Francis believes in bringing the highest standards of professionalism to his calling. He is mindful of the philosophy, values and tradition of serving Nelson, inherited by him down a continuous four-generation line. Francis aims to pass on those values and philosophy through his own family, with his wife Paddy, children Bridget and Patrick, who are all involved in the business – his youngest son Michael has a career in Accounting and Business Management. Francis qualified in 1966 in Australia as an embalmer and has since tutored for the embalming course for the Central Institute of Technology. He has served as president and examiner for the Embalmers Association and is a life member of that association. Francis is the long serving chairman of the Funeral Services Training Trust.
One of only four Nelsonians qualified with a NZQA Diploma in Funeral Service, and holds a Fellowship Degree of the British Institute of Embalmers, Francis strongly believes in providing a warm, professional and supportive atmosphere in which to farewell the deceased. He says funerals are for the living, where you pay your respects to the dead – remember them but also reaffirm your faith, creed or philosophy and give you assistance to cope with your loss.
Andrew Mason – Chief Executive
Helping people, especially in a time of crisis, has been a consistent theme in Andrew’s career. A former senior police Officer and leader in the UK Police Service, Andrew has many years experience dealing with people in stressful situations. As Chief Executive he is committed to ensuring his staff put families at the centre of everything they do in order to deliver the best possible funeral experience .
“I believe with our unique blend of a rich heritage to draw on, combined with high quality, contemporary funeral options, we are able to offer families any kind of funeral they would like – from traditional to modern,” Andrew says.
As well as the day-to-day management of the funeral homes Andrew ensures his staff are well supported, with continuous professional development, so they can deliver high quality funerals and standards of care.
He says the greatest satisfaction he gets from his role is seeing families coming together, sharing stories and creating positive memories from a funeral.
Originally from England, Andrew is married to a kiwi, who he met while she was on her ‘OE’. He has two children and when he’s not spending time with his family he likes to go road cycling.
Stephen Roberts – Funeral Director and Embalmer
A background in nursing has given Stephen a lifetime of working with people who have experiencedsome form of loss. With time spent in oncology and then orthopaedic wards, Stephen has worked with patients and their families through times of illness and trauma.
Because his professional life has always involved helping families manage their loss, it is not surprising Stephen was drawn to the funeral industry. He says his role as a funeral director and embalmer is a natural fit for him.
Stephen believes it is a privilege to be invited into the ‘cocoon’ of a family at their time of loss. He appreciates the stories they share with him and the warmth they show for their loved ones. He says it’s heart warming to see the way families come together and the support they give each other during a difficult and emotional time.
In his workshop at home, away from people, Stephen finds solace amongst his old carpentry hand tools. He says he is ‘energized by the quietness’ there and finds it restorative to turn offcuts of rimu wood into furniture – although he confesses that sometimes the result is just sawdust.
He and his wife attend Grace Church and enjoy tramping.