Garden Route Funeral Services
Garden Route Funeral Services, Mosselbay, (GRFS) is the unique brainchild of Hermann Strydom and Sonika Weston.
The GRFS family comprises of Garden Route Funeral Services, Still Bay and Riversdale Funerals with numerous branches in the Hessequa area, and recently expanded to Mosselbay.
Thanks to experience gathered through many years of serving the community in the funeral industry, we realised the need for an all-encompassing service and therefore created a beautiful chapel for funeral services. We have ample function space to cater for after- funeral gatherings, set in a beautifully refurbished building dating from 1880. The building was treated with as much dignity as the families that moves through our doors, lovingly refurbished back to its original glory of the 1880’s, celebrating the natural stone and yellow wood timbers, while adding a contemporary twist.
GRFS believes that funerals should be based on honour, integrity and dignity, and we pride ourselves in personal and unique services, based on the family’s wishes. We have a very unique ceremony where we symbolically recreate the burial order of a coffin being lowered into a grave, with a hydraulic lift system that slowly lowers the coffin from the stage in our chapel into the basement space. This allows families of deceased who will be cremated to have closure and finality through this special symbolic service. In addition to the services expected from funeral parlours, we are pliable to customise each service to the needs of the family. We offer life celebration services, evening services, living services and welcome all denominations in our tastefully designed Chapel.
We create an environment where we care, not only about our clients but also about the greater community. We decided to first invest back into the community before we conducted our first life celebration service, by assisting Benevolent Park home for the Aged with architectural and building work in the revamping of their bathrooms. We have opened our venue free of charge to Benevolent Park with a workshop we hosted in trauma counselling, and we hosted the Executive leadership of the Mossel Bay Municipality’s annual strategy and planning session. We sponsored clothing and bags for Laerskool Park’s hockey teams and will continue to give back where we can. We have an open door policy and free, good coffee, and we welcome people to spend time with us. We welcome preachers of all denominations and pride ourselves in being inclusive, not exclusive.
Even though the businesses in Hessequa has been successful since 1998, the new Head Office was opened in Mossel Bay in blind faith, starting with zero policy holders. Within the first month of conducting business we broke even, and from the second month we showed a profit. Through word of mouth and community based marketing strategies, our policy book is growing exponentially.
We believe in workspace wellness and our staff are trained to grow into greater positions within the company. Our floor manager was a carpenter on the building site when we refurbished the building, and in him we saw something special, so we kept him in service and gave him specific training to be equipped for the job. We are giving ongoing training with the intention of promoting him to office manager in the near future. After only three months of business, growth demands more employees, which we will insist must be locals. We have committed to assisting our floor manager to further educate his children in tertiary education.
DR. Hermann Strydom
Dr. Hermann Strydom has a Phd in Sociology, a Doctorate in Theology and a Masters degree in Missiology. He served as the head of the Theological Faculty of TIT, the Chancellor of IFIL and is currently serving as the Vice Chansellor of the Global Institute of Inspired Learning.
In 2021 he stepped down as full time Professor and started focussing on assisting individuals suffering trauma, especially associated with the loss of a loved one. He is honoured to serve as part of the GRFS family.
Mrs. Sonika Weston
Mrs. Sonika Weston has a Masters degree in Architecture. After the tragic loss of her late husband, who was the owner of Riversdale Funerals, she decided to leave architecture and dedicate her life to assist people in the traumatic event of laying a loved one to rest.
Her experience-based empathy and grace in times of trauma and pain, brings compassion to the planning and delivering of top quality services.