Our beginnings can be traced back to 1851 when Patrick O’Rourke was transported from Ireland, to serve a seven year incarceration at the infamous Port Arthur Penal Settlement. Patrick served only two years before his reprieve and relocation to Melbourne. In the late 1890’s Cornelius, Patrick’s son set up a funeral business in Queanbeyan. Cornelius ran the business from his Mowatt Street residence.
His sons Michael, Joseph and Jack expanded the business in 1910. They became not only Funeral Directors but general builders and contractors. The O’Rourke brothers moved around the district to places such as Yass, Bungendore, Bywong and Cooma.
In 1929 the business relocated to the current address in 113 Crawford Street, Queanbeyan, and remains the office and chapel to this day.
In 1987, the business was purchased by the Allison family, who themselves have a long history in the industry. Allison Monkhouse Funeral Directors was founded by Clive Allison, the current owner’s ancestors, in Melbourne in 1860. Interestingly, TJ Andrews Funeral Services was also founded by Clive’s ancestors in Sydney in 1895.
The Crawford Street site, as it stand today, was refurbished both in 1995 and later in 2010.