Our History

Our History

Nelson Bros has a long and proud history. For five generations since 1858, we have continued to provide sound advice, professional personal care and innovation. As Australia and the world have evolved, so has Nelson Bros Funeral Services.

  • 2019

    Notre Dame Cathedral fire

  • 2018

    Nelson Bros on Instagram

  • 2016

    Western Bulldogs win AFL Premiership

  • 2016

    Interactive website with online funeral planning

  • 2015

    Water discovered on Mars

  • 2013

    Theo J. Nelson celebrates 60 years in the funeral industry

  • 2013

    Head Office & Operations Centre opens in Port Melbourne

  • 2012

    Nelson Bros on Facebook

  • 2011

    New Rolls Royce Phantoms added to fleet

  • 2010

    Purchase of Mortuary & Funeral Educators training business

  • 2009

    Nelson Bros launches online Memorials

  • 2008

    Nelson Bros celebrates 150th Anniversary

  • 2007

    Adrian Nelson made Paul Harris Fellow
    Kevin Rudd becomes Prime Minister

  • 2006

    Commonwealth Games in Melbourne

  • 2004

    Population of Australia reaches 20,091,504

  • 2002

    Purchase of Bathurst Lonergan Funerals in Kooyong Road, Elsternwick

  • 2001

    Adrian Nelson joins Nelson Bros

  • 2001

    September 11 attacks

  • 2000

    Olympic Games in Sydney

  • 1998

    Open funeral home in Heaths Road, Hoppers Crossing

  • 1997

    Williamstown Funeral Home moves to historic rifle range armory
    Princess Diana dies in Paris, France

  • 1995

    First Nelson Bros website is launched
    John Howard elected Prime Minister

  • 1992

    Nelson Bros wins Pursuit of Excellence Award for the third consecutive year and receive Emeritus Status

  • 1990

    Nelson Bros wins Pursuit of Excellence Award from NFDA
    Nelson Mandela released from Victor Verster Prison after 27 years behind bars

  • 1989

    Theo J. Nelson made Paul Harris Fellow

  • 1988

    Theo J. Nelson made fellow of the British Institute of Embalmers

  • 1987

    Bereavement Resource Centre opens in Ferguson Street, Williamstown

  • 1986

    Priscilla Nelson joins Nelson Bros
    Crocodile Dundee released in Australia

  • 1984

    T. Robert Nelson joins Nelson Bros

  • 1983

    Australia wins the America's Cup

  • 1980

    Theo W. Nelson Dies

  • 1975

    Dismissal of Gough Whitlam as Prime Minister

  • 1974

    Theo J. Nelson is President of the Australian Funeral Directors Association
    New funeral home at 7 Droop Street, Footscray opens

  • 1973

    Sydney Opera House opens

  • 1970

    Nelson Bros ceases production of coffins

  • 1970

    West Gate Bridge collapse

  • 1969

    Apollo 11 lands on the moon

  • 1967

    New funeral home opened in Devonshire Road, Sunshine

  • 1966

    The Australian currency is decimalised to dollars and cents

  • 1964

    The Beatles tour Australia

  • 1961

    Australia enters the Vietnam War

  • 1958

    James A. Nelson dies

  • 1957

    Theo W. Nelson is President of Australian Funeral Directors Associaton
    Elvis moves to Graceland

  • 1956

    Theo W. Nelson made life member of Williamstown Football Club

  • 1956

    Olympic Games in Melbourne

  • 1954

    Footscray wins VFL Premiership

  • 1953

    Theo J. Nelson joins Nelson Bros

  • 1953

    Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II

  • 1950

    Australian troops sent to the Korean War

  • 1949

    Robert Menzies re-elected Prime Minister

  • 1948

    James A. Nelson is President of Australian Funeral Directors Association

  • 1946

    Foundation Day is renamed Australia Day

  • 1945

    WWII ends

  • 1940

    Howard Florey develops penicillin

  • 1940

    New funeral home built in Douglas Parade, Williamstown

  • 1939

    Footscray Funeral Home moves to Droop Street

  • 1939

    WWII commences

  • 1936

    James A. Nelson is Mayor of Williamstown

  • 1932

    Sydney Harbour Bridge opens

  • 1929

    Wall Street crashes

  • 1929

    James A. Nelson opens funeral home in Victoria Street Footscray

  • 1927

    Australian Parliament first - Canberra

  • 1923

    Vegemite is produced

  • 1922

    The Sun News-Pictorial is first published

  • 1921

    Theo W. Nelson opens funeral home in Douglas Parade, Williamstown
    Norman Nelson continues to operate Linton Funeral Home

  • 1920

    Airline Qantas is founded

  • 1918

    WWI ends

  • 1914

    James Nelson dies
    Theo W. Nelson and Norman Nelson change name to "Nelson Bros"

  • 1914

    WWI commences

  • 1910

    Myer Emporium founded

  • 1901

    Commonwealth of Australia is born
    Barton becomes the first Prime Minister

  • 1900

    James Nelson Captain of Linton Fire Brigade

  • 1896

    First Modern Olympic Games held in Athens, Greece

  • 1893

    Robert Simeon Nelson dies

  • 1893

    Hoadley's make first Violet Crumble

  • 1889

    The Eiffel Tower is inaugurated

  • 1884

    Mark Twain publishes Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

  • 1880

    Many Chinese burials in Linton during Gold Rush
    Bushranger Ned Kelly is hanged

  • 1876

    Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone

  • 1870

    Business expanded to include ironmongery and "associated requirements"

  • 1868

    Suez Canal opens, linking the Mediterranean to the Red Sea

  • 1864

    Robert Simeon Nelson marries Mary Ann Dawe

  • 1864

    Williamstown Football Club forms

  • 1861

    Melbourne Zoo opens

  • 1859

    Charles Darwin publishes Origin of Species

  • 1858

    Robert Simeon Nelson starts business as carpenter, cabinet-maker and undertaker in Linton

  • 1854

    The Age is first published

  • 1852

    Robert Simeon Nelson arrives in Australia from New York on board the Epaminondas

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