Making A Living – Tombstone maker

Making A Living

Wallace Murray has been making tombstones for over 20 years. It’s a job he took up following his retirement as a sexton with City Hall back in 1985.
Now 80 years old, Murray’s little business can be found at 57 Louisa Row, Werk-en-Rust near the entrance to Le Repentir cemetery.
Murray, relaxing in a chair that overlooked the tombstones he has on display says that he took to tombstone making to complement the pension he was receiving, “After they retire me I had to do something to make a living.”

Murray (right) and a resident of the area relaxing in front of the tombstones

Murray said he worked with the city council first as overseer of Georgetown and later as sexton. He served in the latter position for 30 years before his eventual retirement in 1985.

“I used to prepare the journal of deaths which occurred during my regime, the spot they were buried, the number, their names, things like that,” he recalled.  “It’s an arduous task; you have to deh pun the books all the time.”

However, Murray said that he enjoyed working as a sexton and noted how important it was, since it allowed persons to find their loved ones. “I had a love for doing the job. I used to try and do the job as accurately as I can.”
It was this attention to detail that he took into the making of tombstones, something he “enjoy making to a point.” While he admits that the tedious job brings in little profit, it nonetheless “assist me because the pension is not much.”

Its takes about three days to make a tombstone depending on its design, Murray says. He even does the engraving, and his location could not have been better.

Although he is still in the business, Murray now has an assistant making the tombstones since he is having difficulty with his eyes.
You can find Murray relaxing in the afternoons at his Louisa Row location, chatting with those around, and if the current state of the cemetery comes up in the discussion, Murray will not hesitate to share his view: “In my days the cemetery was immaculate now it gone to naught.”


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning:

Most Read This Week

  1. Convicted drug trafficker Barry Dataram about to be handed over to local enforcement officials by the Suriname police. Inset is the information page in the fake passport for “David Persaud” that was being used by the fugitive. (Royston Drakes photos)

    Dataram, wife returned to Guyana

  2. Back in court: In this Keno George composite photo, Barry Dataram (left) and his wife Anjanie Boodnarine at court yesterday to answer three charges including fleeing the jurisdiction.

    Dataram to serve eight years in jail after guilty plea to new charges

  3. Yansen Brusche

    Ulverston mom of four stabbed to death by children’s father

  4. US Ambassador Perry Holloway and Finance Minister Winston Jordan shake hands after the signing of the agreement yesterday.

    Guyana inks pact for reporting to IRS on holdings of US citizens

  5. Updated: Man dies after bandits attack overseas-based Guyanese at Herstelling

  6. Barry Dataram

    Datarams getaway passports had been issued to other people

  7. Ameer Subrati

    Man dies after bandits target overseas-based couple at Herstelling

  8. Dr. Prudence Lewis-Bhola

    Prudence Lewis-Bhola appointed as CEO of broadcasting authority

  9. Cops grilling taxi driver after passenger robbed of $6M on seawall

Recommended For You