Hannah Barr admits her career choice is not the easiest to bring up at parties, but insists she loves being a mortician and is determined to be the best.
The 20-year-old attended the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), a fiveday leadership programme for young people hosted by Plimmerton Rotary Club, at Silverstream Retreat recently.
She says her employer and mentor Stuart Wheeler, a Rotarian, encouraged her to attend the programme.
‘‘ It was really interesting. [ The programme] was about growing your self confidence. What you learn there will help you build on certain skills in the future.’’
Forty-four young people from all over the lower North Island experienced a range of activities. They listened to an array of speakers, participated in activities like versions of The Amazing Race and The Apprentice, and raised money and awareness for the Pacific Emergency Response Kits that Rotary distributes in the South Pacific.
Ms Barr says she enjoyed the course and it put her in good stead to undertake a National Diploma in Embalming at WelTec which begins at the end of this month.
She began working at Guardian Funeral Home in Porirua straight out of high school so she could get a year’s experience under her belt to qualify for study.
So how does one get into funeral directing?
‘‘I haven’t had anyone close to me die or anything like that.
‘‘I’ve just always been interested in it since I was 14-years-old. I think it was just that I wanted to do something different to everyone else.
‘‘I basically emailed and approached all the funeral homes in Wellington and Guardian here in Porirua took me on.
‘‘It’s nice because it’s a smaller funeral home so I’m able to be involved in everything. I assist with funerals and I do embalming. They have the time to sit down with me and teach me,’’ she says.
For information on next year’s RYLA course, contact Phillip Reidy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Individuals are selected and sponsored by each of the 60 Rotary clubs in the lower North Island.
Something different: Hannah Barr said she has wanted to be a mortician since she was 14.