
photo of the memorial site.
Director of Anatomical Pathology, ACT Pathology.
In conjunction with the Chaplaincy & Pastoral Units a non
Tobin Brothers are very proud to be part of this community service
denominational service is held in the hospital Chapel inviting the
in the ACT.
parents and families of the babies to attend. Tobin Brothers also
supply small posies for the families to place on the coffins during
the service, compliments of the City Florist.
Christine Walters
Manager – Tobin Brothers Funeral Directors, ACT
Community Relations
Purslowe Funeral Homes in South Freemantle, WA have been
assisting the Portuguese Cultural and Welfare Centre over the
past year. Location manager Arnold Taylor with the assistance
of Beata Colica recently decided to put together a special
luncheon to show their continued support.
The members of the Portuguese Cultural and Welfare Centre
were welcomed for morning tea in the condolence lounge,
which was transformed into a restaurant, before moving to the
adjoining chapel where Father Julian Carrasco officiated Mass.
After a fully catered roast lunch, everyone returned to the chapel,
which was transformed into a movie theatre, to watch a classic
Portuguese film. Afternoon tea was served to finish what was an
enjoyable day for all.
Volunteers Awards Day
Twin Towns Friends Association is a non-profit organisation
What makes the organisation even more amazing is that it
which was formed in 1997 by local residents of Tweed Heads.
survives on no government funding, simply the generosity of its
The organisation aims to provide a volunteer who befriends the
volunteers and their own energetic fundraising.
lonely and isolated in the community, offering a social connection
for them.
This year, Twin Towns Funeral Services heard of their need for
funds and has now become a year round sponsor, providing
The Coordinator, Doreen Welsh, is a vibrant, unstoppable senior
prizes for functions as well as items which support the day to
citizen herself, who manages 110 volunteers who look after over 200
day administrative needs of the association.
residents in the Tweed Shire and southern end of the Gold Coast.
In June, an inaugural Volunteers Awards
Day was held to give recognition to the
volunteers, many of whom go above and
beyond the call of duty. Twin Towns
Pictured at the awards ceremony
are (L to R): Justine Elliott, Federal
Labor Candidate for Richmond,
Danny Tini and Margaret Parker
(award winners), Doreen Welsh
(Coordinator) and Doris Zagdanski Regional Manager Twin Towns
Funeral Services .
Funeral Services, along with some other
local businesses, sponsored the day.
Doris Zagdanski
Regional Manager
A Simplicity Service
Simplicity Funerals in South Australia has opened a new location in the southern coastal region of
Victor Harbor on the Fleurieu Peninsula. The kind of service offered by Simplicity has been
welcomed by the local community. With its base in the heart of Victor Harbor, Simplicity Funerals’
inaugural service was conducted in its new chapel, 79 Victoria Street on 25th March 2004.
Simplicity Funerals Victor Harbor Supervisor, Kaye Fletcher and Celebrant, Barry Sherwell
Involve 9
Support Recognised
The Masonic Magazine, which is distributed to 20 000 Freemasons in
Victoria, recently celebrated its 100th edition. Le Pine Funeral
Services has been involved with the publication since its first issue,
so Trevor Burkitt, Andrew Kors and Graham Coward were invited to
attend a cocktail party held by Freemasons Victoria, to recognise
their support.
During the evening, Trevor was presented with a certificate of
appreciation by the Grand Master of Victoria, Mr John Evans. Le Pine
has advertised in the magazine since its inception in 1979. During the
presentation, an ad from another publication, the Masonary journal of
1928, showed the long term support that Le Pine Funeral Services
have been providing Freemasonary in Victoria.
Le Pine Funeral Services have a number of staff who are members of
Freemasonary Victoria. Trevor Burkitt has been a member for 35
years, serving in Grand Lodge Teams, and in recent years on the
board of benevolence. This board takes care of many members who
fall on hard times, providing assistance in many ways, including
funeral support.
