Our History

Macdonald & Weston has had a long standing history in Invercargill and Southland which dates back almost 145 years. Throughout this time we have always been locally owned and operated which is not something many funeral directors can skite. During this time a solid reputation for integrity, compassion and kindness has been developed and is now the cornerstone to our values and our promise to our clients.

horse and carriage hearse

Original company of Kingsland and Ferguson Ltd was founded by Henry Kingsland. Henry then partnered with William Ferguson.

Macdonald & Weston Funerals 1910

The business was purchased by employees of the original firm John Hays Pay and John Edward.

Macdonald & Weston Funerals history

The business name was changed to Macdonald & Weston Ltd.

1956 Chapel

The spacious chapel (in Spey Street) was built, further altered in 1971.

Macdonald Weston Building

Macdonald & Weston moved to the current location 131 Yarrow St.

Kingsland & Ferguson Ltd established in 1881 by Henry Kingsland and later joined by William Ferguson, operated until 1910. It was then acquired by John Hays Pay and John Edward Taylor, both of whom were former employees of the original firm, and ran until 1923 when it became Macdonald & Weston Ltd.

John Edward Taylor went on to establish J.E. Taylor and Sons Funeral Directors and Monumental Masons in Wellington. Eventually, this company merged with Isaac Clark and Sons to form Lychgate Funeral Services.

The initial manager of Macdonald & Weston Ltd was James Taylor Macdonald, who served until his passing in 1945. H. P. Weston succeeded him as manager, leading the company until his death in 1956.


The most famous funeral with the company was New Zealand prime minister Richard Seddon`s funeral in 1906, it used an 1886 carriage hearse, which was used in Southland by Macdonald and Weston. The hearse is one of only three known to have survived in New Zealand. The three hearses are held in the Yaldhurst Museum, Christchurch, the Naseby Early Settlers' Museum. Naseby, Otago and the Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT), Western Springs, Auckland. The records are not clear which one was ours.

1947 Chrysler Windsor

We also acquired the classic 1947 Chrysler Windsor which has been a large part of the Southland area for many years to use for our funerals, this car was part of the government fleet around the time of the King`s visit, which never eventuated. It was sold to Vosper`s funeral home in New Plymouth, they converted it to a hearse until around 1966, sold to the Sinclair brothers in Nightcaps. It was used by them for 30 plus years. It was used by Macdonald & Weston up to about 2007, then taken up to Alexandra, where it sat under covers until it was bought by us to once again bring it back to Southland. It is still seen leading funerals and is still its its original condition.

Macdonald & Weston Ltd. has had a very long record of service to the public of Southland and the City of Invercargill and has endeavoured at all times to keep pace with the changing times in which we live by the provision of first-class premises, modern vehicles and equipment; and at all times a quiet and efficient service to the public.