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.”

LUCAS STOCK INDEXThe Lucas Stock Index (LSI) rose 0.54 per cent during the third period of trading in June 2016. The stocks of six companies were traded with 79,573 shares changing hands. There were three Climbers and one Tumbler. The stocks of Banks DIH (DIH) rose 1.98 per cent on the sale of 18,757 while the stocks of Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) rose 5.26 per cent on the sale of 41,667 shares. In addition, the stocks of Demerara Tobacco Company (DTC) rose 1.51 per cent on the sale of 13,603 shares. In contrast, the stocks of Demerara Bank Limited (DBL) fell 5.26 per cent on the sale of 4,324 shares.  In the meanwhile, the stocks of Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (BTI) and Republic Bank Limited (RBL) remained unchanged on the sale of 222 and 1,000 shares respectively.

Massy and Guyana (Part 1)

Steadfast Last year, this writer looked at the Massy Group of Companies formerly Neal and Massy to gain an understanding of the operations of this company which has been doing business in Guyana for the past 48 years. 

20160626table2jun

Value-added performance of the forest sub-sector: Erratic, weak, declining

Erratic Last week’s column highlighted what I consider to be a most distinctive feature of the extractive forest sub-sector’s performance in Guyana’s economy, during the past decade.

default placeholder

The UK bids Europe farewell

On June 23 by a small majority, the British people voted to remove themselves from the European Union (EU). The decision has consequences for the Caribbean.

default placeholder

What would life be without sport?

I wonder what it would be like to exclude sport completely from one’s life for, say, one year? No playing sport, no watching it, no reading it no discussing it no thinking about it even.

default placeholder

Brexit: Lessons for Caricom

The results of the referendum held in Britain to determine whether or not it should remain in or leave the European Union (EU), has been won by voters who supported the leave option.

Director of Sport Christopher Jones and President of the Guyana Chess Federation Irshad Mohammed (centre) stand with some members of the 2016 Guyana Olympiad chess team. The team travels to Baku, Azerbaijan, for participation at the Olympiad in September. A signature qualifying tournament was not held to determine the members of Guyana’s Olympiad chess team.

Federation picks chess Olympiad team without holding qualifier

The Guyana Chess Federation (GCF) has decided upon a 2016 Guyana Olympiad chess team without hosting a qualification competition to determine the competence of its participants.

Quamina Farrier

Heavy on historic significance, Journey to Freedom failed as a musical

Several Guyanese plays of historic significance were recently staged at the Theatre Guild and National Cultural Centre as part of a Jubilee festival.

Pawpaw Fruit Soup with Passion Fruit Photo by Cynthia Nelson

Fruit soup

If you’re looking for an easy dessert that uses mostly fruit, then you’ve hit the jackpot when you make a fruit soup.

Comments

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.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

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