Our club all started at a general meeting of Rotorua University of the Third Age (U3A). New groups were needed to encourage fellowship and learning for the members. It was muted by one person that she wanted to build a new coffin. When members had time to ponder the idea, there was a small group that were interested. These members met, and a carport and garage were made available by the instigator Katie Williams and this was the face to this clubs formation.
Some could build, some could paint and a retired painter hanger came to the party. The year was 2010. In the first year they built 38 coffins, the next year was 57 coffins. The Carport was the home until they outgrew their street, after only two years. Then the La Grouw family came to the party and have very Generously allowed us to use the workshop and this is our current home ever since. The group has certainly gone from strength to strength over these years. The club has many friends and members.
In 2013 the club called U3A was limited to the use of its name as the club was getting too big. At this point of time the Kiwi Coffin Club emerged. This same year the club produced between two to three coffins per working day, over the next 15 months they produced 93 coffins.
Last year 2017, 123 coffins were built. From 2010 until 31 March 2018 there have been more than 600 coffins built since the club was formed.
It is wonderful to see so many people taking advantage of how they feel about death and that they can decorated to their own design.
A huge benefit of the Club has been the opportunities of family involvement in the planning of their loved ones wishes at the end of their life. It has often been a taboo subject and is so good to see it out in the open.
Since the 1st April 2017 the club made a small change and extended the clubs name, by becoming Kiwi Coffin Club Charitable Trust.