Tony Rowland, of Rowland Brothers Limited, based in Croydon, has been recognised in the New Year Honours List. His honour reflects both his commitment to supporting the bereaved and his voluntary and fund-raising endeavours benefitting the community in South London and Surrey. Cited for “services to Undertaking and the community in Surrey”, Tony has been awarded an MBE.
A past President of the London Association of Funeral Directors and a past Chairman of the Croydon Association (now LAFD Southern District Association), Tony is well-known in the profession with which he has been involved for 65 years: at the age of 80, he still works in the family business, having started as a 15 year-old apprentice.
In the 1970s Tony set up a bereavement aftercare programme, which now makes emotional support and practical assistance available to all bereaved people throughout Croydon and the surrounding areas. Tony also set up an international repatriation service, with a worldwide network of agents, which has assisted the return of thousands of deceased UK citizens and of many overseas citizens that died in the UK. With such a wealth of experience, Tony lectures at Scotland Yard to police family liaison officers and to the Rapid Response Team at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Tony has been very active in charitable and community work, through involvement in local Rotary, Round Table, Royal British Legion and Freemasonry groups, supporting and promoting schools, Scout and Guide groups, Boys’ Brigade and cadet corps. His fund-raising activities were enhanced by establishing the Rowland Brothers Foundation, the income of which is boosted by regular donations from the family businesses. As Chairman of the local Business Partnership, Tony also was instrumental in the creation of the annual Thornton Heath Festival which further promotes local youth groups.
Clearly a well-deserved award!