WOW! What a weekend!

April 1, 2015   //   No Comments

There were many happy, smiling faces and some bleary eyes as another SAIF weekend came to an end.

As SAIF’s success continues to grow, the AGM & Banquet weekend was another sign of the dramatic rise in popularity and growing membership of the funeral trade association for independent funeral directors.   The weekend was hosted in conjunction with Golden Charter, who enjoyed a huge turnout for their prestigious Funeral Planner of the Year (FPOY) Awards Dinner.

The corridors of the Beaumont House Hotel, Old Windsor were buzzing from mid-morning on the Friday, as members and guests gathered from all parts of the United Kingdom to join in the celebrations and, of course, prepare for both the SAIF and SAIFCHARTER annual general meetings and the banquet which were to be held the following day.  During the afternoon, attendees listened to an interesting presentation on dementia by Glenn Knight of training2care.  After the FPOY Awards Dinner on Friday evening, many of those present moved to the beautiful Chapel to try their luck on the gaming tables at the fundraising casino.

On Saturday Alun Tucker, SAIF’s Executive Chairman, presided over the SAIF AGM in front of almost 200 attendees.  National President Mark Woollard gave his ‘goodbye’ address saying how much he has enjoyed his year in office and what a privilege it was to have served the Society in this way. Mark went on to say how much he had noticed SAIF was becoming more recognised by various government and trade associations and were being asked to speak more on behalf of our members. Before he left the stage, Mark had one last (well nearly last) Selfie with the members. mark selfie

Following Mark, Alun Tucker gave an update on happenings at SAIF Business Centre highlighting matters he was currently working on, all for the benefit of SAIF members.  He highlighted workplace pensions, the increase in doctors’ fees and other issues in relation to this, the continuous improvements to the SAIF website among other matters.  After brief mention of the circulated reports, Chris Parker gave a brief resumee of the work of the IFD College, in particular the new Funeral Planner course. Chris then asked Alun Tucker to present certificates to the first two students to achieve success on this module.

The three proposed rule changes were all passed unanimously, after which the Election of Officers and National Executive Committee took place and Gemma O’Driscoll of Llanelli was confirmed as the new National President, with Paul Allcock of Norwich as Vice President and Paul Bowley of Hassocks as Second Vice President. Gemma’s first duty was to present Mark with a beautiful watch to recognise his work on behalf of SAIF. Gemma then made her acceptance address and introduced her two charities, the Child Bereavement Trust UK and Epilepsy Action.

On the Saturday evening the hotel’s Hanover Suite was rocking with laughter as Renfield the Butler entertained over 250 guests.  Such was the enjoyment that there were still over 150 people on the dance floor as the show ended at 1.15 on Sunday morning.

On Sunday morning, Alun Tucker hosted the Installation of Officers SAIF style as is now the custom, introducing Gemma and the two Pauls by way of videos each set to appropriate music.  A selection of photos from the weekend may be viewed here.

Click here to see photos of the weekend.