At the turn of last century Walter Dunstall, a Napier cabinet maker who organised funerals ‘on the side’, established Dunstall’s Funeral Services out of his family home in Nelson Crescent, Napier.
By 1920 funerals were becoming a larger part of Walter’s business and he responded to the demand by transforming the family home’s front room into a chapel where funeral services could be held. Two of Walter’s three sons, Keith and Colin, joined their father in the business and after the war, Walter retired leaving the two brothers to take over running the company.
A decade later, the family purchased St Augustine’s Church in Edwardes Street; the congregation moving to their newly built church on the corner of Riverbend Road and Latham Street.
Keith and Colin spent many long hours turning St Augustine’s into the Dunstall Memorial Chapel and although some changes have been made over the years including the addition of a refreshment lounge, the building has changed little.
Keith Dunstall passed away in 1966 and in that same year, Colin’s daughter Noeline came to help her mum and dad in the office. Today Noeline still occupies the office chair and is a wealth of knowledge about the industry in Hawke’s Bay.
In 1972, at age 17, Colin’s son Paul started working full time for his father. He had already been helping after school dropping off the flowers to rest homes, picking up paperwork and other duties. When Colin Dunstall passed away, his son Paul became Managing Director. Recently Paul’s daughter Katherine joined the family business, the fourth generation Dunstall to become a funeral director and embalmer.
Completing the team alongside Paul, Noeline and Katherine is Paul’s wife Michelle and Funeral Directors Neil Earnshaw and Gareth Hayward.