Spiros Vahlos

"In June 2020, I contacted Barry McIntosh at your Holland Park office for funeral assistance and advice on the day that my dear father Spiros passed away.  I had met Barry through work many years previously and he had come across as efficient, respectful and attentive to his clients’ needs.  Over the years, my mother Mary and I had also attended many Greek Orthodox funerals in Brisbane that were organised by Barry and we were impressed with how accurately the Greek Orthodox requirements were looked after by him.  At many of these funerals, Barry and his team members even went the extra mile and offered to assist my mother, who is physically disabled and requires the use of a wheelie walker, in accessing the Churches. 

On the day that my father passed away, Barry immediately took my call and asked enough questions about my father and our essential funeral requirements so he could commence funeral arrangements.  He offered to meet with me and my mother the very next day so we could discuss our requirements in detail.

We live at Ferny Hills on Brisbane’s northside and I had noticed you have an office at nearby Arana Hills, so Barry obliged with the appointment to be held there for our convenience (close to home, parking right at the front door and flat ground for my mother’s access).

Our extensive list of needs and special considerations were answered one by one by Barry with patience and understanding as, at times, I also had to translate the information in Greek to my mother.  Barry also gave us detailed instructions on how to access four different cemeteries that may suit our needs and whom to make enquiries with.

Barry negotiated the most suitable day and time for the funeral and burial service to accommodate three priests and the chanter in sync with the cemetery, caterer and limousine hire.  He took into consideration that early morning outings are far more challenging for my disabled mother and arranged for the funeral to start at midday.

The viewing was scheduled to take place at your Holland Park office.  However, without us even thinking of asking whether the viewing could take place closer to our home, Barry facilitated the private viewing at your Kelvin Grove Chapel for our convenience.  Barry empathised with my mother’s disability and the additional time it takes for her to be transferred to appointments; this empathy led him to arrange for the viewing at Kelvin Grove, as well as for him and a team member to wait outside the Chapel to direct us to park on the ramp outside the building and to assist my mother out of the vehicle and up the stairs.  Barry even got my mother’s wheelie walker out of the boot!

In order to facilitate my mother’s access to my father’s gravesite, Barry successfully negotiated with Council for the gravesite to be right next to the kerbside whilst also meeting our requirement for the gravesite to be among Greek Orthodox burials and monuments. 

Our special catering requirements for the Wake were met and the Limousine service and driver selected by Barry met our needs perfectly.

The funeral notice, tribute card, framed photo of my father and the beautiful floral tributes were all efficiently organised and greatly appreciated.

We thank Barry and your staff for the excellent planning and co-ordination of the funeral and burial service and for “going the extra mile”.  Barry was always available after hours (weeknights and weekend) to respond to our questions and changing needs.  The funeral and burial service took place exactly as planned without any hiccup.

An example of Barry going the extra mile is that he supplied us with the paperwork required to purchase an adjoining gravesite to my father’s.  Furthermore, Barry submitted the paperwork to Council and advised us that we could also enquire about purchase instalment plans that Council had not informed us about.

Even though he was under no obligation to do so, Barry contacted us several days following the funeral to see how we are going and whether outstanding matters with the Registry Office, Council and my father’s 40-day memorial service were sorted out.

We were very happy with Barry’s meticulous attention to detail and customer service. It means a lot to families in sad times like ours to have a funeral director who understands their needs, thinks laterally and does what they say they will do.

We would wholeheartedly recommend Barry and his team to others."

- Georgina (and Mary) Vlahos