Shirley Smith was launched by the Hon. Grant Robertson at Unity Books, Wellington, on Monday 10 June. It was an honour to have Grant launch the book. He gave a great speech, pointing up the significance of Shirley Smith and her relevance in our lives today. My thanks to others who spoke and all who made the launch such a success, especially VUP and Unity Books who hosted the event. No wonder your readers love you!
For me, the occasion was an opportunity to acknowledge the help and contributions from friends and supporters, many of whom were present, including representatives of organisations that helped fund the book. My thanks first to Dick Werry for seeding finance from the Lighthouse Cinema. This was followed by a writer’s grant from Creative New Zealand, a fellowship from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust and a grant from the Stout Trust towards travel. The Stout Trust also, with Victoria University of Wellington, funded the J. D. Stout Fellowship in 2013 which was all-important in my progress. In 2015, I received a grant from the New Zealand Law Foundation towards research and writing Shirley Smith’s work as a lawyer, and a personal donation from Tim Clarke, a partner in Russell McVeagh law firm, also helped. Without their support, the book could not have been written, and I appreciate their ongoing interest.
I was thrilled so many people came for the occasion, some travelling from overseas and many from around New Zealand, including people I hadn’t met previously, who helped me with the book.