New Surveys !!!

    I have put together three separate surveys to explore different concepts within the funeral industry.  All three surveys will be very useful to me (and others) so please, do them if you have the time.

    They are all relatively short, and take an average of 10 minutes or less each.

    As always, the surveys are completely anonymous and confidential.  If there are any issues or questions do not hesitate to contact me: theothersideoffunerals@gmail.com

First Survey - Funeral Company Knowledge:
    The first survey looks at how well people know the funeral companies operating in Sydney.  In this survey I explore memory (both recognition and recall) to see if people actually know and remember different companies.

    Anyone can do this survey, as the focus is on Sydney companies yet mand are national brands.  It is also applicable for both funeral staff and non-funeral staff.

    You can complete the survey by following the link below:

<> Unfortunately you have to copy and paste a url for certain questions.  I cannot embed the image :( so I understand it's not ideal, but it's the best I can do <>

    This survey might be most interesting to funeral companies, to see if their methods actually work.  Although it has several limitations, the point of this survey is to see if a certain concept is worth future exploration.

Second Survey - Funeral Attendance:
    The second survey is aimed at exploring funerals people have attended as a mourner.  There are a few things at work in this survey, the results could be rather useful.  While anyone can do this survey the focus is on the role of the mourner.

    You can complete the survey by following the link below:

    This survey is fairly simple, and aimed only at those who have attended a funeral as a mourner.  With luck the results might be quite informative of funeral practices and attitudes.

Third Survey - Age & Working Funerals:
    The third and final survey looks at age and funerals.  How we perceive the age of staff working in the industry and how age plays a role.  This survey is for funeral staff only, those who currently work or have worked in the funeral industry.

    You can complete the survey by following the link below:

    This survey explores a rather important and common issue in the industry.  Age and the funeral industry are contentious topics, so it would be interesting to investigate things like ageism.

Other & Future Work:
    If you are interested in participating in future research, as an individual or on behalf of a group/company, please email me: theothersideoffunerals@gmail.com.

    I am always looking for people willing to participate in a study of ageism, and to a lesser extent sexism, within the funeral industry.  If you or anyone you know are interested in this please email me: theothersideoffunerals@gmail.com.  As always all information and participation will be kept confidential, no personal identity or details will be recorded.

    Alternatively you can leave a comment on this post, I will read all comments left on the blog.



ESMP open day

    Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park had its open day this weekend.  It was a great day, so much to do and a wonderful atmosphere.  But what made it special was how open and relaxed the staff and company was.

    This was the last public social event for the funeral industry (that I know of).  And it was a great day, a perfect way to end the social calendar for the industry.


Blog Stats - 28/10/12

    I thought it would be appropriate to update the blog stats, so this month can be compared with last month.  I don't think this will become a regular thing, but this month has been particularly interesting.


Thanatourism: Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park

    Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park Cemetery & Crematorium is an older cemetery in Eastern Sydney.  This cemetery is mostly focused on 'ethnic' cultures, so the graves tend to be rather colourful and diverse.  Of all the cemeteries in Sydney ESMP has the most variety of graves in one section.

The more notable and unknown thing about it is the farm.  At the back of the cemetery, hidden behind a green fence there is a heritage Chinese farm.


The Bill

    Cost is a big issue in the funeral industry.  Many outside the industry might see the undertakers as just trying to rip them off pr profiting off greif. Thus try to get a discount or to avoid paying all together.  This is an unfortunately common issue.  Several undertakers have told me stories of how mourners have made up complaints to avoid the bill.  Or outright refused to pay.

    These are two different stories about the extreme mesures funeral companies went to get paid.


InvoCare - A description and discussion

    InvoCare is without doubt the largest funeral company in Australia.  As such everyone knows of InvoCare, and talks of them quite regularly.  I have found it is almost impossible to talk for any length about the funeral industry without mentioning InvoCare.

    Despite this not everyone knows much about the company.  In fact many know quite little, even some of InvoCare's own employees.  So I decided to answer a few questions and misconceptions at once in one post.  Here I discuss the company and summarise everything I know and think of InvoCare.


Thanatourism: Waverley Cemetery

    I am putting together a series of posts encouraging thanatourism.  The visiting of funeral sites (in this case cemeteries and crematoriums) for recreation.

    To start the series I begin with Waverley Cemetery, one of the most beautiful places in Sydney.  Perched on a cliff in Bronte is has wonderful views of the ocean.  The many historic white graves make the view even more impressive.

    This post has photos and a suggested walking path through the cemetery.  To see some of the best bits while enjoying a comfortable route.


Funeral Fieldwork Information

    Over the past few days I have contacted several funeral homes around Sydney.  Asking about the possibility of doing a study of the company.  Most were quite positive, actually only one sounded hesitant.  Many even thought it was a good idea and sounded interested.  However, they were not able to give authority or even comment on the likelihood.  They said it would be brought up to the correct people and they would call me back.

    While this has only been a few days none have called back.  Unfortunate, but very understandable.  It is not an easy decision to make for a funeral home.  I do not expect many replies soon.  I also expect most will say 'no'.