Andrew Kors
Regional Manager – Le Pine Funeral Services
Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea
Guardian Funerals at Blacktown in Sydney raised around $1600 for
the Cancer Council by being one of the hosts of ‘Australia’s Biggest
Morning Tea’. More than 120 people attended with special guests
including the State Member for Mt Druitt, Mr Richard Amery and
the Federal candidate for Greenaway, Mr Ed Husic.
The event featured entertainment, prizes and speeches as well as
plenty of refreshments. Among the guests were many senior
citizens along with representatives from the Lantern Club,
Toongabbie Bowling Club, Healthwise, Blacktown Workers Club
Stroke and Recovery Group, the Vision Impaired group and Triple
Girl Guides.
Since 1996, Guardian has been involved in this very successful
fund raising event – each year it grows larger in size.
Since 1996, Guardian has been involved in
this very successful fund raising event – each
year it grows larger in size.
A Fitting Farewell
Edward (Ted) David Smout (OAM) was Queensland’s last World War
I veteran, who recently passed away at the age of 106. He was
afforded a State funeral arranged by Norma Gill of George Hartnett
Funerals in Sandgate.
At the age of 15, Ted Smout volunteered to join the Australian
Imperial Forces where after completing his training he found himself
confronted with the horrors of the Western Front. When he returned
home, Ted had a successful career in the insurance industry, but it
was his work for various charities that he was also known for. He
became Brisbane’s longest serving member of Legacy, from 1937 to
1995. His other love was his family including his wife of 69 years, Ella
(who died in 1992) and his three children, Westall, Betty and John.
The arrangements involved in coordinating a funeral of this
magnitude required a huge commitment from the staff at George
Hartnett Funerals in Sangate and Redcliffe. They did a tremendous
job liaising between family, police, army, Queensland protocol
officers, clergy and local dignitaries.
Proceedings began with a Police escort for the hearse which went
on a street procession. George Hartnett Funerals initiated a drive
past the residents from Sandgate’s Masonic Care as it travelled
through its grounds. Staff formed a guard of honour, and 106 red
poppies were laid on the ground as the hearse passed by, to
symbolise each year of Ted’s life. It was an emotional experience for
all those involved in making the arrangements as well as the nursing
home staff and of course family and friends.
Edward David Smout (OAM)
Uniting Church Minister Reverend Bruce Cornish said, “Ted was a
great Australian…an exemplary citizen and community member,
and a bit of a larrikin.”
According to Ted the secret to his survival and longevity,
“keep on breathing”.
The hearse carrying the late Ted Smout leaves Masonic Care Sandgate
Survey Results
The most important measure of the service funeral homes provide
Staff tactfully and sensitively dealt with all the things I had forgotten to
their client families is an assessment from those clients as to
arrange or ask during this stressful time.
whether they would recommend the funeral home to others. A
White Lady Funerals - Tanah Merah, QLD
survey is delivered to each of the families we service, from which we
gather valuable information on our service levels.
At a time like this it was great to have the confidence in the funeral
director. He was helpful, caring and informative and including the
One of the key indicators shows that according to the latest results,
97.8% would recommend our services.
The survey also asks for comments or suggestions about the funeral
arrangements and how the service can be improved. Following is a
celebrant, made for a memorable event
Blackwell Funerals – Torrensville, SA
Robyn was just lovely, she came to my house and from that moment
she handled everything even to the point of having some of my
sample from these responses.
mother's ashes kept for me. I cannot speak too highly of Robyn.
The attention and service by Allan Drew Funerals was absolutely first
Simplicity Funerals – Sunshine, VIC
class and many comments were made by the family members
Overall, excellent in all aspects. Gillian & Pam were exceptional in
sharing our immense grief, caring courteous and great
Allan Drew Funerals - Castle Hill, NSW
representatives for Mareena Purslowe.
Everything was carried out in a dignified and professional manner.
Mareena Purslowe & Associates – Willetton, WA
attending the service to these facts.
