Funerals aren’t what they used to be

As people live longer, funerals are becoming more of a celebration than an outpouring of grief.Funerals aren’t what they used to be.
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As the Australian Funeral Directors Association hold their National Convention this weekend a survey of their members has revealed some dead interesting trends.

People are living longer and that apparently means funerals are losing that intense sense of sadness.

“Funerals are far more likely to be celebratory with more Australians preferring a funeral with a relaxed and reflective tone than one that is solemn and serious which is preferred by just one per cent,” said Mark McCrindle of Sydney-based McCrindle research which conducted the study.

Six in 10 funerals are now conducted by a civil celebrant according to the study of 104 funeral directors nationwide and an online survey of 514 people over 50.

“It used to be that for the big milestones of weddings and funerals, even if people weren’t regular churchgoers, they would go to church but we are seeing that change,” he said.”

There is also a change in the type of music played during the service.

Sentimental music was the most popular category with I’ll Be Seeing You, Time to Say Goodbye, and You’ll Never Walk Alone said to be popular.

Religious hymns have dropped to second favourite and third was the defiant song; My Way was the most mentioned but ACDC’s Highway to Hell was a notable, Mr McCrindle said.

“It just says to me that people are prepared to be a bit out of the box with funerals.”

Fourth category was quirky songs including Most People I know by Billy Thorpe, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life and even Pharrel Williams Happy

A trend away from burials continues with 66 per cent saying they intended cremation, 14 per cent not caring and 20 per cent planning to be buried.

An “any other comments” box showed increased frequency of the dearly departed pre-recording a video to thank everyone for attending the funeral.

More are having a QR code at the graveside so a smartphone can be swiped which then plays a video celebrating the individual’s life and more people are choosing to be buried with an electronic device to hand.

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One dead, six injured

Police investigations are continuing.A man has died and six people taken to hospital after a crash at Coffs Harbour on Saturday.
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Emergency services were called to Hogbin Drive just before 1pm Saturday after a Nissan Pulsar and Ford Falcon collided head-on.

The rear passenger of the Falcon, a 58-year-old man, was taken to Coffs Harbour Health Campus but died a short time later.

The driver of the Pulsar – a 31-year-old woman – was taken to hospital with leg and wrist injuries.Two children in that car a nine-year-old girl and five-year-old boy – also were taken to hospital with serious injuries.

The Falcon driver – a 59-year-old woman – suffered multiple fractures to her arms and legs.

A 19-year-old man, a passenger in the Falcon, was taken to hospital with internal injuries.

Police investigations are continuing and they haveurgedany witnesses to come forward.

A report will be prepared for the Coroner.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Saints’ rally comes too late against Panthers

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TO outscore Lithgow Panthers in any half of women’s Premier League Hockey, especially when it is played on Lithgow turf, is something to any team would be happy to boast.

Unfortunately for St Pat’s, doing just that was not enough to save them from a 4-2 defeat on Saturday.

Like Panthers have done to so many teams in recent seasons, their quick, accurate passing and swift transition from defence to attack unsettled the Saints’ structure in the opening half of Saturday’s fixture.

It meant they found themselves on the wrong side of a 3-0 half-time deficit and while they were able to regroup at the break and put away two goals to Panthers’ one in the second stanza, the damage had been done.

“Panthers pretty much dominated the first half and that’s when they ended up scoring three of their four goals. They just passed the ball around really well and attacked with numbers,” St Pat’s assistant coach Brad Fulton said.

“We weren’t really doing anything wrong, but they were running us out of shape and a couple of the girls weren’t really sure who they should be marking. The girls were just stuffed at half-time as well as they’d been running all over the place.

“But Lithgow played a more structured game in the second half and that just suited us a lot more.”

The Panthers, who went into round nine match sitting on top of the ladder, ensured their undefeated run would continue when a deflection off a penalty corner took them out to a 4-0 lead.

However, the Saints were much more competitive in the second half and were able to breach the Panthers’ defence on two occassions.

Kristy Conroy and Kath Messer both found the back of the net to make it 4-2, but the goals came too late to give the Saints any hope of a comeback.

“By the time we had scored those goals it was too late in the piece for us, so we were kind of chasing our tails they whole way,” Fulton said.

“But if we had played two halves of hockey like our second half then we would have given it a real shake. There were certainly some positives there for us,” Fulton said.

LITHGOW PANTHERS 4 defeated ST PAT’S 2 (Kristy Conroy, Kath Messer)

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Bolton takes the Hawks’ wheel

Over the past few years Hawthorn has been forced, intermittently, to manage without key personnel. Be it either permanently or for an extended period, the Hawks have lived, and largely thrived, in the absence of messrs Franklin, Mitchell, Hodge, Rioli, Lake, Roughead, and a bloke named Jeff Kennett.
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So what difference should it make to not have a dual premiership coach for a while? That’s the message being promoted by the Hawks’ interim senior coach, Brendon Bolton.

