Daphne Sleigh's biography of Walter Moberly is intended to revive the status of one of B.C.'s 'forgotten heroes' who helped create the Dewdney Trail and contributed to the transcontinental railway, both as a visionary and as an intrepid explorer.

Father Dunstan Massey dropped out of high school and dedicated his life to God at the age of 18. For five decades since then, as one of the few remaining fresco artists in Canada, he has adorned the walls of the Benedictine monastery near Mission where he lives, and created sculptures for the grounds. The Artist in the Cloister (Heritage 2013) by Daphne Sleigh introduces the artist and his art as an illustrated biography.

Sleigh was born in Ewell, Surrey, England on January 8, 1927. She gained her M.A. from Somerville College, Oxford; married an architect in 1950; and came to Canada and Vancouver in 1957. A former librarian at the Royal Institute of British Architects, she became interested in B.C. history during the 1971 centennial for which she co-wrote a history of Maple Ridge.

Sleigh was curator of the Maple Ridge Museum (1975-1981 and received the B.C. Historical Federation's Lieutenant-Governor's Medal for historical writing in 1984 for her book Discovering Deroche. Daphne lives in Deroche, B.C., with her husband, Francis.

BORN: Ewell, Surrey, England

EMPLOYMENT: First curator of the Maple Ridge Museum (1975-1981)

EDUCATION: MA Oxford University, England


1984 winner of the Lieutenant-Governor's Medal awarded by the BC Historical Federation for a book on BC history

Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
The Artist in the Cloister: The Life and Works of Father Dunstan Massey
The Man Who Saved Vancouver: Major James Skitt Matthews


Maple Ridge, A History of Settlement, Published by the University Women's Club of Maple Ridge. Contributor/co-author. Edited by Sheila Nickols. (Fraser Valley Record, 1972)
Discovering Deroche, From Nicomen to Lake Errock (Self-published, 1983)
The People of the Harrison (Self-published, Abbotsford Printing, 1990)
Go Ahead or Go Home, The Trethewey Story (Vicarro Publishing, 1994)
One Foot on the Border, The History of Sumas Prairie and Area (Sumas Prairie and Area Historical Society, 1999)
Walter Moberly and the Northwest Passage by Rail (Hancock House, 2003)
The Man Who Saved Vancouver: Major James Skitt Matthews (Heritage House, 2008)
The Artist in the Cloister: The Life and Works of Father Dunstan Massey (Heritage House 2013) 9781927051405 $26.95

[BCBW 2013] "Local History"