1. The ladies and gentlemen of the interment industry in this state, known as the Virginia Cemetery Association, outlines and promulgates a creed which will serve to identify the character and integrity of those herein enrolled. This creed, known as a Code of Ethics, discloses to those unfamiliar with the cemetery industry the attitudes and intentions of the members of the Association while serving also as a guide and reminder to those within.
2. Ethics itself is the theory of what is good or worthwhile and therefore has to each of us a different meaning. It is necessary to recognize, however, that certain obligations are automatically born when individuals and private companies elect to combine and form an association. This Association, created and maintained for the common good and advancement of its several hundred members must inevitably recognize the responsibility which accompanies the intangible strength of such an association. That strength, born through unity, obligates us to serve the public throughout the Commonwealth with a degree of devotion and sincerity greater than we could hope to individually achieve.
3. Since we are voluntarily charged with this obligation to serve, we herewith set forth a code to guide our efforts.
4. It is stated that our individual morals collectively applied is the only pressure which urges us to document our inner and most personal feeling. We freely accept and adopt this Code and recognize it as indispensable. All that ethics is or hopes to be could not be contained in a single document, but we feel that the statements herein issued are far reaching and broad enough in scope to encompass honest and exemplary conduct.
5. Each member is obliged:
A. To conduct our individual business in a manner which would always compliment and never embarrass the Association.
B. To do what good he can within the industry for those we serve or hope to serve.
C. To always act in whatever way will produce the greatest amount of honorable achievement.
6. Each member must remember that:
A. Their motivation is the major factor determining the moral goodness of their acts.
B. What is good or right is independent of our personal preferences.
7. Each member pledges:
A. To develop, where possible, beautiful areas for the purpose of burial or entombment recognizing an annual increase in deaths brought about by a greatly increased population.
B. To beautifully maintain those newly developed areas and those which already exist by providing those areas with a monetary trust fund adequate to the task of perpetual maintenance, permanent in design and irrevocable in purpose.
C. To insure by method of implementation or supervision that only honest and ethical practices are applied in the major areas of cemetery operations known as:
1. Administrative operations.
2. Maintenance and Interment operations.
3. Sales operations, both at time of need as well as in advance of actual need.
4. In all other areas of relations with the public which are not specifically covered in 7, A, B, or C.
8. We must also insure with equal determination that nothing in any area of our operations is intentionally omitted by either deed or word of mouth, that which we know from knowledge and experience could eventually prove harmful.
9. Each member pledges to aware themselves of all federal, state and local statutes and adhere strictly to them.
10. The foregoing is more than suggestion. It is our determined will, and it must be manifestly clear to all that we do not intend simple lip service or passive acceptance to these ethics. Moreover, we pledge to act forcefully or decisively either through expulsion or censoring any member of this association who has been proven an intentional violator of this code.
The following By-Laws, prepared by the By-Laws Committee, George Rolan, Chairman, Jean Renick, and Richard Allen, were approved by the Virginia Cemetery Association Board of Directors at its March 27, 1969, meeting held in Richmond, Virginia. The By-laws were presented for general membership approval at its annual meeting held in Virginia Beach, Virginia on June 22, 23, 24 and 25, 1969. It is the intent that the By-Laws supersede and replace in the entirety the then existing By-laws of the Virginia Cemetery Association.
This re-printing approved by the Board of Directors at its June 2011 meeting held in Irvington, Virginia at The Tides Inn.