The decline of respect
I have complained before about the lack of respect to funeral cortèges, particularly in relation to giving way and not overtaking.
Last week I witnessed a shameful display of disrespect when a hearse was overtaken by a vehicle, the hearse was travelling at a respectful speed! As a funeral celebrant, I have also recently witnessed other disgraceful acts of total rudeness and disrespect.
May I remind everyone that the etiquette for approaching a funeral procession in Australia is fairly simple: if a hearse is followed by cars with headlights on, the etiquette is that they have the right of way, even at intersections, and other vehicles should give way to them.
Many people today aren't aware of the tradition of giving way to cortèges and that pedestrians should show respect by stopping what they are doing. Unfortunately, many people ignore a passing funeral procession. If you are driving and encounter a funeral procession, the standard etiquette is to allow the cortège to pass and find another route when you can.
Even if you have right of way at a roundabout, stop and allow the cortege to go through. If you are a pedestrian, the etiquette is to stop what you're doing and silently acknowledge the funeral procession as it passes by.
If you happen to be wearing a hat or cap, a mark of respect is to doff it or remove your headwear altogether. It is also appreciated if people do not cross the road in front of a funeral cortège.
Let's bring back good old-fashioned respect. Being considerate of people in this most emotionally difficult of times is the least we can do.
It will happen to you some day, whether that be a loved one or you in the coffin in the hearse, or as a mourner in an accompanying vehicle.
Ron Egeberg, Soldiers Hill
Proposed Rate Increase
Increased property value has been cited as a good reason to increase rates. If retired folks are encouraged to remain living in their homes, exactly how are we expected to keep up with continued rate increases?
Council is forever building recreational facilities, improving playgrounds and pumping dollars into the Bridge Mall. Yet there are thousands of retired folks who, by the very nature of age and health, cannot particularly enjoy the fruits of these expenditures but we are required to subsidize them. Our income doesn't go up. We would like to enjoy our twilight years without having to turn the thermostat down, cut out a meal, or postpone medical care just to satisfy Council's desire to max out rates.
Stephen Downey, Golden Point.