Colourful coffins bring laughter to New Zealand funerals

Colourful coffins bring laughter to New Zealand funerals

- A custom coffin maker is on a mission to change the tone of funerals in New Zealand

- Ross Hall came up with the business idea while contemplating his death

- Upon his death, Ross Hall wishes to be buried in a transparent coffin

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A New Zealand coffin maker is bringing laughter to the otherwise sombre occasions with custom coffins.

Ross Hall's colourful coffins have changed the tone of funerals in New Zealand. Photos: Ross Hall.
Ross Hall's colourful coffins have changed the tone of funerals in New Zealand. Photos: Ross Hall.
Source: UGC

Ross Hall from Auckland runs a business called Dying Art which builds custom coffins.

During a recent funeral, AP reported that mourners broke into laughter when the coffin of Phil McLean entered the church. According to the widow to the deceased, the coffin, which resembled a giant cream doughnut, overshadowed the sadness that usually accompanies funerals.

“It overshadowed the sadness and the hard times in the last few weeks. The last memory in everyone’s mind was of that doughnut and my late husband’s sense of humour,” she said.

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Business idea

According to Hall, he first came up with the business idea 15 years ago while writing his will. He contemplated his death and concluded that he doesn’t want a typical burial.

“How do I want to go out? So I put in my will that I want a red box with flames on it,” he said.

According to Hall, he approached funeral directors, and they were initially hesitant to adopt his idea, but with time, it caught on.

“There are people who are happy with a brown mahogany box, and that’s great. But if they want to shout it out, I’m here to do it for them,” Hall revealed.


Custom coffin prices range depending on the design from KSh220,000 to around KSh580,000. But with the hefty price comes a remarked change in the tone of funerals.

“People now think it’s a celebration of life rather than a mourning of death,” he remarked.

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Hall has changed his mind about the red flames for his funeral and now wants his children to bury him in a transparent coffin wearing nothing but a leopard-pattern G-string.

“My kids say they’re not going,” he said.

A year ago, reported on the dancing Ghanaian pallbearers who went viral online.

Benjamin Aidoo told BBC the group comprises about 100 employees trained to add drama and colour to clients' funerals.

Benjamin added that while some clients prefer their procession to be solemn, others want it filled with vigorous eye-popping moves and skills.

"I decided to add some choreography to it, so when a client comes, we just ask what they want, and we do it," he said.

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