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Old 05-16-2017, 11:07 PM   #1
The future is unwritten
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 63,135
May 17th, 2017: Coffin Club New Zealand

The Coffin Club was founded in 2010, a few years after Williams told a meeting of fellow students at the University of the Third Age – a global organization that offers study programs for seniors – that she wanted to build her own coffin. “God knows why I got up and did that,” she says, chuckling. “But when the meeting finished there were all these people lining up to talk to me. So I realized it wasn’t such a spooky idea; it was a sensible one.”

Now, every Wednesday morning, dozens of Rotoruans congregate at the club’s headquarters – a small converted warehouse – to build their own coffins, decorating them any way they wish, usually representing their life’s work, interests and obsessions. One man even put a pocket on the side of his casket for his wallet; he wanted to prove “you can take it with you.”

Since its first meeting, the Coffin Club has helped hundreds craft their own caskets. There’s the lifelong farmer with photographs of his favorite cows and sheep that will accompany him into the afterlife; the musician whose coffin looks more like a Steinway piano than a stairway to heaven; and the Vietnam War veteran who strapped an outboard motor to the vessel for his “final voyage,” and raised a few eyebrows when he lined it with the finest, dainty lace.

“It’s all about control,” Williams says. People are not merely interested in avoiding the exorbitant cost of conventional funeral packages. They are also looking for something different, more imaginative and personalized than an austere coffin, regulation black hearse and a few perfunctory words from a priest or celebrant in a stark chapel. “We can do a funeral for $1,000 NZ ($710 US), compared with $12,000 to $14,000 NZ ($8,500 to $10,000 US),” Williams observes. “We did that for my brother and it showed him for what he was, rather than what he wasn’t, which is a mahogany-and-gold bloke; he was a farmer.”
When picking out my Dad's coffin my brother and I agreed the polished mahogany was not him, so we went with oak.
I guess after that my mother didn't trust us, so she made all her arrangements and paid for it in advance. We just had to show up.
Brother and I also agreed for us, knotty pine.

Everything is interesting... look closer.
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