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New viewing room at Memorial Park

New viewing room at Memorial Park

A new viewing room at the North Shore Memorial Park Cemetery and Crematorium will allow mourners to observe the coffins of their loved ones enter the cremators at the North Shore City Council Schnapper Rock Rd facility, and in doing so help many families and cultures through the grieving process.

The North Shore City Council says the latest stage of its ongoing upgrading programme at the North Shore Memorial Park Cemetery and Crematorium in Albany respects the cultural needs of an increasingly ethnically diverse community.

Chairperson of the council's community services and parks committee and a member of the Albany Community Board, Margaret Miles, says the viewing room is an important addition to a facility regarded among the country's finest.

"We considered the wider needs of our community, including the various customs of people from Eastern, Middle Eastern and European cultures among many others, in designing an intimate setting to suit all faiths and funeral requirements.

"The room not only meets changing cultural needs, the design also ensures the safety of mourners as they stand behind a reinforced glass window to watch the final stage of the journey," says Councillor Miles.

North Shore City's community liaison manager, Lisa Tocker, and her team adopted the ideas of local funeral directors throughout the design and construction phases of the $185,000 project. This also included the extension and refurbishment of the main reception area.

"We appreciated the time and advice that our local business groups shared with us," Ms Tocker says. "The viewing room is an important step in the continuing development of services at North Shore Memorial Park. The extended main reception area now provides a beautiful and calming space for extended families to confer over arrangements where previously if there were more that one or two family members they had to move outside.

"The viewing room is a 14 sq m private area located a discreet five metres away from the chapel itself. We're planning further improvements to the facility designed to enable families to meet after a chapel service and catch-up with friends and extended family. In the past the only available space was in the small foyer of the chapel."

The North Shore City Council has replaced both of the cremators within the past three years at a cost of $751,000.

For more information on the North Shore Memorial Park Cemetery and Crematorium people are invited to check out the council's website http://www.northshorecity.govt.nz.

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