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Manukau: Bob White Function Lounge Opens

Manukau Memorial Gardens Celebrates The Opening Of The Bob White Function Lounge

Manukau City Council is pleased to announce the Bob White Function Lounge at Manukau Memorial Gardens will be officially opened by Manukau Mayor Sir Barry Curtis on Wednesday December 15th. Named after Bob White former long serving Mayor of Papatoetoe from1965 - 1986, the introduction of this new facility will effectively make the Gardens one of the leading edge providers of funeral services in the Auckland region.

The Bob White Function Lounge at the Manukau Memorial Gardens opens on 15 December.

Manukau Mayor Sir Barry Curtis says, "Manukau Memorial Gardens has come a long way since its establishment as the Papatoetoe Cemetery on 45 acres of land 72 years ago in 1932. In 1982 the Crematorium was opened, a further 19 acres of land added, and it was renamed the South Auckland Cemetery and Crematorium. A 1996 name changing ceremony saw it acquire its current name, Manukau Memorial Gardens, and the acquisition of 39 more acres in 2002 gives it a total of 103 acres.

"Manukau City Council advocates for and strives to implement policies and changes which meet the needs of a culturally diverse and growing city. The Bob White Function Centre reflects our readiness to consult and listen to our many communities. Staff at Manukau Memorial Gardens lead by Manager, Noelene Mudgeway, saw an opportunity to provide a function centre in reponse to increased requests for on-site reception/catering service.

"The benefits of having the after service function on site are many. It seems logical with today's fast moving pace of life, when people often have to travel large distances to attend a funeral, families want to minimise the hassles. Not having to transfer to another place for the after funeral gathering with family and friends, will make the day of the funeral less traumatic for loved ones and grieving relatives.

"The facility will provide a venue to gather with family and friends immediately after the formalities of the funeral in a relaxed environment to chat and reminisce about their loved one.

"I was pleased to be informed the reception lounge was completed on time and within budget by a very competent team of professionals. Manukau City Council staff have worked in partnership with a project management team led by Tim Littlewood of Octa Associates Ltd; with the quantity surveying services of Rawlinsons Ltd; a design team headed by Ramen Patel of GHD Ltd; Architect, Dennis Dowie of HBO + EMTB; Lawrence Jones Partners, Mechanical and Electrical Engineers; and Brian New of Teak Construction Ltd.

"The interior of the Lounge has been very tastefully furnished by Bourneville Furniture and Interior Creations. The catering contract has been awarded to Eurest New Zealand Limited. I would like to thank all service providers for their high standard of work on this project."

This investment in a function centre is one step further in the continued growth and development of Manukau Memorial Gardens. Plans to extend the cemetery by developing recently purchased adjoining land have been discussed with the community, and are well under way.

Another recent development at the Gardens which assists in meeting the cultural and spiritual needs of the diverse Manukau communities is the new Magnolia Room opened in December last year, where the initial stage of cremation or 'Witnessing the Charge' can be viewed.

Sir Barry says, "With the opening of the Bob White Function Lounge, Manukau Memorial Gardens is positioning itself as a market leader in the wider Counties Manukau region and beyond in the provision of cremation and burial services."

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