QUALICUM BEACH FUNERAL CENTRE WHERE WILL YOU REST ...
AND HOW WILL YOU GET THERE?
By Linda Tenney
I visited with Paul and Bev Walkey, owners and Funeral Directors at Qualicum Beach Funeral Centre, to learn about their services and the various burial and cremation options available.
I’ve avoided the subject for years. Talking about death is challenging for me, as it might be for you. The topic is often fraught with intense emotion and deep sadness, but having the information at hand is a comforting thought, and frankly, it’s information we should all have in our back pocket. Right there and handy when we need it.
Bev and Paul originally established their funeral business on Beach Avenue in 2010, but quickly realized that the location was too small and didn’t fit their vision for the Centre. When a larger property on Fern Road became available, there was no hesitation about moving.
“Vancouver Island needs the services that we offer, and being centrally located in Qualicum Beach is ideal. Our clients are from all over Vancouver Island, even the North Island communities, and it makes perfect sense for us to be here,” says Paul.
Tucked away behind Pharmasave and adjacent to a parking lot, the Centre is not your usual funeral home. Its rather nondescript building is only distinguished by a business sign out front and a classy white SUV used for funeral services parked off to the side. The casual atmosphere is welcoming, rather than austere and intimidating.
Paul and Bev offer traditional and non-traditional funeral and memorial services, and burial as well as cremation arrangements. The process starts with a simple conversation at the Centre, or a home visit can be arranged if needed.
“We make it personal,” says Paul. “If required, we’ll visit our clients at their home where they’re more comfortable during their grieving.” One of Paul and Bev’s custom services was held recently at the Qualicum Beach Cemetery situated on Jones Avenue. With The Lion Sleeps Tonight playing in the background, Bev initiated a special tribute to their Mother – one final dance to the music she loved. Their mother was a dancer and surely smiled down on them as they joined hands and danced to the music. (In an odd coincidence, and only hours after Bev related this touching story to me, I heard it again. The woman’s son is a personal friend who was delighted by Bev’s heartfelt suggestion and will always remember the unique experience.)
“We spend a lot of time with our clients. As much time as they need. We believe this industry is all about customer service. We want people to feel comforted ... we want to ease the stress they may be feeling,” says Bev.
Choose a basic funeral service, or something more elaborate. A gathering for very few, or a larger reception at a local hall. A really unique choice for cremation ashes is an Ocean Memorial Reef – your eternal resting place will ultimately provide a home for marine life as it becomes part of the natural ecosystem. “This is your time. This is about you, and your loved one. You tell me what you’d like and need, and we’ll carry out your wishes,” Bev tells me.
If you think funeral services are expensive, they definitely can be. Arrangements, services and funerary merchandise can run into the thousands, but you can also choose a basic cremation at an economical $1,893, the lowest price offered on Vancouver Island.
If money’s tight, keep in mind that although there will be an initial outlay, a Death Benefit might be available if the deceased contributed to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) during his or her lifetime. The average death benefit paid in 2013 was $2,280.52. Not much, but it will help to defray some of the cost.
With a pocket now stuffed with information, I feel reassured and confident about making a choice. I may even opt for a Pre-arranged Plan like my grandparents did decades ago. Their thoughtful choice at that time made their funeral arrangements extremely easy when they passed on. I didn’t have to worry about a thing, everything was already arranged. Qualicum Beach Funeral offers similar pre-arranged plans.
Let’s face it, no matter the different journeys we’ve individually taken throughout our lives, the fact that we’ll eventually leave this world is inevitable. Someday we’ll all need the services of a Funeral Director and it’s nice to know there are caring people like Paul and Bev who will take care of the final arrangements when it becomes necessary.
Qualicum Beach Funeral Centre is located at 118 Fern Rd E. in Qualicum Beach. For an informal chat and lots of important information, feel free to contact Paul or Bev at 250-594-0305