    So I've decided to help make this decision easier.  In this post I write about what my 'study' would involve, my aims and so on.


Guest Post - Cemetery & Crematorium Price Guide

    These are some cemetery and crematorium price guides.  They were sent to me anonymously from someone in the funeral industry.  I don't know if they are accurate, or even how old they are.  But they are interesting.

Facebook & YouTube page

    I have finally gotten around to organising a Facebook page for this blog, which you can see here.

    The main point of this page is to post photos of various things.  Especially of funeral photos that don't quite fit in a section on the blog.  Facebook lets you view the photos in a larger format than the blog, so you can see more detail.  I've already uploaded a few albums, so check it out!

    Also, I created a youtube account.  Mostly as a place to find and collect funeral related videos.  You can view the youtube account here.  This account is not very active, I only use it ever so often to find videos.  But subscribe if you want random (and rare) updates on youtube videos.

Facebook page:

Youtube account:



ESMP Cemetery & Crematorium Open Day

    Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park (also known as Botany Cemetery to some) will have an open day on  Saturday the 27th of October.  It looks like a fun day, with a tour of the crematorium and funeral home, face painting, displays, a sausage sizzle and much more.

When: 27/10/12 - 11:00am to 02:00pm.
Where: Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park Cemetery & Crematorium.
Cost: Free.

More information

Event Calendar

My guide about the cemetery and crematorium, including how to get there, maps, where to park and more.


Stats issue - update

    Someone just emailed me about the 'popular posts this month' being a bit odd.  Turns out the blog stats have been reset to zero.  They're up to about six, but essentially they have been reset.

    I'm not the only one with this issue, a quick google turns up several people asking about it in the last 40minutes.  So I'll just sit back and let it sort itself out.  It is a shame in a way, the blog was going to hit 5,000 total views today.  But nothing I can do except wait and hope it is fixed in time.  It'd be a shame to lose the old stats, but won't impact too much on what I do.

    But I'll say thanx for the 5,000 views anyway!!  It's nice to have people actively reading the blog.  I get an odd sense of accomplishment from this.  Which is odd considering the blog started out as something solely for me, a place to store and collect stuff.  But it has become so much more!  It has become something I do for others as well as for me.  The blog regularly has over 100 views per day, and will soon have over 200 views per day.

    A very big thank you to those who have contributed so far (you know who you are), without you many posts would not have been possible.  Companies and individuals alike, you have been helpful and motivating.

    Here's to 10,000 views!  With luck we can celebrate it together soon :)

    Looks like the stats are back, but it's missing todays views.  Can't complain really, they fixed the issue quickly and everything's back in order.

    I found it interesting, reading the complaints and issues.  People noticed the stats reset considerably quickly.  Within 20 minutes of the reset there were questions popping up.  Just goes to show how important stats are to people and blogs.  They are a measure of success, growth, direction and more.



Inside the funeral home: Lady Anne Funerals

    Recently I spent a day at Lady Anne Funerals in West Ryde, behind the scenes observing how they operate.  I first met a few Lady Anne staff at the Rookwood open day.  They were quite open to the idea of me going to observe and study their operations.  Rare considering the paranoia and secrecy in most of the funeral industry.

    This is about my day inside Lady Anne Funerals, what I saw and what it was like.  I had a great day and learnt a lot.  Lady Anne Funerals is a wonderful company with great staff.


Inside a Mortuary - Again

    I posted these photos and videos of various funeral home mortuaries in mid September.  In under a month that post has been viewed over 100 times, making it the second most popular post on this blog.

    So here's a few more pictures of inside a funeral home mortuary.  Enjoy!


Working Funerals - Cleaning the car

    Most people might not find this post helpful, or even that interesting.  But for others this should make cleaning the car faster and result in a better job.  It took me 20 minutes to completely clean the exterior of my car.  There wasn't a spot of dirt on it by the time I finished.

    Cleaning cars is a big part of the morning routine and the job in general.



    I'm really behind for this blog and other things.  So until I catch up here's a short post to clear a few things up.

    In it I discuss my future plans, how to submit guest posts and why most submissions do not get published and so on.


Modernity in the Funeral Industry: A look at Disneyization and McDonaldization in the Australian funeral industry

    This is my third essay on modernity in the funeral industry.  In these essays I am taking concepts from tourism studies and applying it to the funeral industry to show how the two industries are quite similar.

    I have found that many consider the funeral industry to be 'old fashioned' and traditional.  Yet this is not really the case as the funeral industry is modern industry, with large international corporations, mass consumption models and so on.

    In this essay I apply two key concepts of modernisation to the funeral industry.  Essentially both of these concepts come out of tourism and are used to explain modernity in society.  You can read my abstract below, and find the link to the whole essay.


An Inside Look: Macquarie Park Cemetery & Crematorium

    This is a re-write of this old post where I look at Macquarie Park Cemetery & Crematorium.  The original post was written a while ago, and now I have more photos and information.  So it's only appropriate I write a new post in the wake of the open day.