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(generated from captions) This program is not subtitled they're all getting up a bit. They're all not too young, De La Salle Brothers at Castle Hill. The Irish Catholic longest standing customers. one of O'Hare's is being introduced to Today, the boss' stepson for apprentice Mark DeGrazio. training's been fast-tracked With the staff shortage looming, No, it is. That's not fair. We're going. Come on. I want to get a sandwich. he's missed his chance for lunch. Andrew tells his brother-in-law The team's running late and MAN: It's a bit of a mess. tempers flare. When stomachs are growling, Mass sheets, please? We got pens, everything? No nothing. No morning tea, no lunch. with pens and that? Mark, we're all loaded up like the welfare of the workers. about little things So, no time to fuss are three funerals back to back. Staff numbers are down and there we'll wait and see how we go. with a couple of them so, yeah, Quite happy a few applicants seem quite good. We've had a few people come in, at that position at the moment. So, yeah, we've...we're looking willing to do that sort of work. we're gonna need someone who is As we become busier and busier, for a conductor, arranger. There is a position available (Speaks Italian) senior man, Ken Rowe, is retiring. His trustiest, most-experienced But Andrew Valerio has a problem. in Sydney's 'Little Italy'. of this family-run funeral home to the success It's been one of the secrets Keeping them is harder still. A good undertaker is hard to find.

and no interruptions on the weekends Nights to yourself 9 to 5 job. was to a Monday to Friday, the things I was looking forward to Leaving the priesthood, one of but I wasn't taking care of myself. I was taking care of others and I wasn't... there was depression and burn out You know, towards the end, I wasn't able to live that. I can be me now. an incredibly difficult vocation. Priesthood is where I had to make some decisions. the point came in my life But, you know, when I wasn't going to be a priest. that there would be a time And I never foresaw I was going to be a priest forever. My expectation always was that from priest to undertaker. and jumped the fence - He's just moved from the country Andrew's choice to replace Ken. Meet Glenn Boyd, It could have been him. to the O'Hare's team. for the latest recruit has some resonance Brother Joe's story They probably rejoice in it. So, they won't see it as sad at all. devoted their whole life to. who they have they're going to meet the person it's like their grand final, I kind of think For the Brothers here, happily married to the church. He was 93 and still Brother Joseph Sullivan's gravesite. But no one sheds a tear at even new ropes to lower the coffin. and provide just about everything, at running a funeral The Brothers are old hands CONGREGATION SINGS 'SALVE REGINA' Won't be much room soon. G'day, Fred.

The Teveleins have also requested a celebrant for Neil's funeral. Glenn's put himself forward for the job. I'll let Lynette know that that's... Yeah, yeah. Righto. 338A Catherine Street. Yeah, 338. and then on out to Rookwood. we just drive past the house Even though they won't be there, Yeah. house in Catherine Street. But they want us to go past the Followed by a cremation. upstairs in the O'Hare chapel. a small non-religious ceremony The family's asked for there where, back where the car is. We'll have the hearse just up Yeah. like we did today. yeah, we'll have it all sealed Yeah, we'll have the hearse just, the back we need to put the lid on. So, when we take the casket out right for Neal Tevelein's funeral. Glenn's keen to get all the details maybe he'd be still here today. the doctor within those two weeks, So, I reckon if he had of gone to the massive heart attack. which caused that went to the lung, it was actually a blood clot Through the autopsy that they did, to walk the hallway. I mean, it took him 20 minutes and he said, "No, I'm fine". "You better go see the doctor", and I said to him, his death, he had slow breathing In the last two weeks prior to and his backyard swimming pool. a country boy who loved a beer He was a man of simple tastes, leaving behind a wife and daughter. Neil Tevelein died suddenly at 48, turned upside down and inside out. At a time when their world's been in their life. at a very significant time ministering to people it's very similar of the funeral industry, On this side of the fence raw in their grief. dealing with a family It's his first real test in the job, new journey as a funeral arranger. Meanwhile, Glenn embarks on his Or yesterday. (Laughs) Oh, she'd go tomorrow if she could. can't wait to get home. His Filipino wife fishing village on the water. Oh, just a little where he plans to live out his days. and a little dot on the map his sights are set on the Philippines in the job, With only a few weeks left (All laugh) (Makes choking sound) (All cheer 'Hip, hip hooray') ALL SING 'HAPPY BIRTHDAY' WOMAN: You haven't got time. Come on, come on. been postponed for two years running. Ken Rowe is 67. His retirement's is having a birthday. everyone's favourite undertaker Back at the funeral home, seems a good place to start. on an Internet dating site posting his photo on a date for more than 25 years, And for someone who hasn't been lavish their love upon me. have somebody lavish my love on and then in turn that I was preparing for marriage, as I used to tell couples lonely moments, minister to you in your dark days, Having somebody who can KETTLE WHISTLES I'd been lonely. I guess for most of my priestly life off his love life. is to shake the cobwebs One priority during his downtime seems ripe with possibility. But his new life in Sydney Glenn's living alone for the moment. if you like, doing the other things. I'm down the back of the church, on the altar this time, it's just that I'm not there in many ways, from being a priest, It's not all that different going to be the situation here. and that's not necessarily