Involve 11
Reaching Milestones
Why would anyone want to work in the funeral industry?
owners were in financial difficulty. Early on, he was even ‘loaned’
Who stays in the one industry for 40 years? InvoCare has
to places like Port Macquarie to establish a memorial park there.
amongst its 1000 strong staff, many who have been with the
company and the industry for significant periods of time. Along
the way they have seen and implemented many changes.
Koos says of his role as National Operations Manager for
Cemetries and Crematoriums, “I only agreed to take on the role
on the basis that I could continue to go to locations to keep
Koos Adrichem
things moving.” His hands on approach continues, even after 40
Born in Holland, Koos Adrichem
years in the business.
moved to Australia in 1958 with
Understandably, Koos talks with great passion and pride about
qualifications which had him
Pinegrove in particular. It was from there that many things we
earmarked to run a confectionary
take for granted today were first established, including having the
company. By 1964 he was
funeral home on the grounds of a cemetery. A sidelight to this
pursuing a passion for horticulture
was that it has led to the continuing 29 year working relationship
by studying 3-4 nights a week.
with Sydney Funeral Services manager Barry Steward.
When his father died he had a
conversation with someone from
The introduction of crypts to Pinegrove is another one of the
Pinegrove Memorial Park which
major changes Koos has witnessed in the industry. “We
changed his career. 40 years later
personalised them and built them ourselves” Koos says. “The
he is still involved with Pinegrove in his position as the National
key to our Parks and Gardens’ long term survival is making sure
Operations Manager for Cemeteries & Crematoria.
every time someone visits them, they must see change, even if it
something small.”
Such are his expertise and success, that he has advised SCI in
In 1967 Pinegrove opened its Crematorium
becoming one of the first of the modern day
facilities. Again Koos’s role was also to
establish memorials which were not
restricted to niche walls or rose gardens.
They wanted something different, creating
various estates and other memorial options.
the United States on establishing cremation memorial gardens.
Along the way Koos also became a board member, then Vice
President and eventually served a 2 year term as President of the
Australasian Cemeteries and Crematoria Association. He helped
them establish a funding base.
“I enjoy getting locations up and running along with teaching
staff. I try to impress upon them that to build interest; you must
first have pride in the place you are working” says Koos.
Roy Taff started Pinegrove and quickly recognised the potential
shown by Koos and in no time had him heading the horticultural
side of the business which also included other clients outside of
the cemetery. Koos says, “Pinegrove was one of the first
His son Tim has elected to follow in his father’s footsteps and is
now the Operations Manager at Pinegrove Memorial Park. Koos
says he has taught him the work ethic he has lived by for the
past 40 years, “treat it like it’s your own business.”
privately run cemeteries. We wanted to be different. We did not
want tombstones everywhere, we wanted to create a Park. We
Graham Coward
even introduced the first real Lawn Cemetery into the country,
In August, Graham Coward retired
where people could choose the site they wanted and have a
after 19 years with Le Pine Funeral
plaque placed on it.”
Services in Victoria. The former
In 1967 Pinegrove opened its Crematorium becoming one of the
first of the modern day facilities. Again Koos’s role was also to
establish memorials which were not restricted to niche walls or
rose gardens. They wanted something different, creating various
estates and other memorial options.
Merchandise Manager for women’s
fashion started work for the
company on June 1 1985. Graham
says, “I went for a job interview and
was told I would be employed
immediately. When I asked what the
Over the years as Pinegrove changed owners, Koo’s role
position would be, the response
expanded to finally include the cemeteries and crematoria which
was…when I know I will tell you.”
are currently owned by InvoCare. He used the same theories
which have proven sussessful at Pinegrove to turn them into
parks and gardens which offer a variety of memorial options. He
has helped turn around some locations which under previous
According to Graham, he had been “thinking about working in
the funeral industry for 20 years – but I was worried about what
people would say.” Once he began working
continued page 16
New Presentation
on the “Role of
Funeral Director”.
Le Pine Heritage Funeral Services, have developed a power point
presentation that with the aid of over 80 photo’s, outlines the role
of the funeral director.
