Blog Archives: November 2011

Folk heroes

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Creatively vandalised Soviet Red Army memorial in Sofia, Bulgaria, June 2011. It has since been restored. 

A hearse for a very very important person?

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

You don’t have to dig deep to discover that underneath many an an FD’s top hat is a passionate petrol head.

We love our cars. And it’s an international trait too. Have a look at this great site from an Indian Funeral Directors in Bangalore – St Peter’s.


The range of vehicles on show are – at first glance – very different. But you’d expect that. Different roads and different needs (although we know of some FDs who surprise their local garage by measuring up a 4×4 to see if they can fit a body in the back. Not so very different to St Peter’s Scorpio model above).

But the one we like best is the Eicher VVIP. Isn’t she a beauty?

You’ll note though, that, even if the vehicles are different, the style is the same. All over the world it seems FDs are out in the morning a-washing and a-polishing.

Thanks to Vicky Coupland-Morris for the tip.

Though rain berated the street

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny carries the coffin of his mother Eithne from the Church of the Holy Rosary in Castlebar yesterday, assisted by his brothers John and Henry and his nephew, Henry Jnr. 

THEY came in their thousands to pay respect to her loved ones, and though rain berated the street outside all morning long, the Church of The Holy Rosary in Castlebar was alive with the kind of celebration of life that the family of the late Eithne Kenny had longed for.

Ah, no one does a funeral — or writes it up — like the Irish. “Though rain berated the street…”

Eithne Kenny was the mother of the Taoiseach — the same Taoiseach who recently berated the Church in the wake of the paedophile priest scandal, denouncing “the dysfunction, disconnection and elitism that dominates the culture of the Vatican to this day.” No matter, Eithne Kenny’s funeral mass was co-celebrated by a full line-up: Monsignor Joe Quinn, PP Knock, Fr JJ Doherty, CC Glencolmcille, Fr Brendan Hoban, Castlebar, Fr Martin O’Keefe, CC Glenisland, Fr Peter Quinn, Ballina, Fr Karl Burns, CC Westport, Fr Jack Garvey, PP Carnacon, Fr Peter Waldron, PP Keelogues, Fr Michéal Mac Gréil, S.J Westport and Reverend Val Rogers, Westport, representing The Church of Ireland. Father Michael Farragher acted as master of ceremonies and Canon John Cosgrove, PP Castlebar, acted as chaplain to the President’s aide-de-camp, Colonel Michael McMahon.

No one does a funeral like the Irish.

At the end of his address to the congregation, her son,  An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, asked those gathered not to applaud his words, but to “applaud the mothers of Ireland, those gone and those here, and to draw on their strengths as you face the challenges of life”.

Full report here




In This Heart

Tuesday, 29 November 2011


In this heart lies for you
A lark born only for you
Who sings only to you
My love
My love
My love

I am waiting for you
For only to adore you
My heart is for you
My love
My love
My love

This is my grief for you
For only the loss of you
The hurting of you
My love
My love
My love

There are rays on the weather
Soon these tears will have cried
All loneliness have died
My love
My love
My love

I will have you with me
In my arms only
For you are only
My love
My love
My love

Wants out

Tuesday, 29 November 2011


Since a stroke six years ago Tony Nicklinson’s life has been, in his own words, ‘dull, miserable, demeaning, undignified and intolerable’. Tony can only move his head and his eyes. He has locked-in syndrome. 

And now he wants to die. 

In fact, he’s demanding the same right to end his life that any able-bodied person has. But because he is physically unable to kill himself, he’s issued proceedings in the High Court asking for a declaration that it is lawful for a doctor to terminate his life, with his consent and with him making the decision with full mental capacity.

Full story here



Hat-tip to Kingfisher 



Tuesday, 29 November 2011


Yesterday’s funeral of mafia aristo Salvatore ‘Sal the Ironworker’ Montagna was notable for the thinness of the attendance — in contrast to the hundreds who turned up to say farewell to Nicolo Rizzuto Sr in November last year. Montagna was shot last Thursday as he left a house on Ile Vaudry. Mortally wounded, leapt into the river to escape his attacker.



It seems that Montagna, onetime acting boss of the Bonanno family crime business in New York, was manoeuvring to become head of the Rizzuto empire in Montreal.

More photos here.

More about Sal here.


Ithemba Lami

Monday, 28 November 2011


Popular at funerals in Zimbabwe and South Africa. Makes a nice change from Abide With Me. A winter warmer. Play it loud and dance.  

The right job for a good person

Monday, 28 November 2011

Quaker Social Action’s Down to Earth project in the Ease End of London is a practical service helping people living on low incomes to have the funeral they want at a price they can afford. They are brilliant and they have asked us to bring your attention to this vacancy:

Development worker — 
£25,005 – 36 hours, permanent [Based on NJC scale 26-69. All appointments are at bottom of scale.]
We are seeking a development worker for our innovative Down to Earth project. Launched in 2010, Down to Earth supports people on low incomes to cope with the practical, financial and emotional challenges of arranging a funeral. You will report in to the project manger and be responsible for coordinating a team of volunteer mentors. You will also have the chance to contribute to the development and delivery of community conversation workshops, promoting positive discussions around death, funerals and how they are financed.

The ideal candidate will have experience of working with volunteers in a community setting and/or designing or delivering training and workshops. The role will involve working with vulnerable people, so you will also be an excellent communicator, sensitive to the issues surrounding death, bereavement and life on a low income.

The closing date is 10am on Monday 12th December 2011.  Interviews will be held on Friday 16th December 2011.

Full details of the post can be found at:

Angelina Jolie a funeral director?

Monday, 28 November 2011

Sometimes you have a tantalising glimpse of what might have been. If things had turned out differently, the path less travelled chosen, Angelina Jolie could have been a Funeral Director.

In an interview recently, the actor said that:

It sounds like this very strange, eccentric, dark thing to do but in fact I lost my grandfather and was very upset with his funeral. How somebody passes and how family deals with this passing and what death is should be addressed in a different way. If this whole acting thing didn’t work out that was going to be my path.”

Would Brad have been a bearer? We can only wonder.

The full article is here.

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