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Harold Charles Millington came home to Hobart to care for his aging mother after running a successful cabinet-making business in Melbourne, which employed almost 30 full-time employees.
He was a very well-known professional bike-rider who won two Burnie Wheel races and numerous 5 and 10 mile road-racing Australian titles; this, plus his reputation as a fine craftsman of furniture, soon assured him of running a thriving business at 229 Liverpool St Hobart.
Soon after opening the furniture factory at the abovementioned address, he was approached by Mr Alex Clark (3) to supply for his funeral companies some first-class blackwood and huon pine coffins. As Harold's late uncle had at one time conducted the funerals of the poor and destitute of Hobart around the year 1880, it was not long before he decided to expand into the funeral industry. He purchased a property at 200 Liverpool St, where he opened the funeral firm of H.C.Millington & Co.
The first manager was Mr Harold Hooper who ran the funeral business and Millington concentrated on managing the furniture side.
With the approach of the depression, it soon became apparent that less and less people were buying expensive furniture; he therefore had to begin to lay off staff from the business until only he and two others remained. He then lost Mr Hooper who commenced the firm of Hooper and Burgess in Elizabeth St and for some time business was very difficult.
By 1940, Harold, his eldest daughter Betty (who later became Mrs. Christian Fuglsang), and Mr Harry Case were running the business and continued to do so during the war years. Betty was employed to drive the mourning coach, making her one of the first Tasmanian women in funeral service.
The business grew quite quickly, but for the duration of the War, labour was very difficult to obtain, and employing casual staff that also worked night jobs at the local newspaper or hospitals did much of the funeral work. By 1950, through hard and professional service, Millington's was the largest funeral company in Hobart.
In 1952, Harold, who had no sons, persuaded his eldest son-in-law, Christian Fuglsang, to leave the building industry and become a funeral director, with the hope that Christian's sons, Peter and Christopher would, at the end of their education, join the company.
In 1958 Christian Fuglsang purchased the property at 151 Main Rd Moonah and altered the old double-story doctor's home into the first funeral home in Tasmania. In 1960 the property next door was purchased and a large chapel built. Subsequently the other comer property on Fleet Street was purchased and turned into a car park for 80 vehicles.
At the same time, Mr Millington purchased the business of Alex Clark & Son. Business expanded quickly and Peter and Christopher Fuglsang, Harold's grandsons, joined the firm in 1958 and 1964 respectively. Before they were permitted to become funeral workers, they both had to learn to make and french-polish coffins. Harold expected the boys to learn the lot. Today nearly all of the coffins and caskets which Millington's use, are manufactured at their own workshop, which is still located at 229 Liverpool St.
Harold Millington died in June 1969 after 43 years' of devoted service to the funeral industry and Christian Fuglsang then became Managing Director. Soon after, the firm was persuaded by Ken Vincent to rejoin the AFDA and the Tasmanian Branch. Peter Fuglsang became the firm's representative. In 1972, he was elected Vice President of the State Association and after serving as State President, he became a Federal Councillor. He was Australian Funeral Directors Association Federal President in 1980 and 1981.
The firm continued to expand and had by then also purchased the business and premises of Clark Bros. in Argyle St. In 2000, they purchased land on Hobart's eastern shore and constructed a large Funeral Centre and Crematorium at 25 McIntyre St Mornington. This Centre incorporates 2 chapels, a large reception centre, the latest in television, video and sound systems, and a state-of-the-art modern mortuary built to hospital standard. They have a car park for 150 vehicles and their own crematorium.
In 2010 Millington's employ a full-time staff of 30, in 4 locations: Head Office is now at the Mornington Funeral Centre, 25 McIntyre St. Mornington; the Accounts Branch and Cemetery management is based at Cornelian Bay Cemetery, Kingston cemetery is permanently staffed; while the original Funeral Home still operates at 151 Main Rd Moonah.
As well, Rodney Bester, who has recently joined the company, represents Millington's in the Derwent Valley and in the Huon Valley by David Thomasson, who manage Huon Funerals.
The company is now under the joint management of brothers Peter and Christopher Fuglsang, grandsons of the founder, and Bridget Fuglsang, a fourth generation family member who is now in her twelth year of service.