The funeral co-operative movement is growing year by year in Canada, and this year reached a new milestone. The Funeral Cooperative Network has surpassed the mark of 9,600 deaths handled in a year! This is uncharted territory for our movement.
Virtually all co-operatives grew in their respective markets. Collectively, this is a 5.1% increase in 2011. When you compare this to the average 1 to 2% increase in mortality, you can see that funeral co-operatives are gaining market shares, year by year.
Imagine: in 2011, our network handled a death every 55 minutes. Whether by day or night, whether on Christmas or Valentine's Day, on a Saturday at 2 am or a Wednesday at 8 pm, there was a call from a family in need, faced with the death of a loved one. The 9,600 families served by the co-operatives put our staff into motion for a variety of tasks. Employees rushed to claim the body and prepare it for embalming or cremation, as funeral advisors met the family to prepare the farewell ritual to be implemented by funeral directors, porters and room attendants. On each occasion, a team of up to ten people was mobilized to serve the family. These thousands of small steps will be repeated every day, 365 days a year, and each one is a unique opportunity to mourn the loss of a loved one.
On each occasion, each staff member will put the reputation of the cooperative on the line. A misstep can be beyond repair and a good job will make the funeral a privileged opportunity for the family and friends of the deceased.
Congratulations and thanks to the over 700 employees of the network!
Our movement's growth isn't only predicated on numbers of funerals. The year 2011 confirmed the establishment of two new cooperatives in the network, in the province of Québec. The Network maintained its progress in the Montreal area with the fledgling Funeral Cooperative of the Island of Montreal, with reached almost 200 deaths this year, while the South Shore Funeral Co-operative continued growing, reaching 737 deaths treated this year. The St-Hyacinthe Funeral Co-operative had a 23% increase this year and reinforces this position on the South Shore of Montreal. Meanwhile, Cooperative funéraire des Deux Rives, In Québec City, and the Coopérative funéraire de l'Outaouais, in Gatineau, now battle for first place in America, each dealing with more than 1400 deaths per year !
And in the rest of Canada, the picture is also one of progress and success, with existing co-ops consolidating their positions and new exploratory groups being formed in Ontario and Alberta. The funeral co-operative movement really is growing by leaps and bounds!