History

History of funeral services in the region

From 1975 to 1990

In this period, Clark & Son were funeral service operators in the regions.

From 1975 to 1990
1990-1995

Brian Williams purchases the business from Clark & Son.

Barry Williams starts working in the business with Brian and while undertaking studies, gains valuable experience working at the John Tonge Centre in Brisbane, Rockhampton, Townsville and Cairns, between visits to Thursday Island.

1990-1995
1995-1998

Mrs. Freda Filewood and Barry Williams purchase the business from Brian Williams.

The business is renamed Debra Rose Funerals, to honour their deceased sister (Debra) and Grandmother (Rose).

1995-1998
1998-2002

Debra Rose Funerals contracts funeral services work to the Queensland government’s scientific and coronial services.

In 2002 Freda retires from the business. 

1998-2002
2002-2010

Barry and Ann Williams operate Debra Rose Funerals together.

2002-2010
2010-2021

Barry and Ann change the business name to Torres Strait Funerals, and continue their contracted funeral services work with Queensland’s coronial services.

2010-2021
To 22 September 2021

After Ann retires, Barry continues operating Torres Strait Funerals for communities and families in the region, finally making a decision to close Torres Strait Funerals.

To provide ongoing culturally appropriate funeral services, Barry decides to work with a team of first nation peoples with skill-sets suitable for funeral services in the remote Kaiwalagal, Torres Strait, and Northern Peninsula Area regions.

To 22 September 2021
From 23 September 2021

The company Waibeni Indigenous Funeral Services (WIFS) begins funeral services work to the regions. Barry Williams is employed by the company as Funeral Director. 

From 23 September 2021

Summary

Funeral services in the regions have been operated by first nation people for thirty-one years. During these years, funeral services have been offered to first nation peoples and others from many different cultural backgrounds who came to the area and stayed on.

Services have been provided to people from Saibai to Port Mosby, international service ships, passenger cruisers passing through our waterways, the cluster of islands known as Kaurareg archipelago, the Northern Peninsula Area down to Coen and Weipa on Cape York, through to Cairns and to Australia wide. 

Whether we are offering services to a loved one who has lived and passed away locally, or bringing someone home to the Torres Strait, or helping them on their final journey home to another resting place, it is always an honour to provide our first nation services to families during their sorry time for the loss of a loved one.S