Commonly Asked Questions

What materials are used to make a memorial?
It can be made of granite, marble, sandstone, brass or bronze. We do not use Terrazzo as we find this material is inferior to natural materials such as granite.

Should the mason give me a written contract?
All reputable monumental masons should supply you with a written copy of your contract, clearly setting out the terms and conditions of the contract. And where possible a layout of the wording for the memorial and a sketch of its appearance upon completion.

The contract should include:-
-Details of the design you have selected (and preferably a sketch), wording, any extras i.e.,
Ceramic photo and frame, statues, ceramic roses, engraved artwork etc.,
-The total cost of the memorial including fixing to the grave site.
-The cemetery fees charged (if any).
-An estimated completion date.

Cemetery fees - what are they?
This is the most asked question by families, as they believe they have already paid all fees relating to the cemetery and burial. A cemetery fee is a fee that is charged by the cemetery to approve your memorial application. The amount of cemetery fee charged varies from cemetery to cemetery (some cemeteries do not charge a fee but most do) and even the design of the memorial can alter the fee. Your monumental mason will collect the money on behalf of the cemetery and when they apply for permission to erect the memorial, the money is forwarded to the cemetery.

Why do I need approval from the cemetery to erect a memorial?
Not all memorials can be placed in a cemetery without their prior knowledge and approval. The application for memorial form which your mason may ask you to sign when you order the memorial is forwarded to the cemetery, showing the design you have chosen and the size.

The cemetery should check that (1) the person is actually interred in their cemetery (2) the size and colour of the memorial meets their regulations (3) that the names, dates etc., coincide with the information they have on their files, (4) the correct fee is being paid and that the person who has signed the application for a memorial form is the authorised person or has the authority to organise the memorial on behalf of the family of the deceased.

Can my memorial be any colour?
Most cemeteries throughout Australia do not have restrictions on the colour of stone to be used.  with the cemetery or your monumental mason i.e. the Abbey Funeral Home.

What type of lettering is available?
Engraved letters. The letters are sandblasted or cut into the stone. They can be left natural, enamel paint may be added or 23-24 carat gold leaf can be used. Gold is recommended for use on granite in particular.
(images of gilding)

Embossed letters. The letters are in the colour of the stone and the background is sandblasted away i.e., the letters are raised. This style of lettering is highly recommended where tablets are lying flat into the ground. They are the most durable for these harsh conditions. Enamel paint or gold can be added to the background if requested.

My father/mother was in the Services (Army/Navy/Airforce). Can we put his/her war service details on the headstone?
Yes you can. Your monumental mason will apply for permission from the Office of Australian War Graves in Canberra to have their particular branch of the Services I.e. Army= Rising Sun design, engraved or attached to the memorial.

My father/mother was a keen gardener, can we cut a rose or flower onto the headstone?
Yes you can. All quality masons have a large selection of motifs that can be used, or alternatively bring in a picture of your favourite flower and we can either cut it by hand or scan it into the computer for laser etching onto the monument.

Can I go into the cemetery and do the work myself?
Generally the answer is no. Most cemeteries have laws which say that all work carried out must be done by a monumental mason. Check with our Monumental Mason on what your cemetery's rules are.

How do I keep my memorial clean?
Your mason should explain to you the best method of maintaining your memorial. We recommend that only clean water and a chamois or soft cloth be used. NO abrasives, detergents, polishes, brushes or scourers should be used.

I have an old family grave that needs some repairs.
Restoration of an old family grave is definitely a task that should be handled by a reputable monumental mason. The structure of the grave becomes unstable and subsequently unsafe. The headstone will probably be made of marble, granite or sandstone that has weathered over the years and can be fragile to work with. We suggest you contact a mason and meet with them at the cemetery to discuss your options on restoration of the site.

Christopher Evans is the only monumental mason registered as a member of the Monumental Masons Association of NSW in Dubbo, Narromine, Wellington and Gilgandra.  We can provide monuments throughout NSW.

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