Stan and Dot Galbraith share memories in print with Beth Gabriel

MAGICAL MEMORIES: Stan and Dot Galbraith shared the stories of their lives with Beth Gabriel to produce the book, Jackass To Possum. Photo: Letitia Fitzpatrick.
MAGICAL MEMORIES: Stan and Dot Galbraith shared the stories of their lives with Beth Gabriel to produce the book, Jackass To Possum. Photo: Letitia Fitzpatrick.

Dot and Stan Galbraith are a much-loved couple in the Wauchope community, and they have collected their memories and put them in print.

'Jackass To Possum' is a collection of 52 chats they had with Beth Gabriel, about their lives, their love and their history. They have been together for over 70 years and say they still like each other.

It's a humorous take on the hardships that they and their families had to endure growing up through the Depression and World War II.

Beth says it's a story about the dangers and tragedies of life in the bush, and the learning that had to be made by fourth generation immigrants into the ancient world of Australia.

"I was trusted to tell their story from my point of view, and I tried not to be judgmental by 21st century knowledge and attitudes," said Beth Gabriel, a former teacher at Wauchope High School.

"You will know all there is to know about us by the time you are finished," said Stan.

Dot believes it's important to preserve family history, and had already written her memoirs up to 1972.

"We got a lot of laughs, and I nearly pulled my hair out at times, too," recalled Dot.

"We have been very blessed."

The chats with Stan and Dot were held on a weekly basis, mostly in their home in Wauchope.

"It's been a joint effort, and the telling has provided many humorous times for me, as the writer, and for them as the tellers of stories," said Beth.

"It is a story of one man's life in a difficult terrain and economic circumstances in the 20th century, and it is a story of commitment from a woman who loved her husband, her children and forged her own parallel story. It's a story of human endeavour and success, personally and financially within the family.

"This experience has been a great pleasure and an honour for these gentle folk to share their lives with me, and I need to thank the extended Galbraith family who helped in the preparation of this work, and who have supported Dot and Stan in their journey. Friends, too numerous to list, who gave up their time in contributing in many ways, are valued immensely," she added.