John Finlayson has a dual role working as a qualified funeral director for Hope and Sons Ltd, and operating the Dukes Road Crematorium.
John is still actively funeral directing but his latest challenge has been to learn the ins and outs of the crematorium.
John loves his role as a funeral director and enjoys meeting and helping families through a difficult time. Over the last eight years he has really enjoyed his time with Hope's and arranging and directing many funerals for both friends and new acquaintances.
At Hope's and Dignity we care for the person right from the time and place they have died, at their funeral, and then personally for the cremation. It is a real honour.
I've often heard people joke that Hope's are the one-stop shop. They really are now - with everything for the final farewell - hearses and embalmers, mortuary and viewing lounges, chapels and catering, printing and multimedia, follow-up support and cremation.
It is really nice when families come out to bring their loved one to the Kowhai Lounge and they always seem to enjoy the surroundings - a park-like setting out in the almost country - quite tranquil.
Being a funeral director can be a fairly high intensity job at times and the role at Dukes Road is definitely less intense. There are some very important responsibilities, but I don't mind the solitude and peacefulness of the surroundings at times.
The machine is highly automated but like everything it needs a human touch and it is good to always monitor its performance. We have had a couple of challenges in the last six months but otherwise it runs beautifully.
We are really looking forward to the official opening with the dedication of the building and planting of the special Kowhai.