Presidential meetings

words: Paul Bowley

When Paul Bowley was Inaugurated as National President of SAIF, he promised to dedicate much of his time to listening and supporting funeral directors. True to his word, Paul has been travelling around the country meeting members and taking part in local and national discussions relating to the profession.

Here is Paul’s report on his first month in office:

British Institute of Embalmers Banquet

“My first task as president was to represent SAIF at the British Institute of Embalmers (BIE) banquet on Saturday 22 April. My partner Davina was unable to go due to family commitments, so I decided to let the train take the strain.

“I travelled from Hassocks to St Pancras, Kings Cross to Leeds, Leeds to Harrogate, and all was going well until the brakes seized one stop from Harrogate.

“I eventually arrived at the venue and was welcomed by President Gwen Schofield and the BIE members on Saturday evening, where a very nice meal was consumed, presidential toasts were given, songs were sung by different regions of the BIE and new friendships were formed into the early hours.

“On Sunday morning, St George’s Day, a short service was held where we remembered BIE members and students who have passed away.

“President Gwen installed Amanda Woodward as President for 2017/18 along with Barbara Foley and Phil Gore as first and second vice.

“The whole event was a success and I wish President Amanda a successful year ahead.”

Regional meetings

“On Tuesday 25 April, SAIF Chief Executive Terry Tennens and I set off to Durham for the first of many regional meetings.

“21 people turned up, including Vice President Gary Staker and associate members from Braemar Finance, Colourful Coffins, FuneralZone and I.Netco web design.

“Paul Hodgson, from Golden Charter, also gave us a short update on pre-paid funeral plans and the main speaker was Ian Cass from the forum of Private Business.”

“On Wednesday 26 April, Terry and I moved onto Wakefield for the second regional meeting.

“A turnout much the same as Tuesday with SAIF Executive Member Mark Horton and associate members from Colourful Coffins, Braemar Finance, Funeral Zone, Association of Independent Celebrants and non members Legacy Expressions.

“Golden Charter’s National Sales Manager Drew McAllister was questioned about allocations and third party sellers.

“The main speaker was Richard Pearce from Trident Marketing who spoke about advertising and brand consistency.”

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