'Funeral industry in fight for cremations as bodies sent interstate

Who knew death could be so lucrative?

An apparent turf war has erupted over the right to cremate the state's bodies, with some private funeral operators wanting Victoria to follow other states and allow them to build and operate crematoriums.

In Victoria only non-profit cemetery trusts, which are government regulated, can conduct cremations, meaning a cremation can cost more than double the amount charged in other states and some Victorian funeral homes have been sending bodies interstate to be cremated.

One funeral company director said the lowest cost of a cremation in Melbourne was about Read more...

'Dealing with death at Melbourne's oldest funeral parlour' - ABC Central

From Chopper Read to Supreme Court judges, WG Raven or Lonergan and Raven, in inner-city Melbourne, have been dealing with not only the dead but also the living for nearly 160 years.

The funeral business is all about helping people, according to director Nigel Davies.

"A funeral director is somebody who helps a family get through a process," he said.

"That process should be more of a grieving process than just about disposing of human remains."

Mr Davies said it was also about being adaptable, and meeting different clients' needs.

This means being able to cater for a three-day Irish wake where the body is kept in the house surrounded by a party, to one client assisting with the embalming of her grandmother.

"If you're going to look after families, that means you have to try and adapt to what the family needs to get through," Mr Davies said.

The business operates over two sites, with the offices and chapel in Clifton Hill and mortuary in Northcote employing 12 staff, half of them part-time, plus an additional four casual staff.  Read more....

'What happens when I die?  Hannie Rayson lifts the lid on our mortal fears' - The Age

I am not naturally morbid. But returning some DVDs the other day to a shop in Clifton Hill, I noticed a funeral parlour two doors up. I thought I should pop in. 

As luck would have it, I stumbled on the oldest funeral parlour still operating in Melbourne, W. G. Raven, or Lonergan and Raven, as it is now known. These people have been burying dead Melburnians since 1849. In fact,  20 years later, they did the funeral for Melbourne pioneer John Pascoe Fawkner, whom they claim had the longest funeral cortege in Melbourne's history – 220 vehicles stretching over  four kilometres. Read more...

'Ashes to ashes, remains gathering dust' - The Leader newspaper

THOUSANDS of people's ashes - some more than 70 years old - are sitting in cupboards in inner-city funeral homes because no one has collected them.

Now funeral directors want State Government backing to dispose of the ashes, saying it is "not respectable" to keep them hidden for decades.

Options include scattering the ashes in memorial gardens.

Nigel Davies, from Lonergan & Raven in Clifton Hill, said he had about 100 uncollected ashes on site, some dating back to 1942.  Read more...