God won't get a mention at this funeral. So Glenn practises taking the priestliness out of his performance. Er, I'll construct something in my mind that will give a suitable farewell to this gentleman and also be the celebration that they want it to be because they don't want it to be a sad occasion. They've specifically said they want it to be a celebration of his life. To help solve the company's staffing crisis, the boss' stepson Mark has been elevated to oversee the backroom workload. Andrew's unsure if his little brother-in-law's really up to it. And Mark's complained that he's not being taken seriously by the older staff members. Mark wasn't happy about certain things, so, we're gonna sit down with most of the staff and get that little problem rectified. Alright, so just follow the groove again. You know you've got to learn how to trim coffins, and you've got to seal coffins, wash cars, vacuum cars, you know. You've got to be fussy at everything that you do and it's important. Mark says, "Oh, I don't want to do that", but he's gotta learn. That? Yeah, that's right. Exact. You know, some people say I might be hard on my little brother-in-law, but if I'm not here, if I need something done to make sure that he can think the way I think, we'll make sure it's done. Yeah, because it's done once and there's no way that you have a chance to fix it up. So, you've gotta make sure everything runs spot on. Actually, I think it's... I prefer not to do babies' funerals. It's a bit sad, a bit upsetting. It's a bit different when it's a baby. When they're older you can say, "They've had their time." But when they're young, it's when you get a bit emotional, I think. While Mark lets the job get to him, Glenn takes the weekend off and returns home to Albury. As a local priest he would have been regularly stopped in the street, now he's enjoying being a nobody. Amongst his family though, regrets still linger about him leaving the priesthood behind. And although he's ordination day now seems a distant memory, Glenn takes the chance to reminisce with his sisters Gale and Mary-Jane. This is 1987, we're all a bit thinner. Do you get a little sad? Do you watch this and think...? Not so much sad, because I think it was right for me to be doing that at the time and I know I did a lot of good. Mum wouldn't be able to look at this, I don't think. No. (Sobs) It's a bit hard. This was a really special day. It's not just about me, is it? I'm not the only... I don't define our family. Given, you know, it's a tradition of our family and the age of our mum and dad, our parents, you know it was such a big deal. It was different to just a regular job. I don't know that any of the people who would be my friends, or friends of Mum and Dad, would see any shame in me leaving. Though there may have been disappointment certainly, and perhaps questions, but I don't know that they would be ashamed. JOHN: If you break it, you won't go to heaven. I doubt whether you'll go anyway... How do they slot in? Oh, OK. John Gardener educates Glenn on the finer points of securing fallen angels. Reasonably tight, right? And use the butterfly. And you use the butterfly. Meanwhile Andrew has everyone on hold. And Mark's problems are way down his priority list. Working with your brother-in-law? He's alright. He's a bit bossy sometimes but he's alright. Won't be long. I haven't been here long enough to kill him yet. Pushes me a bit harder I think. ANDREW: Say that again, mate. He's a top bloke, Andrew. Now, they're lying. Do I have to do all the work here? You're right. Behind the brotherly banter, resentment's building. And with Ken's departure just weeks away, Andrew can't afford to lose any more staff. This is the, this is my tie. Glenn Boyd, though, is proving a good investment. After three months probation, he's earnt himself a permanent place at O'Hare's. To mark the occasion, he gets a brand-new suit on the company account. Certainly at the moment, I feel that I am meant to be here. One can never talk about the future so I don't know where that might go but certainly this is where I feel very happy at the moment. Ta-da. You know, just the attention to detail, like a little special pocket there for a pen. And pocket here for a fob watch. I feel very privileged to have had my boss or the owner of the firm buy me a tailor-made suit. So, yeah. At Neil Tevelein's funeral in the O'Hare chapel, the ex-priest's back in the pulpit with a new script. Before us we have a photo of Neil, a symbol, if you like, of who Neil was. But that photo can never entirely encapsulate the person that was Neil. Even the words that we'll speak this afternoon will be inadequate to do that. We take time now to reflect upon Neil and his life. LYNETTE: Well, it was really hard to get used to him because he was very kind, he was too kind-hearted. Because we'd both been in the same situation before, both been married before. And he was very kind and it was unusual to find some person that was kind to you. I am very lucky to have had that sort of man. And Janine