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London, January 2019. This year’s New Year’s Honours list, announced today that Tony Rowland has been awarded an MBE ‘For services to Undertaking and the community in Surrey, United Kingdom’.
One driving ambition has motivated Tony Rowland throughout his adult life and does so still. It is to help create a society in which all are treated equally, as men, women and young people who – whatever their circumstances – deserve to receive compassionate treatment in times of personal difficulty. He is a man who has changed things by his initiative and practical achievements.
One such innovation was his setting up, four decades ago, of a continuing bereavement aftercare program for all individuals and families making use of his firm’s services – at no extra cost to them. He established this at a time when professional bereavement counselling was yet to become generally available to grieving people.
A second innovation was the establishment of a worldwide network and support structure improving hugely the efficient and compassionate repatriation of deceased British nationals who die while on holiday or working overseas, and citizens of other countries who die in similar circumstances in the UK. Since 1971, Tony has been responsible for more than 40,000 such repatriations.
The 40,000 repatriations included the return of all the UK citizens who died in the South Asia tsunami. Tony is continually involved in the consequences of disasters around the world, including the 9/11 and 7/7 bombings, travel disasters, extreme weather emergencies and overseas hostage situations.Tony’s company, which was an official supplier to the 2012 London Olympics, provides the official repatriation helpline for the National Association of Funeral Directors.
Tony has served as Chairman of the Croydon Association of Funeral Directors and President of the London Association of Funeral Directors. In this capacity he has been a mentor to many young people coming into this business as well as a staunch advocate for continually improving standards.
For a man so intimately involved in caring for those who have died, and their loved ones, Tony Rowland is passionate about making life better for coming generations.