Last night we farewelled Shirley, our Resources Team Leader, and one of the founding staff of the Te Ara project. A sad occasion, but also a reminder of how long the project’s been in existence (since 2002) and how much we’ve achieved. Jock pointed out that Shirley must have vetted 150,000 images, videos, sound files and ideas for interactives and diagrams since we started compiling entries; Mel noted that Shirley was the voice of reason and sanity who had the nerve to say ‘No!’ when overenthusiastic contributors had more and more bright ideas – she’s kept the project on track and you only have to look at the site to see what a magnificent job she’s done (with the able assistance of a terrific team). The Places entries have been her specialty, and she also set up Te Ara on Flickr.
And Nancy wrote and declaimed her Ode to Shirley – there certainly wasn’t a dry eye in the house after that performance! It was worthy of the great McGonagall himself.
We’re going to miss Shirley in lots of ways (especially that laugh, to put it politely) and wish her and Nigel all the best for their very exciting move to fabulous Salisbury, Wiltshire.
Shirley is a fine singer and musician whose talents have enriched the wonder that is the World Wide Web. Blog postings may be ephemeral, but some things are classics. Please enjoy Shirley’s contributions to the documentation of New Zealand’s cultural history here (and here as well).