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Retirement dinner brings funeral business together

A dinner to commemorate the work of Roger Arber and his retirement after 28 years as the managing director of the London Cremation Company (LCC) brought together organisations from across the funeral industry.

Harvey Thomas CBE, LCC Chairman, welcomed guests to Arsenal’s Emirates stadium from every part of the funeral and bereavement services, government departments and professional advisers, and even from as far afield as Japan.

Roger (pictured with wife, Irene) received hearty congratulations from everyone, as well as a commemorative silver salver, and his wife Irene, who also had plaudits from the speakers, was presented with a bouquet, appropriately in Arsenal’s red and white colours.

Henry J Keiser, secretary-general of the International Cremation Federation and chief executive of Dutch cremation society The Royal Facultatieve Group, gave an address from the Netherlands, as he was unable to be present, describing Roger as “a true gentleman” who had made an enormous contribution to the industry. Roger was then presented with the organisation’s order of merit.

Roger joined the LCC in 1984 and was appointed executive director in 1986 and subsequently managing director in 1992. He became secretary of The Cremation Society of Great Britain in 1982, and served as secretary-general of the International Cremation Federation from 1990 to 2002, helping to secure its recognition by the United Nations as an NGO. He was also on the executive for 22 years. Under his leadership the LCC has grown from two to five crematoria. He will become a non-executive director of the LCC on his retirement.

The Cremation Society, now the parent organisation of the LCC, carried out the first official cremation in the UK at Woking Crematorium on 26th March 1885. In 1900, the LCC was formed to build Golders Green Crematorium. Since then, 330,000 cremations have taken place there – more than any other UK crematorium. These have included Sigmund Freud, Peter Sellers, Enid Blyton, Sid James, Anna Pavlova, Ivor Novello, Marc Bolan, Bram Stoker, Neville Chamberlain and Amy Winehouse.

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