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Member's Profile: David Manders

Oct 2019 Manders David Willunga Catholic

Many of you will be familiar with our dear friend David Manders, with David being in the funeral and cemetery industry for 37 years, which included time on the Executive Board of the CCASA.

David first became involved in the Willunga Catholic Parish in 1979, when he, his wife Kate and their two young children attended mass. Mass attracted approximately 200 people from Aldinga, Normanville and Willunga areas.

David enjoys meeting people and likes to feel that he is some help and comfort at what is probably, one of the most difficult times of people's lives. Having worked in the funeral industry for many years, David saw his fair share of unpleasant funerals, but one of the most challenging was the time he helped a family, whose daughter was almost 20 when she was tragically killed on a holiday in the USA.


In 1989, David became more involved in the Willunga Catholic Parish and took on the role of Cemetery Curator at Willunga. He is particularly proud of the significant extensions in the cemetery, which have included new burial sections and a new cremation memorial section.

During his career, Robert Pitt was a big influence. What impressed David most was Robert's professionalism, compassion and leadership while he was a manager at Centennial Park. Robert was very supportive and encouraging when David did a TAFE course in his mid 50's, something David found challenging having not studied since high school. Later, when Robert was the President of the CCASA, he again had a great influence on David, as Robert was always ready to help and advise, showing compassion and leadership. Another big influencer in David's career was Father Charles Gauci (now Bishop of Darwin), who always showed deep faith, compassion and understanding.


A highlight of David's career and one of his biggest thrills was winning the Darren Leuders award in 2015. It came as a big surprise. David was definitely a worthy winner (editors words, not Davids 😂)

David's advice to a younger him is to follow your dream job and don't take much notice of other people! Unfortunately, David says he missed his calling as a train driver.

David has recently retired from his role as Cemetery Curator at Willunga. You can read more in The Southern Cross Catholic magazine

When David isn't working within the Parish, David and his wife Kate look after their grandchildren two days a week. They also volunteer at Aldinga Meals On Wheels and David volunteers in the Justice of the Peace role at Aldinga Library.

One of the questions we asked of David was, what was his favourite meal and David's response was "home-cooked roast leg of lamb with all the trimmings, with my family. After working as a jackaroo, there is nothing like a roast leg of lamb, fresh from the meat house and into the woodstove oven (beautiful!!)".

Thank you David, for the opportunity to get to know a little more about you. It's been an absolute pleasure.


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