Newhaven Funerals is a family owned business based in Queensland. Established by the Connolly family in 1979, our company has earned rich history of superior customer service, advanced facilities, and a strong commitment to giving back to the society. Over a span of four decades, the Connolly family has managed to help tens of thousands of families to recover from the shocking demise of their loved ones. Apart from funeral organizing, the Connolly family also operates Crematoriums, Pet Cremation business and memorial gardens.
The establishment of Newhaven Funerals has a strong history attached to it. In 1977, the Connolly family lost their two-year old child. The child’s funeral was arranged by the family’s friend who was also a funeral director. Phil Connolly watched in dismay as the arrangement of the funeral was done below average and not up to their expectations. “There has to be a better way” thought Phil. The decision of starting a personal funeral direction business came along when the director refused to give an explanation about the huge expenditures and belittled Phil to even inquire about it. This was the moment when Phil decided that he has to do something about it.
As time went by, Phil researched about the processes and traditions of funerals and devised ways to simplify the process for people so that there aren’t any inquiries about the expenditures and everything is clearly explained. After connecting with Vanessa Hume and Keith Russell in 1979, who eventually became his partners in the business, Phil decided to revolutionize the funeral industry in Australia and established Newhaven Funerals. By 1981 Newhaven Funerals went on to become the leading funeral operator and conducted over 3000 funerals annually.
The road was bumpy and full of hurdles for the Connolly family as the industry bigwigs didn’t like the unprecedented success garnered by Newhaven Funerals over such a short time span. Hence, a campaign to discredit the budding enterprise ensued leading to crematoria bans, rejection from coffin suppliers, union disruption, and other issues became quite common for Phil coupled with misleading media advertising. However, with sheer dedication, honesty, and dignity the Connolly family managed to pass this phase and Newhaven Funerals became Australia’s first national funeral company.
Growth has a price that the owners had to pay. The Connolly family decided to make Newhaven Funerals the first company to get listed on the stock exchange. It was deemed a wise decision at the time but later on the original shareholders experienced loss of control, minimal share and ownership lapse. In 1989, the Connolly family had to start afresh because of unfair restriction on their company. This turned out to be relatively easy this time given the extensive experience from the previous venture. Slowly but steadily this new venture received success and public acceptance. Newhaven Funerals offered the very best funeral services to people and recorded sustainable growth, which continues till date.
Today, the company owns and operates crematoriums, manufactures coffins, runs grief recovery training programs and manages beautiful memorial gardens. Employees are carefully selected and only those capable of helping people recover from the grief and managing funerals aptly are hired.
“If we had the choice right now, of all the funeral people in the world, I wouldn’t change one staff member” states Phil Connolly.