QLD Training
Awards Dinner
Since winning the Gold Coast Small Employer of the Year Award in
2002, Somerville Funerals has been a sponsor of this prestigious
business event, hosted nationally by the Training and Employment
Board and the Department of Employment and Training.
This year's winner of the Somerville Funerals prize for Trainee of
the Year was Cassandra Tidey from Little Explorers Child Care
It has been welcomed as a great tool for talking about our
Centre. She has successfully completed Certificate 111 in
industry with related groups (nursing home staff, scouts, youth
Community Services and was selected for her genuine passion
groups etc) about what is really involved in arranging a funeral
for her chosen career as a child care worker.
and all the options available. The pictures help explain things like
burial options, cremation and mortuary procedures etc. It
Doris Zagdanski
Regional Manager
complements any facility tour and encourages discussion on a
wider range of industry related options.
The presentation includes pictures from when the first call is
made to a funeral home, through to the burial or cremation,
including memorial options. It has pictures of our transfer
procedures showing our vehicle’s and mortuary. The arrangement
process is outlined and there are pictures of the coffin selection
room. There is also a range of photos of some of the different
and creative funerals that we have arranged. It shows our
chapels and also explains all the options with burial including
lawn, monumental, vault and mausoleum as well as the full
process of a cremation.
Regional Manager
Cassandra is pictured with Doris Zagdanski, Regional Manager and Susan
Piacun, Location Manager, Somerville Funerals
Health & Safety
InvoCare continues to recognise the importance of Occupational
Health & Safety (OHS) issues. Following on from the recent
appointment of Gary Summers as the National OHS Manager, the
OHS system continues to be rolled out across the company.
Participation from all staff has been positive and proactive.
The majority of staff have received their “introduction to OHS”
training, so they are now being encouraged to raise OHS
awareness and point out any hazards or incidents to a Supervisor
or Manager.
One of the key objectives of OHS is that through staff
involvement, cooperation and assistance the company can work
toward minimising potential injuries in the workplace.
Ashley Crow
Involve 13
Kenyon International Australia
Associate Professor Christopher Griffiths A.M. and I recently
housed with one of our partner
attended the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines workshop on
consultants ICON Australia, who
Aviation Emergency Response in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We
provide Kenyon International with
were joined by several of our colleagues from our Houston office
Crisis Communications. This move
joining in excess of 200 delegates representing most of the
will also allow us to have room for our
regions airlines, including Qantas Airways, Virgin Blue Australia
new Marketing Manager and Family
as well as representatives from Australian Foreign Affairs and
Assistance Director.
Trade for the four day program.
Kenyon International was a major sponsor of this event and as
Peter Gregory
In September senior Kenyon Australia team members will be
travelling to the United Kingdom’s Kenyon office for Mortuary
such our President Robert Jensen gave an address and
Team Leader training. They will meet up with others from Europe
answered questions at a pre-conference workshop which was
and the USA, then some will travel onto Houston for the three
filled to capacity.
day Kenyon Symposium.
The many speakers over the four days included airline crisis
Also in September we will be sending Mr David Harding (clinical
managers who had been through critical accidents and gave first
physiologist) to the Family Assistance Training in London
hand information about “lessons learned”,. There were religious
conducted by our own Dr Grady Bray.
overviews, government and military perspectives, journalists and
As you can see we remain busy and committed to improving our
airplane manufactures which made for an interesting and
knowledge. In closing I would like to take this opportunity to
informative time.
sincerely thank those many “anonymous” people within the
Kenyon Australia has yet again out grown its current location and
InvoCare family at North Sydney for their support and friendship.
will be moving from the existing site within InvoCare at North
Peter Gregory
Sydney to larger premises in Clarence Street Sydney. We will be
Vice President Operations
Future Directions
Managers from InvoCare’s Cemeteries and Crematoria recently
completed their annual conference in Sydney to discuss how they
can continue to strengthen and develop the services and
memorials they provide. The meeting was held over three days
and the program included a wide range of subjects.
