A note from our family to yours:
It is almost a cliché, the past year has been difficult. And so it comes at the end of that year: the announcement we have been hoping would never be given. Curtis Family Funerals haved ceased to undertake funerals from the 1st February, 2021. We would like to thank the community of Broken Hill for placing your trust in us, but a number of factors have worked together to prevent us continuing to offer this service.
As many would be aware, we have been trying to build a funeral chapel for the past six years, but just as approvals were received, the 2016 hail storm struck. Builders ended up with more and more work and what was originally a $350,000 development blew-out. The last quote we received was over $1,000,000.
As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, funeral services were greatly affected and we experienced a downturn in demand. The effect of our declining population has also seen the number of deaths in decline. The Job Keeper looked like it was timely help, but what was supposed to be a help has become a burden to our business — we have yet to receive a single payment from the Australian Tax Office even though our staff have been receiving Job Keeper since June.
The past year has seen a level of staff renewal and we were glad to put on a trainee. Unfortunately that trainee found the demands of our industry difficult and chose to finish in December. Our recruitment process has been running since September and while we have received some very good applicants, many of them had taken other work. As many businesses in town are finding, it is increasingly difficult to find suitable staff and our industry has a very specific set of skills and characteristics.
This combination of factors puts us in a position where continuing to offer funeral services would be impossible. So it is with grateful thanks for the privilege of serving so many of you during your time of need, we have decided to cease conducting funerals.
Those with pre-paid funerals will be able to transfer to other funeral directors, while those with pre-arranged funerals will be contacted to ascertain whether or not they would like their details passed on to another entity.
Anyone paying off a funeral will still be able to make payments electronically, or in person through our office at Morgan Street, which will be open every Thursday morning.
Our parent company, John Curtis & Sons Pty Ltd, will continue to offer commercial document shredding services through Silver City Shredding and run the local cremation facility. We are pleased to continue offering the option for Broken Hill funeral directors to have local cremations, rather than needlessly shipping the deceased away from their community. The price of local cremations remains unchanged at $887.
This decision has weighed heavily on our family and we thank the people of Broken Hill for their support.
The Curtis family