J Fraser & Sons Ltd, is Invercargill and Southland’s longest established Funeral Home and Monumental Masons, located on the corner of Esk and Doon Streets, Invercargill.
Over many decades, the Fraser family and funeral directing staff at J Fraser and Sons have helped grieving families at their time of need, throughout the Southland region and beyond, and have done so in a manner that is often described as uniquely Southland. Our additional premises at 306 Great North Road Winton, means that we are able to offer prompt and professional service throughout the region.
We offer you an experienced and friendly team of funeral directors and embalmers who will guide you through the many aspects of arranging a suitable farewell for your loved one. Our team will demonstrate to you the emphasis that we place on meeting the needs and exceeding the expectations of every family who chooses us to take care of their loved one. Above all, we will allow you whatever time you and your family need to say your last goodbyes within the privacy of our well-appointed viewing room and lounge, or of your own home, and at the time of the more formal funeral service.
At J Fraser and Sons, we understand that every life is different and unique, and each life should be reflected in its own way. No matter what arrangements you consider appropriate for your loved one, or for your own farewell, you can be sure that our staff will have the experience and compassion to carry out those wishes in the most professional and caring manner possible.
Funeral Home Facilities
Our Funeral Home facilities are purpose built to enable complete flexibility in the type of funeral service that is being arranged – from a private family farewell, to a more formal public farewell in our spacious, award-winning Chapel.
Some of the many features of our premises include:
- Modern Chapel with excellent audio system, and One Room Live Streaming
- Large screens for photographic presentations, viewable from Chapel, Foyer and Lounge
- A selection of live musical accompaniments – stringed piano, digital piano, and electronic church organ
- Chapel accommodation for 300+ people
- Peaceful viewing room and family lounge – a private place for family to gather to express their last farewells.
- Reception Lounge – a place to relax after the more formal ceremony, to share your memories over a good Southland cuppa, and to receive comfort from family and friends.
- Office and family rooms, offer a pleasant environment for the arrangement of a funeral service, and for family to gather prior to the service.
- Modern embalming and dressing rooms – families are encouraged to assist with final finishing
- Large car park with provision for 70+ vehicles
- Our Headstone Memorial Division – we can provide and install a permanent memorial at the Cemetery or Crematorium
After the Service
Following the funeral service and a time of refreshment in our reception lounge, your funeral director will assist you in every way possible at the burial service, or the final committal at the Crematorium. We recognise that the final ceremony at the Cemetery or Crematorium is a very poignant moment, and a very important part in the process of letting go. The time-honoured tradition of pallbearers bearing the casket to its final resting place has a unique and significant role in that process. It is deeply symbolic of our natural desire to accompany the casket and ensure the safe passage of our loved one from this world to the next.
At the end of all ceremonies, our funeral director will offer you a handshake of farewell, but will want you to know that he or she can be further contacted at any time for advice about procedures for the collecting or interment of cremation ashes, marking of the grave, resources available locally for bereavement support , where to get the New Zealand Death Certificate, or how to go about finalising the estate; in fact anything relating to the journey that all families go through during the weeks and months following a bereavement.
In addition to our usual office hours of 8am – 5pm Monday to Friday, our Funeral Directing staff are available on a rostered basis on week nights and weekends.
Our company office is situated at Cnr Esk and Doon Streets, (or 199 Esk Street), Invercargill, Ph 0800-184095, or 03-2184095; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our premises in Winton, operate as Winton and Districts Funeral Services, are located at 306 Great North Road, Winton. Ph 03-2367586. Email: email@example.com
Celebrating 45 Years in Business
Wilson Fraser grew up in a funeral directing family. His late father and three brothers were all involved in the family business of J Fraser and Sons Ltd, Invercargill. The business had been handed down to them by their father, John Fraser.
In his younger days, he was not expected to follow in the family footsteps and join the family business, as he had plenty of cousins, most of whom were older, and it was assumed that they would eventually take over the running of the business. However, as often happens with best laid plans, most of his cousins came to the conclusion that the funeral profession was not their preferred career. In February 1978, he was shoulder-tapped and responded accordingly.
For the first few years, the learning process was pretty much "do as asked (by his father and uncles) and do it quickly”. Wilson had been mostly interested in the science subjects at school, and because of that, he took an interest in embalming. He attended the 1980-81 School of Embalming at CIT(Heretaunga), and completed the Funeral Directing course in 1993-94.
Following his father's retirement in 1988, he became a significant shareholder in the business, and eventually owned it fully.
In 2003, Wilson completed a major renovation of the funeral home chapel, offices, mortuary, and catering lounge, which accommodated the relatively recent practice of serving refreshments following the service. Also, a new headstone showroom was built. Keeping their hearse vehicles up to date has been an interesting and pleasant exercise over the years.
Now closer to the end of his career than its beginning, he resolved last year to respond to an approach from Propel Funeral Partners, with the goal of maintaining the Fraser family way of doing business, as well as offering good resources to help them maintain the high standards of service.
He is impressed by the continued relevance of the profession to families. “Grief is a universal experience, common to all cultures, and our profession remains a vital point of contact to the public”. He is proud of the way technology has been embraced to enhance the experience of families and thankful for the colleagueships across the industry. He has fond memories of those who have been available to him with words of sound advice and personal friendship.