The key focus of the meeting was on strategic park development
and long term planning, marketing plans for the funeral operations
and the implications for the Cemeteries and Crematoria operations
and an update on the latest developments in the important area of
Occupational Health and Safety (OHS).
As part of the
The conference provided an opportunity for key staff from NSW
meeting everyone
and QLD to get together to discuss various issues and develop
took part in a tour of
plans for the future. As part of this process, managers formed
teams to deliver presentations aimed at improving business
performance, which were then assessed according to certain
the Telstra Stadium
where the 2000 Olympic Games were held. During the tour the
awards for the presentations were made to the winners.
criteria. The awards saw the group of Joe Polito (Castlebrook
Memorial Park in Sydney), Thelma Sutcliffe (Albany Creek Memorial
These meetings are an integral part of the continued training for
Park in Brisbane) and Kevin Morgan (Forest Lawn Memorial Park
management and contribute to our overall development of innovation
in Sydney) in a narrow win from Jane Crichton (Castlebrook
at our locations, along with improving memorial and service levels.
Memorial Park in Sydney), Rosanna Kleckin (Rookwood Memorial
Ian Parker
Gardens in Sydney) and George Dobbie (Newcastle Memorial Park).
Conference Coordinator
Letters of thanks
The following are excerpts from a collection of some of the
George Hartnett Funerals – Holland Park
letters of thanks sent in by the families we have serviced.
Letter to John Paul
Purslowe Funeral Homes – Northam, WA
I just wanted to write you a short note to express my
Letters to Rob and Di Tinetti
overwhelming gratitude, on behalf of Mum and my family.
With many thanks for all the care you have given our family
In these difficult times, you helped to make things very easy. I know
during our time of sorrow. Your professionalism and care made it
a little easier on the day of the funeral. Mum would be pleased
and proud that everything was done to perfection. Once again, a
big thank you.
that you would say it’s your job, well I’m just telling you that you do
if very well. George Hartnett Funerals have just been so wonderful
to deal with and very understanding and it really is appreciated.
The amazing support we have been given from so many people,
On behalf of the family we would like to thank you so much for
the help you gave us prior to Mum’s funeral and in the way you
just proves to me how loved my Dad was, and it gives me so
much happiness and strength.
performed the service. It was done in a way that Mum deserved.
So thank you so much again.
Many people have congratulated us for the beautiful service with
many saying it was the nicest that they have ever been too.
Most of this was due to your guidance Rob, as we were totally
unaware of what should be done.
Letter written to Barry McIntosh from the Queensland
Police Service
We would like to convey our sincere gratitude for the assistance
you provided to Paul and Anita Rowland and their families in
Albany Creek Memorial Park,
Bridgeman Downs, QLD
relation to the traffic incident involving Anita, Bailey and Jet.
Events with such tragic consequences are never easy to deal
I wish to express my appreciation of your “Mothers” Day Service.
… I also wish to thank your gardeners. I am at my Mother’s
resting place regularly, mostly at weekends and I’m always
impressed by the state of the grounds and gardens. I find it all
with as part of your duty. In this case, it involved the family of
police officers, Paul and Anita Rowland resulting in the tragic
death of Jet and serious injuries to Bailey and Anita.
very peaceful. Some weeks ago when I visited during the week
While each person involved either during or after the incident can
and was sitting on a seat, one of the gardeners came up and
gain some comfort from the display of professionalism and
spoke to me. I was most impressed by his caring attitude.
personal support given to Anita and Paul’s family, we would like
Once again my thanks to all who make the Mother’s Day Service
to personally acknowledge your assistance.
possible and your gardeners.
Mark Carey Funerals – St Kilda, VIC
Once again, thank you
Yours sincerely
S D R Melville
Letter to Chris Flavelle-Smith and Mark Carey
Just a little note to say thank you for all your help with our
Assistant Commissioner
South Eastern Region
Mother’s funeral. Your attention and care made the day bearable.
