Wednesday, October 19, 2016

RIP Len Gale

It is with sadness that we note the passing of artist, author, left-wing activist and teacher Len Gale on Saturday at the age of 89.

Len and I met in 1997 not long after his book Greenstone Carving was published. I had the privilege of becoming his editor at Reed Publishing, and we formed a strong friendship as we brought to publication  three further books – Wood Carving, Creative Metal and Technology Basics

Len matched a deep knowledge of all these crafts with a rare ability to communicate them in words and his inimitable drawings. 

These were far from his only literary productions, too – until the end of his life he was writing about craft for magazines and publishing booklets about his family and his childhood in Grafton as one of the 'Gully Boys', and maintaining a link to the tense days when he had covertly printed pamphlets to support the 1951 Waterfront Strike.

He led a colourful life, and one characterised by a generous concern for others. As a craftsman he was noted especially for his work in metal, and he gave back much to the community of West Auckland. 

Len, you will be missed. I do hope that Oratia can carry through on our discussions to bring some of your books back into print before too long.

- Peter Dowling

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