Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Vera May, and all at Maton Guitars, after the matriarch figure of the iconic Australian acoustic instrument maker passed away at the age of 102 on Wednesday.
Vera worked in the business from 1954 through to retirement in 1987, alongside her husband and Maton founder Bill May. She played a pivotal role in developing and managing the business while Bill built the guitars. The husband and wife team were an inspiration to many in the music industry due to their passion for the business, great customer service and for creating a family feeling amongst their employees. Vera’s daughter and son-in-law, Linda and Neville Kitchen, continue the family business.
Maton shared this announcement:
“It is with sadness that we mark the passing of Vera May. A woman who stood by her husband Bill May, in the building of a dream that was to become Maton Guitars. 76 years later we owe everything to the bravery and vision of Vera and Bill. In her 102 years Vera was a constant influence at Maton. As a business and a family, we are honoured to play our part in continuing to share Bill and Vera’s dream of a fine Australian guitar, that musicians around the world can be proud to own. Mother to Linda and Susan, Grandmother to Tristana, Josh, Chantal and Marika, matriarch of Maton Guitars. Vale Vera May, long will we continue to celebrate your legacy. Dec 16th 1919 – 30th March 2022.”
The NAMM Oral History Project, in partnership with Australian Music Association, recorded Vera in 2017 discussing her life and work with Maton Guitars.