July 2024

Page A13 july 2024 FUNERAL STATIONERY? FOR Visiting our Australian Customer By Rick Roberts Five Generations at T.S. Burstow Funerals Rick and Elizabeth Roberts My wife Elizabeth and I had the distinct honor and pleasure to visit with our customer, T.S. Burstow Funerals, while vacationing in Toowoomba, Queensland Australia. We first met co-director, Donald Burstow, during an NFDA convention in Salt Lake City. We also previously had the pleasure of meeting and visiting with Donald’s brother and codirector, Trevor and his son, during an NFDA convention in Baltimore. Upon learning that we would be celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary with a trip that included a stop in Brisbane we were invited to visit the funeral home. Don met us at the Brisbane airport and drove us to Toowoomba, about 1.75 hours west-northwest of Brisbane. Upon our arrival, he introduced us to his staff, who had prepared lunch for us. After lunch we began our tour of their very impressive facilities and had the pleasure of meeting Donald’s son, Toby, who handles the sound and video for the firm. We discussed the similarities and differences between Australian and American funerals. The biggest difference we found is that in Australia it is common to use the “Toe Pincher” style coffins more often than American style caskets. During viewing hours, the entire top is often left off the coffin. Their clients usually have body present viewings and services followed by either interment or cremation. Donald explained how he and his staff members serve grieving families by providing a serene and comforting environment for those who have lost a loved one. If the family chooses, they have a banquet room where the attendees can gather and have a meal after the service has ended. Don shared with us the origins of T.S. Burstow Funerals which is family owned and currently represented by its fifth generation, with the participation of Don’s daughter Laura, sons Benjamin and Toby, as well as Trevor’s sons, Scott and Jeff, and daughter-in-law Tiffany. The Burstow family can be traced back to William the Conqueror. An area near London was given to Burstow who was an officer in William the Conqueror’s Army. The town of Burstow still exists and the Burstow Fox Hunt is still well known in the United Kingdom. Continued on page A23