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Golden Leaves founder awarded an MBE

The Founder of South London based Funeral Planning Firm Golden Leaves, has been awarded an MBE in the latest Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.

Tony Rowland, Founder of Golden Leaves Funeral Plans and Chairman of Rowland Brothers International (RBI), has been awarded an MBE for ‘services to Undertaking and the community’ after supporting bereaved families through grief for 65 years.

An apprentice at the age of 15, Tony continues to work at the age of 80 and in 1971 created a worldwide network and support structure for the efficient and compassionate repatriation of the deceased who sadly pass whilst on holiday or working overseas, as well as citizens of other counties who die in the UK.

RBI has assisted in many emergencies, including the return of all the UK citizens who died in the South Asia tsunami, the 9/11 and 7/7 bombings and extreme weather emergencies. They are also an official supplier to the British Olympics and provides the repatriation helpline for the NAFD. Golden Leaves has grown to become one of the most respected and ethical funeral planning brands operating in the United Kingdom and abroad.

Part of Tony’s impressive work includes the development of the Rowland Brothers Foundation, which provides free bereavement counselling and practical help to all in his local community.

Barry Floyd, Managing Director of Golden Leaves, said: “Tony is thoroughly deserving of his award through his initiatives to bring local communities together, whilst offering continued support for families in their time of need.”

“A real community champion, Tony embodies the compassion and commitment that the funeral service industry strives to maintain, and I am extremely proud to work alongside him.”

Tony is an expert in international repatriation and lectures at Scotland Yard, the FCO and to new UK diplomats being prepared for overseas assignments.

Golden Leaves was initially formed in Croydon, South London, to satisfy the demand of the community its Tony’s family funeral business had served since 1875.

The innovative firm was one of the first to introduce the funeral planning product to the UK and has continued this legacy, in being the first independent funeral planning company to launch the Guaranteed Cremation Funeral Plan model.

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