Listen in as Daryl & Roxie discuss our new Torquay space and the modern-day funeral with our General Manager, Beth King.
Roxie [00:00:00] I think this is an interesting discussion, I’ll start it off by saying that I was invited to a launch of a new space and the invitation came from Kings funerals. And the new space is kind of a very light and airy Hamptons-ish beachy style space in Torquay because it’s a new place where you could have a funeral. Joining us in the studio is Beth. Hello Beth, how are you?
Beth King [00:00:24] Good, thank you.
Roxie [00:00:28] We couldn’t make it because, of course, we’re on the radio. But I got excited about it because I thought, well, the old way of doing funerals and that sort of is not my thing. It’s cool to be doing something a bit different.
Beth King [00:00:40] Yeah, absolutely. We’re really excited about this new space down there. And it’s yeah. As you said, just really light-filled and has some local art on the wall. And the concept is that we want it to be somewhere where people are creating a sense of comfort – while they’re there for a reason, which is, you know, very sad and deeply personal to them. It’s for people who are less comfortable in traditional spaces or churches that this is somewhere they can gather and remember the person who’s died.
Daryl [00:01:11] Now, Beth, is it because people are probably less religious, less churchy these days?
Beth King [00:01:17] Yeah, that’s definitely one reason. There’s certainly fewer and fewer people who are choosing to have their funerals within a church or another religious space. But it has been going on for many years that people have been gathering in different spaces, such as a variety of venues that we have around town. And also, you can go to wineries, you can go to sporting clubs and all different places to have funerals.
Daryl [00:01:44] Now, I’ve been to a couple of funerals recently, which isn’t great, but most of the venues are pretty sort of nondescript anyway. And you can have someone officiate over them. If you are religious, you can get. Someone in or in our case. Well, hey, there are people who do these jobs!
Roxie [00:02:03] Because we haven’t seen a priest for a very long time and I think that’s probably like my thing would be that I’m not religious in that way, but I love the beach and I love our surf coast.
Roxie [00:02:15] And so I guess I did say to you, I must tell the kids about this just in case, you know, you’ve got to prepare. And as Daryl pointed out, I’m of that age.
Daryl [00:02:24] I didn’t say that. I just said you probably should be thinking about telling them about it. Well, yeah, at this stage
Roxie [00:02:33] I would want it to be more about a celebration of life than as sort of an event for my death, which I think is kind of the way people are now.
Beth King [00:02:42] Yeah, definitely. Very few people are looking for what you would think of as that traditional sort of solemn approach. And for the people who want that, we can absolutely provide that service. But people are more looking for that remembrance, sharing stories and, you know, smiles and even laughter sometimes as part of the funeral.
Daryl [00:03:04] Well, we’re not suggesting that when you go to say goodbye to a loved one, that it’s, you know, going to be a laugh.
Daryl [00:03:19] So where is this space? Whereabouts is it?
Beth King [00:03:21] So it’s 45 Geelong Road, which is just sort of not far from the Rip Curl, down on that main road.
Roxie [00:03:33] OK, I’ve just had a look online and there’s in the news section of the Kings funeral site, there are some photos. So to give you a bit of an idea. But there’s been some pretty extraordinary funerals that you guys have officiated at. Can you give us some of the more out-there ones?
Beth King [00:03:50] Yes, absolutely. Funerals are more and more reflecting the person who’s died and their life and their own unique ways. And so there’s one in particular, I remember where we had a motorcycle hearse. So the coffin is attached to a bit of a sidecar. And that family chose to play Bat out of Hell as the motorcycle drove along. Right. It was just perfect for that person. The people there just really appreciated that it was very specifically appropriate for that situation.
Daryl [00:04:29] That, of course, leads us to the fact that you believe you know what song you would play
Roxie [00:04:33] Well, I do like I’ve got to I absolutely have to have The Police version of Roxanne…but you’re worried…
Daryl [00:04:41] No, I’m just saying it’s a song about a prostitute.
Roxie [00:04:43] Yeah, I know. And that’s why you are worried it’s not quite appropriate for a funeral.
Daryl [00:04:46] There are other versions of Roxanne, I’m sure.
Daryl [00:04:50] Well, anyway, the point is, what is one of the most popular funeral songs?
Beth King [00:04:55] There’s a lot there’s Somewhere over the Rainbow, can be a very common one. Time to Say Goodbye, My Way.
Beth King [00:05:18] And there’s also, yes, people use their own specific songs that show the importance of something across the decades as well, that the songs that the three of us wouldn’t think of immediately that might be appropriate to someone who was born in the 1940s.
Roxie [00:05:37] Have you ever thought of what you would have?
Beth King [00:05:40] It’s a very personal one that people probably, almost certainly wouldn’t know. There’s a song written by one of my aunts who performs sometimes, not someone many people would have heard of, but it’s called You’re Here. And she wrote it after her father died, my grandfather. And it just has some beautiful lines in there about, you know, the smell of fresh-cut grass and the things that remind her of him. And, uh, and it can be, you know, for anybody.
Roxie [00:06:12] But, yeah, that would make me cry.
Daryl [00:06:13] Which is great and meaningful to you. And you’ve got a song about Roxanne turning off the red light.
Roxie [00:06:21] But, hey, that’s what I want. Each to their own.
Roxie [00:06:24] And I think that’s what’s wonderful about this, is that you’re actually what we need in the marketplace for people to be able to have funerals that are appropriate to them, which is great.
Beth King [00:06:35] Yeah, yeah. We’re really happy and excited to be the first funeral gathering space on the Surf Coast. So it’s something that’s needed down there. And that when the time comes for people who are looking to plan a funeral, I hope they keep it in mind if it’s appropriate for them.