North Shore Times : January 29th 2013
www.northshoretimes.co.nz 9 NORTH SHORE TIMES, JANUARY 29, 2013 NEWS Your online motoring guide View at www.dash-board.co.nz or at any of our newspapers online. Like us on facebook to have your say facebook.com/NZautocarDashboard ISSUE 8 NOW ONLINE Oakridge VILLAS cemetery Humble beginnings: Craig Andrew started as a grave digger at North Shore Memorial Park Cemetery and is now the cemetery manager. ' If we can provide the ultimate send off like that -- well then we've done our job ' Craig Andrew cemetery manager the business, he says. Services are no longer so sober, a marble chess piece will do for a head- stone and cemeteries with rolling green hills attract dog walkers and those out for a leisurely run. It used to be that nobody seemed to want to talk about death until it happened,'' Mr Andrew says. But people are becom- ing more open, they're realists. Death shouldn't be something we are afraid to talk about.'' For many this is easier said than done, but for a man who has spent most of his career running a busy crematorium, death is his business. Funnily enough, it never really spooked me to think about death or what happens after- wards,'' the 43-year-old says. I guess it helps that I was always very interes- ted in knowing the whole process down to the nth degree, it's very scien- tific.'' North Shore Memorial Cemetery has the high- est percentage of crema- tions in Auckland, at 75 per cent. To keep up with demand three new fully automated cremators have been installed in the past 12 years, a nice change after the 1960s dinosaur that was around when Mr Andrew started. These days the machines are quieter, more efficient and pro- duce no emissions, he says. A body will spend about three hours in the cremator where at a glance the temperature reads 824 degrees and climbing. It's not for the faint hearted and looking through the peep hole at the roaring flames it's easy to forget that people like Mr Andrew have this down to a fine art. What makes up a per- son; gold teeth, a pin holding together a once broken arm and a life- time of memories, from one day to the next comes out neatly pack- aged in a little white box. And at the end of the day, Mr Andrew says, the only certain thing in life is death. So we may as well shine a bit of light on it.'' At 38 years-old North Shore Memorial Park is just a baby in the cemetery world, says Mr Andrew. And as the only open cemetery on the North Shore, and being around 50 per cent full, planning for future needs is key. But with 90 acres of farmland outside of Albany at their fingertips there's no need to worry about running out of space any time soon. "It hasn't got the point where we're planning high rises yet," jokes Mr Andrew.
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