Saturday, March 19, 2011

Tales from the Crypt

I've finally been able to get my hands on a copy of Matthew Gray's book Tales from the Crypt today (they were being sold today at the 125th anniversary commemoration function at Waikumete Cemetery). Based on his series of articles published weekly in the Western Leader, I found the book to be better than expected. Then again, the old trad in local history writing -- if you want folks to like the book, put their name in it -- probably has some effect on my judgement with regards to this publication. Seeing that Matthew Gray not only cited A Doctor in the Whau, he also cited Timespanner itself (two instances, the Castles of Waterview and Wesley Neal Spragg's memorial in the George Maxwell Memorial Cemetery). On top of that, he's also raised the subject of Clara Bethell's relocated headstone at MOTAT.

What I liked about the book is that he has taken time to source and reproduce photos of the deceased where possible, not just their headstones -- and has divided the book into sections, based on the cemeteries:

Bush Graves
George Maxwell Memorial Cemetery (Avondale)
Hobsonville Cemetery
Oratia Cemetery
St Ninian's Churchyard (Avondale -- actually, Matthew, this is a cemetery as well)
Swanson Cemetery
and Waikumete Cemetery

There are some errors (there are errors in every local history book published, somewhere, if you nit-pick enough), but -- I'm delighted I made the investment, finally got to briefly meet Matthew today, and ... yes, okay, okay, I'm quite thrilled to see this here blog, my pet project, cited as a resource. 

Heh. Thanks, Matthew. I enjoy your work, too.


  1. Awesome job Lisa! You deserve it also though! You've put HEAPS of work in to this blog and your research is always thoroughly done and cited :) Who wouldn't want to use it as a source!

    Book sounds great!


  2. Awwww ...! See, this is why I missed you when you were down South! Thank you for the kind words, Sandy! :-)