Last week, I shared my thoughts on Baldarroch Crematorium in Crathes, after performing my first service there. Therefore, it’s only fair that I now blog about Aberdeen Crematorium and my experience to date.
As part of my training as a Celebrant with the Caledonian Humanist Association, I contacted the Crematorium in March this year, and was invited for a 1:1 tour with the manager Angus. I had to meet him in the office, and to be honest, I didn’t even know the Crematorium had an office! I’d only ever been to the West or East Chapel, so, in case you haven’t noticed it, there’s a bit in the middle that houses the office and also the room that has the Book of Remembrance in it.
So, off I went, a bit nervous, not really knowing what to expect. From the off, I was made to feel welcome. Angus and his entire staff were very friendly and approachable. To say I was overwhelmed with the tour is an understatement. He answered all questions and I was amazed at his honesty, professionalism and dignity. The place is HUGE and a lot more goes on behind the scenes than you could ever imagine. It was a no holds barred tour. There was not one single door that wasn’t opened to me, nor any room / process that I wasn’t permitted to view. Each and every question I asked was answered in full. I can wholeheartedly say that Angus runs a tight ship, and along with his team of 8 dedicated staff, there is little or no room for error, despite the negative press they have received. They do an amazing job and our loved ones are treated with dignity and respect from the minute they arrive. I can only imagine the emotional toll of undertaking a role such as this and they should be commended.
After I left, it took a while for everything to sink in. It’s a completely different experience attending the Crematorium as a Celebrant than it is attending a funeral, and I was pleased to have had the opportunity of a tour prior to conducting my first service.
And since then, I’m glad to be able to say that my first impressions weren’t wrong. The entire team are friendly and always welcome me with a smile – could be because I go armed with a fine piece for their fly cup! But that said, they’re unsung heroes in my book and a pack of Mr Kipling is a small price to pay for the service they provide to our loved ones.
Next time, I will write about the Humanist service itself, what it entails and what to expect, but in the interim, if you’ve anything you’d like to know or would like me to blog about, please feel free to leave me an enquiry via my website, LinkedIn or Facebook, and you could find your question as my next topic in Ask the Celebrant