His professional life was dedicated to Canterbury University Press. It was the pinnacle of his long career in publishing. A prodigious output of books from the Press was testimony to his skill as a publisher. This was widely recognized throughout New Zealand by his fellow publishers, booksellers and the book buying public. His authors always appreciated his dedication and advice and the careful nurturing of the manuscript into a finished book of which they could be proud.
That such a relatively small Press could publish a richly diverse range of quality publications over the years never ceased to amaze me. His achievements are widely recognized by his peers within the publishing fraternity. He was one of the country’s best book designers.
I saw Richard most days in the bookshop when he would call in to lunch with his partner Gillian. There is a strong link between the bookshop and the Press. Often we talked over projects he was working on.
The many book launches of CUP titles at the book store were always followed by a small celebratory dinner afterwards. Richard’s friends from the wider Canterbury literary community would inevitably join this dinner in celebration of another Richard King book.
His recently completed project was a massive undertaking and will prove to be a fitting legacy to his skills as editor and book designer. “The Natural History of Canterbury” is a scholarly tome of over 900 pages, which has taken many years of hard editorial graft to complete.
I have always valued his advice and treasured our friendship.