is very lucky to have had that sort of father too. He really is. Do you want me to read it? Come on. Stand with me... My Dad, We shared a wonderful father/daughter relationship. And I would lie here if I said there was no arguments during the time. However, I knew he loved me very much as I did him. I know he will always be with me, guiding my decisions. And, Mum, I love you too. Thanks. Thanks, Janine. I'll get you to come back in a few minutes. I invite Danny and John to come forward to close Neil's casket. SOBBING Mary chooses this moment to farewell her husband for the last time. Whilst Neil is off to face the crematorium flames all alone. You feel for the people, you know, this is a huge thing for them to go through, especially young Janine. To write that and to get up there and want to do it but then you get there and you just, inside you can't do it. The amphitheatre, to have the people in that situation, for me anyway, is just quite natural. On the way back in the hearse, a lot of our conversation between the three of us, Glenn and Danny, was about the family. We were concerned about that family, wasn't we, Glenn? Yeah. John and Glenn's concerns about the family seem well-founded. A few weeks after the funeral, Mary and Janine are doing it tough now the man they loved is gone. Er, all this stuff, what am I going to do with it? I don't know. It will most probably got to St Vincent's or something like that where they can use it. I don't think Janine can cope with it very well because she's never home. She goes out a lot, stays out late. It's not right. I keep telling her that if her father was alive she wouldn't be doing it. She keeps telling me, "Well, he should be here". Well, I said, "Well, I can't help that." But we have to realise that he won't be coming back. But we'll get there. We have to. Or else he'll kick our backsides. The upstairs flat at the funeral parlour on Norton Street has been Ken Rowe's home during years of working the night shift. It's the end of an era. Ken's last day in the job. He's lived and breathed death for long enough. Even so, he's finding the 'R' word - retirement - is hard to say. Yeah, last day, yeah. Gotta get going. Start a new life. Working. LAUGHTER So, it's off to the Philippines with his wife Julie. Get your luggage. WOMAN: "Get your luggage?" LAUGHTER There you are, his final journey and he's going in a hearse. LAUGHTER 46 years in the industry. Lot of good friendships. I think I've got a good name. Now I've gotta go. See you, Ken. Take it easy, mate. He got on very well here with Mark, young Mark. They were a work team together and Mark just idolised him because he'd have the time and he shows them. But er, nah, we're gonna miss him, I think. Yeah, yeah. With Ken gone, Mark's been left to question his own future. The stinky bodies, long hours, lousy pay, bossy brother-in-law and all the sadness. Without a good friend, none of it seems worth it. But abandoning the job would leave a hole in the family empire. After another big fight with Andrew, Mark's had a gutful. And he says he's not coming back. Yeah, it's a bit hard working with your family. Always arguing. You see them at work and then you have to see them at home. It gets a bit too much of each other. We seem to argue a lot, so... ..better this way. Maybe one day we'll start talking again. Who knows? While Mark's renounced his calling to be an undertaker, Glenn's taken to the business like a true born-again. Surrounded by dead bodies every day, he's happier and even a bit lighter. My stress level is virtually zero now. And only just last week I managed to finally stop taking my anti-depressant medication. After having been on it for six or seven months. And that's, I think that's good, because that's one of the main reasons why I left the priesthood, so that I could take care of me. Outside the funeral home, Glenn's embracing the new freedom he's found on leaving the priesthood. And after years of celibacy, there's extra cause for celebration. Glenn's found himself a serious love interest. Although it's too early to tell. I guess on the romantic, on the romance side of things, there is an interest there for me at the moment. And somebody's interested in me. The last time I dated anyone would have been in mid-1979. That's a long time between drinks, as they say. So, yeah, it feels good and it feels right. It feels great to be able to do it and not have to subjugate feelings or hide or anything like that. So, yeah. For Glenn and his colleagues at O'Hare's, there's comfort in the certainty of the death business. It's a job where you always know where you are going. And where you'll end up. I don't know what I want to do, I always wanted to be embalmed and put into a vault because I've been doing these, but now I don't know. I want to keep going as long as I can. I love life, and it's a good world to be in. I can see mine being nice and small but personal I hope. You know, life is for the living and we all come in with nothing and we basically go out with nothing. I'd have to leave strict instructions of what sort of casket I would like. It would certainly be the American Batesville. I've worked hard in life, so I'd make sure that I'm going out in luxury. I guess I never really talk about it. When it does happen, it will happen and I won't be able to change that. I just hope a lot of people turn up to the funeral. (Laughs) We can finish on that. Come on. LAUGHTER We can finish on that. Closed Captions provided by Captioning and Subtitling International Pty Ltd