Modern cemeteries are stuck in the past
Traditionally, cemeteries have been well, traditional. Today’s stonemasons are still manufacturing the same kinds of headstones their industry has been making for hundreds of years. Despite the availability of game changing technologies.
In fact, these days so called “masons” buy the headstones for Australian cemeteries from China or India. Many of the various production processes, for example preparing inscriptions, are typically outsourced to people like graphic artists.
If you take a walk through any cemetery you will see plenty of monuments are falling apart. The main reason is that in the past engineered footings simply weren’t part of the mason’s trade. Complying with building and engineering specifications for installation and footings wasn’t a consideration. Compliance is a big deal now as you’ll see if you keep reading…
The monuments industry is constrained by old school thinking. For years, Cemetery Boards have been crumbling under the weight of their own corruption. Rookwood in western Sydney is the latest casualty.The monuments industry is constrained by old school thinking. Click To Tweet
I decided to dig a little deeper with the WA Metropolitan Cemeteries Board. I wanted to know how they go about helping their clients who need memorials.
Mystery shopping for a memorial
I rang the Fremantle Cemetery to enquire where I can get a plaque made. I was offered two choices:
- Make an appointment to meet with their staff to discuss my options
- Give my address so they could post me a brochure
When I asked if maybe I could see the brochure online the staff member said “Ooh I don’t know about that”. (How last century is that?)
Well the 92 page book is available for download from the Metropolitan Cemeteries Board site. The catalogue is filled with photographs of mainly boring old fashioned memorials.
So I rang the Fremantle Cemetery again and asked if I was to have my plaque made by my own supplier, how would I go about getting the monument installed?
I was told “No, it can’t be done, everything has to comply.”
Ooh I said I’m sure I can get a plaque made that will “comply”. Perhaps you could just let me know the guidelines.
“No. It can’t be done.” End of conversation.
What is this, secret cemeteries business? What ever happened to open and fair trading? Aren’t government departments meant to give me unbiased choices?
I happen to know I can choose any monument supplier I like. It’s my democratic right. And I will most certainly be exploring the innovative options at Forever Shining next time I need a plaque or gravestone. Examples of their ground breaking innovation include:
- Smart patented software taking DIY online designs straight to the producer
- Beautiful full colour ceramic and porcelain images of loved ones
- Stainless steel headstones with coloured glass inscriptions and motifs
- Light reflective and light transmitting headstones
- Customised laser-etched black granite headstones
Are you ready to join the quiet monument revolution? Click To Tweet
As Wendell Phillips says
“Revolutions never go backwards.”