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Royals out in force at the London Ball *

On 23rd February the Sheraton Grand Park Lane Hotel’s Grand Ballroom hosted the London Association’s glittering Banquet and Ball, which this year had a Royal theme.

President Richard van Nes welcomed honoured guests NAFD President Abi; BIFD President David Capper; SAIF National President Alan Tucker, with Cathy Scott; BIE National President Barbara Fowley, with Declan MacGuire, and BIE Southern District Chairman Lee Marston with wife Nina.

Top table guests reflect on the musical prowess of the British Army


Guests made a regal entrance to a fanfare of Trumpets of the Irish Guards of the Household Division and were entertained during dinner by a quintet from the Countess of Wessex’s State String Orchestra.


Having enjoyed a delicious four-course dinner, partygoers filled the dancefloor as showband “Supernova” took to the stage.

A bemused Beefeater directed guests to dinner (chicken)


The evening included a raffle draw for an array of superb prizes, kindly donated by sponsors and local members. The subsequent auction, again with lots generously provided by the event’s sponsors, raised further funds for the President’s nominated beneficiary – The Household Division Charity.

(* life sized cut-outs)

Many thanks to all who supported the event – we look forward to welcoming you next year.

Next year’s ball will be Saturday 29th February

Don’t miss the highlight of 2020’s social calendar!



(thanks to Pret-a-portrait, for permission to use photographs)

Education, Education, Education & a new course!

It has been a busy period for the Education Committee.

Courses P & Q


At the Autumn General Meeting on 22nd November Certificates and Prizes were presented to students from 2 CertFAA courses held earlier in 2018.
Across the 2 courses, there were 27 successful candidates. 

The photograph shows the new Certificate holders with LAFD President Richard van Nes and Education Committee Chairman Barry Pritchard.




Course R Earlier that month, 20 candidates sat the CertFAA examination at the Hallmark Hotel, Croydon. After a nervous wait, just before Christmas, 18 received positive results.

Course S
On 16th January the latest cohort of students embarked on the CertFAA course.

Course S started with 13 students from 7 member firms, pictured with President Richard and Course Tutor David Hall.

New Year Honour for Tony Rowland

Tony Rowland, of Rowland Brothers Limited, based in Croydon, has been recognised in the New Year Honours List. His honour reflects both his commitment to supporting the bereaved and his voluntary and fund-raising endeavours benefitting the community in South London and Surrey. Cited for “services to Undertaking and the community in Surrey”, Tony has been awarded an MBE.

A past President of the London Association of Funeral Directors and a past Chairman of the Croydon Association (now LAFD Southern District Association), Tony is well-known in the profession with which he has been involved for 65 years: at the age of 80, he still works in the family business, having started as a 15 year-old apprentice.

In the 1970s Tony set up a bereavement aftercare programme, which now makes emotional support and practical assistance available to all bereaved people throughout Croydon and the surrounding areas. Tony also set up an international repatriation service, with a worldwide network of agents, which has assisted the return of thousands of deceased UK citizens and of many overseas citizens that died in the UK. With such a wealth of experience, Tony lectures at Scotland Yard to police family liaison officers and to the Rapid Response Team at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Tony has been very active in charitable and community work, through involvement in local Rotary, Round Table, Royal British Legion and Freemasonry groups, supporting and promoting schools, Scout and Guide groups, Boys’ Brigade and cadet corps. His fund-raising activities were enhanced by establishing the Rowland Brothers Foundation, the income of which is boosted by regular donations from the family businesses. As Chairman of the local Business Partnership, Tony also was instrumental in the creation of the annual Thornton Heath Festival which further promotes local youth groups.

Clearly a well-deserved award!

Autumn General Meeting 22nd November 2018 UPDATE

Come along

  • to hear NAFD CEO Jon Levett explaining the plans for incorporation of the National Association and respond to members’ questions
  • for NAFD President Abi Pattenden’s update about developments and issues at national level
  • for an update on matters of local relevance
  • to learn of new developments within your Association in the London region
  • the meeting will include an Education Awards presentation – join the celebrations!
  • and, of course, to socialise with contacts old and new

The Autumn General Meeting will be held at Amba Hotel, Charing Cross on Thursday 22nd November
The meeting will start promptly at 6.30pm (private bar open from 6pm) and, as is customary, will be followed by dinner.

Attendance at the meeting is free, with dinner charged at £50 each for those able to stay after the meeting.

This is your opportunity to discover how your Association can benefit your business.

Attendance is expected to be high; as space is limited, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Dinner orders are required by 8th November.

Details and a dinner booking form are available to download here.

CertFAA courses 2019 announced

Bookings now are being accepted for the next cohort of the Certificate in Funeral Arranging and Administration course.

The course will run in Central London from 16th January, concluding with the examination on 27th March.

Details and Application Forms are available here.

** A further London-based course is being arranged to start in April **

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