The show must go on! Or must it? The members of New Zealand’s quirky Coffin Clubs don’t think so. The clubs—which consist of Kiwi senior citizens who seek comfort, community, and coffin-making—is gaining popularity among New Zealanders, as well as internationally.
While Coffin Club groups are popping up all over New Zealand, the original club was founded in Rotorua in 2010 by former palliative care nurse Katie Williams, 77. During their weekly meetings, they’re challenging the grim ideas often associated with death, and the morbid, monotonous nature of many funerals. (See what happens when death doesn’t mean goodbye.)
It all started with an organization called University of the Third Age (U3A)—an international movement dedicated to fostering lifelong