These days more and more people are choosing alternate venues in Melbourne in which to hold the farewell ceremony for their loved ones…venues which reflect their personality and passions, and provide a welcoming atmosphere for guests to both mingle and mourn.
Recently, I was honoured to be the celebrant for Billy’s Farewell, in a pub!
Billy was a larger than life character, an outrageous character in fact and I was told that he would definitely approve of the pub as the place for family and friends to gather for his farewell. So long as they all had a drink in hand!
So his family decided that to honour Billy, one Memorial Service in a pub….just wasn’t going to cut it. Billy Crocker actually required a pub crawl!!
Family ceremony at The Auburn Hotel
So on Friday, in a small upstairs room at The Auburn Hotel in Hawthorn, Billy’s family gathered for a private farewell. Gathered together at the pub were his wife, their children, their partners and the grandchildren. His favourite tribe.
It was a very special and intimate setting for Billy’s tribe to gather. They said farewell and thanks to this man they loved and adored, and to honour him for the legacy of wonderful memories he left with them. You could feel the love in the private pub dining room during this small family ceremony, where stories, photos, drinks, laughter, hugs and tears were intermingled. And these continued on over a long pub lunch afterwards.
Family and friends farewell at The Rosstown Hotel
On Saturday, Billy’s family were joined by a large gathering of friends at the Rosstown Hotel. Once again guests were greeted with drinks upon arrival and the Ceremony kicked off with a Toast to a man who lived life his way, and left a wonderful legacy for all who knew him.
So, a funeral in a pub?
Now in case you might be wondering if a pub is really an appropriate place for a funeral, let me reassure you…
During this large Service for Billy, where the majority of guests were seated, you could have heard a pin drop during the Eulogy, Tributes and Photo Show. Except for the laughs that emerged from the many funny stories being shared.
And yes there were also tears, and lots of warm hugs as people mingled before and after the Service. These continued over refreshments which followed straight after the service. No one had to change venues. The setting was perfect for Billy, and his family and friends all agreed.
So, whilst a funeral in a pub would not be an appropriate venue for everyone, it is certainly worth keeping in mind as an option.
In my next post, I will talk about other venues around Melbourne that families are choosing to farewell their loved ones.
You know…it actually can be almost anywhere! Call me anytime to see if your idea can work.
Feedback from Billy’s family
“My Dad was a larger than life character and as a family we really wanted to celebrate his ‘unique personality and love of life. We are forever grateful that we were highly recommended to the services of Marg.
From the moment we met, her warmth, understanding, sense of humour and deep level of respect, shone so bright, that it gave us all the strength and love to be able to put together a magnificent tribute to our
Dad; one that we know he would have loved and that we were all really proud of. Thank you Marg, for making this very emotional, sad time so much easier for us.
We thought you did a beautiful service that embraced and captured the essence of our loving Dad.
Lots of love and thanks
Raelene D’Apolito and family”.