A Non-Profit Organization, here to help you with End of Life planning and Funeral costs

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ABOUT MSBC

We Are A Non-Profit Organization, Here To Help You…

The Memorial Society of British Columbia is the only member-based, volunteer driven memorial society in British Columbia.

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  • Directors and employees have no vested interest in goods or services provided by the funeral industry
  • Directors and employees are not employed by the funeral industry
  • The Memorial Society neither makes nor initiates calls to arrange a home visit to update members’ information.
    (This is an unethical tactic used to open the door to illegal sales of funeral goods and services.)
  • The Memorial Society of British Columbia is not owned by a multi-national funeral corporation.

Furthermore, this website is the only one in British Columbia without vested interest in the funeral industry. Simply put, only the Memorial Society of British Columbia works for you.

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Current Purposes of the Society

  • To assist members in advance of death for the disposition of their remains
  • To assist and support the bereaved in making death arrangements
  • To promote environmentally sound arrangements for disposal of remains
  • To ensure the availability of affordable funeral arrangements through written contracts with selected funeral services providers and to monitor the practices and performance of funeral services providers
  • To engage in educational and public awareness programs in support of these purposes
  • To promote the continuance of a dynamic and responsible society

A Brief History

The Memorial Society of BC (MSBC), incorporated October 12, 1956, is a non-profit and volunteer driven Society. Fifty-five people who met in a church hall in Vancouver initiated it, and its current membership of 237,000 makes it the largest memorial society in North America.

The initiative to form a Society came from Vancouver’s Unitarian Fellowship for Social Justice. At the time, there was a rising tide of protest throughout North America against the lavish, sentimental, and expensive funeral practices that were supplanting the simple funeral practices of an earlier day. The BC initiatives were part of a continent-wide response to the increasing costs of funerals.

Simply stated, the new BC Society declared its purpose to be “to promote dignity and simplicity in funeral rites and to arrange, in advance of death, for its members and their families such lawful disposition of their remains as they desire.” Though it was obvious that such opportunities would cost less than the conventional practices, the Society did not promote it as a way of saving money.

At first, the Society grew slowly, but grow it did! In the 1960s and 1970s, its rapid growth was in no small measure due to BC’s trade union movement. Unions saw the Memorial Society in a positive light. As it happened, the Society’s then Executive Director, Jean Mohart, was secretary to IWA President Joe Morris. She would call the Locals and introduce herself as from Morris’ office. This caught the listener’s attention. Mohart’s initiatives resulted in very rapid growth of the Society throughout the province.

MSBC’s vision and persistent work on behalf of its members has meant that BC has the lowest cost of funerals in North America. Assurance of a low-cost and dignified funeral is not the only benefit to members. Staff and Society volunteers assist members to prepare final arrangements in advance, keep records of members’ wishes, and help members to cope when a death occurs in a family. The lifetime membership fee of $40 enables the membership access to its contracted prices with its providers and the services of MSBC staff and office resources.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of the Memorial Society of British Columbia is composed of volunteers from around the province. At each Annual General Meeting, five are elected for two year terms. A president is also elected every year at the AGM. Representation from local Branches comprise the remaining membership on the Board.

Trademarks

On November 21, 1956, the Memorial Society of British Columbia was registered as a Society under the “Societies Act” of British Columbia. Its name, “Memorial Society of British Columbia” and the acronym “MSBC” are trademarks of Memorial Society of British Columbia and may not be used without expressed permission.
“Memorial Society of British Columbia” and “First Memorial Society of British Columbia” are registered trademarks of the Memorial Society of British Columbia.

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