“The thing we’ve got is great leadership density, and we’ve got real experience here: [Hawthorn football manager] Chris Fagan, I always call him the wise owl; Brett Ratten’s been in a senior position; Luke Beveridge; and our leadership – Luke Hodge, Sam Mitchell, Shaun Burgoyne. There’s just so many quality people at our club,” Bolton said on Saturday.

The 35-year-old portrayed the exuberance of a man eagerly awaiting the exhilarating responsibility of being unexpectedly handed the keys to drive the somewhat dented, but nevertheless premium, Hawk-mobile.

Bolton steps into the seat vacated by the unwell Alastair Clarkson on Sunday, with his first task that of preventing what would be an almighty upset against the stuttering GWS Giants.

“Naturally, [I’m] a little bit nervous, but excited. But I’m like that going into all games.”

Clarkson remains in hospital as he works to overcome the rare and serious autoimmune condition Guillain-Barre syndrome. Bolton has been in frequent contact with the 10-year coach.

“I went up early in the week and spoke to him last night. His focus and energy has all just been on his recovery, so we haven’t had a lot of football discussion. He’s really excited about us just showing that our club’s really strong and united and really steely, and that all our coaches and players have just got behind each other, and we just want to show that we’re a really united front.”

Asked when he was expecting Clarkson to return, Bolton could not give a definitive answer.

“If that’s for one week, so be it, but if it’s for four or five or more, so be it as well,” he said.

Bolton indicated that he and assistants Ratten, Beveridge and Adem Yze had been forced to pick up some of the slack in the wake of Clarkson’s illness, but he didn’t see the added workload as all that significant.

“An assistant’s role is you work long hours anyway,” he said.

Despite being in the unusual position of becoming caretaker for an indefinite period, Bolton doesn’t believe he or the club are on a hiding to nothing, nor does he see his stint as an audition.

“One day that may happen, but my focus is making sure I have a really good apprenticeship. I think the time in the job is what’s really important for a coach. A lot of people rush to get to the top, but the experiences – the ups or downs – are what make you resilient and ready,” he said.

Pitted against Leon Cameron, a former Hawk colleague now coaching GWS, Bolton would not dare take the opposition lightly.

“We know GWS have been internally challenged,” he said.

“When they have had their wins they’ve had really good contested ball numbers, so we know they’re going to be up for a fight. We’ve just got to control what we can control, and that’s just making sure our mind is ready for the contest.

“We’ve lost the last couple of games, so you’re going to see a pretty determined Hawthorn footy club.”

The Hawks regain Coleman medallist Jarryd Roughead from suspension, however their undersized defence was dealt another blow on Saturday with Ben Stratton withdrawn from the side with an adductor injury. The premiership backman, who missed the first four games of the season with hamstring and calf complaints, has been replaced in the 22 by Angus Litherland.

The Giants dropped 2008 Hawthorn premiership player Stephen Gilham and ruckman Jonathan Giles as part of four changes to the side that Richmond annihilated last weekend at Spotless Stadium.

The only previous time GWS played Hawthorn at the MCG, in 2012, the Hawks had 53 scoring shots and triumphed by 162 points.

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Kenyan runners City2South inspiration

Wesley Korir of Kenya, men’s winner, and Sharon Cherop of Kenya, female winner, of the 116th Boston Marathon in 2012. Photo: Jim RogashThis year the Boston Marathon was won by the first American since 1983. But since 1991, Kenya has dominated the race an extraordinary 19 times.
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Since many Kenyans spend their childhood and adolescence running, walking and working barefoot, it poses the question: Should we strip away the western world’s constant technological advancements in footwear and skip back to basics?

This question intrigued Seven Network’s Chris Parsons, a Queensland Weekender presenter, accomplished triathlete and a passionate health and fitness advocate who believes simplicity is key.

“I read a book called Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, and its premise that we are literally born to run, born to be active, that we are biologically constructed to stand upright and move frequently, really resonated with me.”

Mr Parsons was so intrigued and inspired by the book he bought a special pair of “glove shoes”, a specially-designed athletic shoe designed to make the athlete feel barefoot.

“When I want to train, I strap on these light shoes – which are literally like gloves – and I go for a long run around Mt Coot-tha.

“It’s an amazing experience. I can feel my joints move, feel my toes flex and I’m more aware of my posture – it just heightens the whole experience and makes me super aware of my body. It’s also more challenging.”

Mr Parsons believes he’s onto a winner, having been injury-free for years.

“My brother is a podiatrist and he’s been waiting for me walk in the door with foot problems, but so far, he’s been left disappointed,” he said.

Adding more weight to the barefoot theory is that Oscar Pistorius – who sprinted on carbon fiber crescents which are lighter than human legs – holds the fastest-ever recorded time for a sprinter’s leg swing.

But regardless of what you do or don’t put on your feet, exercise is essential. With obesity prevalence in Australian adults aged 18 and older sitting at over 63 per cent, getting off the couch is crucial.

Mr Parsons, who will be taking part in the City2South fun run, believes we all have a responsibility to be active.

“We need to work with what we’ve been given. If you’ve got the capacity to exercise – and most of us do – we need to use it. It’s almost an insult to people who, for whatever reason, are impaired or do not have the ability to do so.

“We really are born to move.”

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