Parkside has its origins in a dream. A dream to become a funeral director and care for bereaved families through the funeral process. I, Rennie had experienced the terrible loss of a baby son, Bradley, who lived 5 ½ weeks, and died from SIDS. As a result of this I began to read about grief and loss in an attempt to understand what was happening to me. I did a training course which talked about the role of a funeral director and how a funeral can make a difference in the journey of moving on after loss.
And so the dream to become a funeral director was born. I commenced work in the industry some 22 years ago working for two local companies. Like many who work in this industry, I left these positions with a sense of disillusionment. But the dream to work as a funeral director stayed. And so, with a huge amount of support from family and friends, the purchase and renovation of a lovely old Federation building in Strahan St, Burnie, in 1999, along with a hearse meant that the dream of owning and operating my own funeral business was realised. Gerald joined the business in 2000. In 2003 a new dream was born, we wanted to be able to offer our own chapel facility to our families. We found an amazing property on 5 acres of land, adjacent to our local lawn cemetery, with a creek and a lake. And we began to build what is, we believe is one of the most beautiful, spacious funeral facilities in Australia.
August 2004 we held our first funeral in our newly finished chapel. And we have had the privilege of conducting thousands of services for Tasmanian families since then. Our staff has grown from Gerald and Rennie ‘doing everything’ with the assistance of one administration assistant, to 6 full-time staff, and 6 part time staff, all of whom share our commitment to providing the best in funeral service that we believe is possible. We have held onto the dream of caring for bereaved families through the funeral process. It is a fundamental philosophy that underpins everything that we do as funeral directors. In 2012, Rennie’s son Simon began work as a funeral director, bringing to Parkside a fresh, contemporary approach, along with incredible enthusiasm to grow Parkside in new directions, and provide a ‘family business’.
In January 2014, we expanded and purchased a Chapel in Ulverstone, at 7 Wrights Road, meaning we are able to better serve the residents of the Central Coast Region. This lovely, modern facility includes a Chapel, viewing room, office and reception, and of course a refreshment venue.
The next part of our dream is underway! We have a proposal before the relevant Government authorities to install our own cremator, so that we can increase our level of service to our families. And we would love to expand the business to offer facilities in other locations. And the dream goes on…
In 2018 we took possession of a beautiful custom built hearse, built by Hammond Conversions in Pambula, NSW.