Vivid Publishing - Book Publishers Australia

On Customs and Coffins

Michael Metcalf

A memoir

The sixties and seventies were a dynamic time to be a young customs officer in the west and north of Australia. The iron ore ports were opening up in the Pilbara, the rapidly growing Port Hedland was a colourful, if rough-and-tumble place, and Darwin airport was busy with American R&R flights coming through from Vietnam to Sydney. It was a time of great change as jumbo jets replaced passenger ships, container ships took over from general cargo ships and the fight against drugs supplanted that of illegally imported watches and transistor radios.

Part 1 of On Customs and Coffins charts Michael Metcalf’s experiences during a thirty-year career in customs, before he left to enter an equally challenging field of endeavour: the funeral industry. Part 2 of his honest, frank and humorous memoir tells stories from the next twenty years in which he established and managed a small funeral company in Perth. The stories are sometimes tragic and sometimes sweet as he recounts the day-to-day operations of a family-run funeral home.

On Customs and Coffins is told with a twinkle in the eye and a light touch. It’s a fascinating read for anyone interested in the social history of Western Australia over the last sixty years and the huge changes as seen through these very different industries.


About the Author

After leaving school at age fourteen, Michael Metcalf entered the workforce and within two years was working for the Department of Customs and Excise, where he enjoyed a career of over thirty years. Following that, he and his wife Robyn went into business for themselves, establishing and running a small funeral home in the suburbs of Perth. 'On Customs and Coffins' is Michael Metcalf’s first book and charts a memorable career across two very different industries.






On Customs and Coffins by Michael Metcalf


ISBN: 978-1-922409-25-6
Format: ebook
Extent: 176 pages (includes photo section)
Publisher: Vivid Publishing
Category: Non-fiction -- Memoir
Distribution: Contact Vivid