The service your company provided was exceptional. A special
Pinegrove Memorial Park, Minchinbury, NSW
thanks to Chris for his kind, caring way. We will always be grateful.
Letter to the manager about Lee Stafford
Mt. Thompson Memorial Gardens, Holland
Park, QLD
We visited your office to make an arrangement for an inscription
I would like to express my thanks to a member of your staff,
and nothing was any trouble to her. The caring and courtesy that
June Beutel whom I feel has been exceptional. She is a very
she displayed was a great credit to your company.
compassionate and caring person and has helped me and my
family through a very tender time in our lives. People like her
on a Plaque for my sister. Ms Lee Stafford was extremely efficient
Would you kindly extend to her our grateful thanks and I hope
that your company appreciates the standard of her ability.
make a difference during a time of bereavement. Please convey
Thanking you and wishing you every success in the future.
my appreciation.
Involve 15
The last word
Photographer Christopher Shain has done work for InvoCare
over the past couple of years. Recently he was in Brisbane,
in the industry, Graham says dinner party conversation often
working with funeral home staff. On his return he reported the
revolved around him answering questions about what really
happens at funerals.
“I can illustrate the exceptional help the Queensland staff gave
After his first few months without a ‘real’ position, Graham became
me recently - they epitomise the "can do" ethic to a tee.
the equivalent of a Regional Manager. It was in 1986 that Victorian
When someone mentioned that the tree in the background was
General Manager; John Fowler joined Le Pine and began a close
bending over, and the talent in the shot looked a bit odd, without
association with Graham. Initially they were both working as
hesitation they said - no problem, we'll move to suit the tree!
Regional Managers, but when John (who had been working with
Queensland Assistance
continued from page 12
the company in South Australia for a while) became the state
Perhaps this could be a new InvoCare marketing campaign?
"We'll bend over backwards to help you!
manager, he brought Graham into the main office at Kew to be his
assistant manager. Over the years, Graham has been involved in
many funerals but he says the one which was a stand out as
being the most memorable was in July 1993 for Sir Edward
‘Weary’ Dunlop. John Fowler, who has maintained a close
association with the R.S.L. was on leave when arrangements
were being made for the funeral.
Graham stepped in and coordinated the events, while on the
day John was flown back from his
holiday to co-conduct the service.
Graham recalls, “From St Paul’s
Cathedral to the shrine, the casket
was mounted on a gun carriage.
Then for the drive to the
John Fowler bids Graham a
fond farewell
Famous last words…
Necropolis, people had lined the
"Friends applaud, the comedy is over." Ludwig van Beethoven
streets as a mark of respect.”
"Go on, get out! Last words are for fools who haven't said
Before retiring, Graham said, “I want to pay tribute to the many
enough!" (To his housekeeper, when asked if he wanted his last
friends I have made at the company. You can not get by for so
words recorded.) Karl Marx
long without good staff assisting you.”
After a preacher died and went to heaven, he noticed that a cab
driver had been awarded a higher place than he.
"I don't understand," he complained to God. "I devoted my entire
life to my congregation."
Herman Van Well
Herman Van Well has just retired from his duties at Purslowe
Funeral Home in North Perth. He has been at the branch as
funeral arranger - conductor for 34 years. He has been described
as the ‘anchor’ and “Mr Reliable”. Always there with helpful
"Our policy here in heaven is to reward results," God explained.
advice and for training, Herman is a wealth of knowledge on the
"Now, was your congregation well attuned to you whenever you
protocol of many cultures and religions. He is particularly well
gave a sermon?"
respected by the Greek and Macedonian communities. It has
"Well," the minister had to admit, "some in the congregation fell
asleep from time to time."
"Exactly," said God, "and when people rode in this man's taxi,
they not only stayed awake, they even prayed."
Involve welcomes your contributions:
Locked Bag 8000, Crows Nest NSW 2065
or fax to: 02 9978 5298 or email: [email protected]
© InvoCare Limited ABN 42 096 437 393
been said that nobody will ever be able to replace Herman and
his experience.