Garry – an Aussie, father, husband, friend, adventure lover

I am an Aussie thru and thru, pioneering ancestors, grew up in Swan Hill swimming in the Murray river.

Mum was a nurse and genuine do gooder. Dad was a house painter who did not know his limitations; “we need a house” so he went to night school and built a desirable nice lived in home. I learned to do and make stuff from him.

Mum trained at Epworth, the top place then and probably now. As an only child people expected she wanted me to stay in Swan Hill. No way. She worked night shifts to get me educated so I could escape.

What a childhood. Home before dark, in bed until daylight. Swimming 8 months of the year. Learning to safely shoot rabbits and cats at grandparent’s farm. Riding to nearby towns. Picking apricots and grapes during school holidays for $1 an hour in +40C.

Applied Geology in Bendigo with great mates. Then 2 year backpacking trip hitchhiking from Adelaide to Darwin, Timor, Indonesia etc, buying gems in India and Sri Lanka, hiking the Himalayas. Kyber Pass, Iran, and eventually to London to buy tools and silver to set the gems.

Married a year after returning to Sue and had two lovely daughters who live nearby. One does admin and finance in the business and has 3 fun kids. The other is a smart nutty psych PhD. Divorced in the 90’s (and half my staff left to have babies or move north or open up in competition) and had a big payout to Sue. Remarried to Drena and had 10 great years until she disappeared into fronto-temporal dementia (FTD). At this time, 2020, she has been in an aged care home for nearly a decade. As a result I am a founding director (and current chair) of the Australian Fronto-Temporal Dementia Association. For the past 7 years Vera and I have been living and loving life together. We spend family Christmas with Sue and Rick (the guy she jogged off with).

Swam fast, played Aussie rules, basketball, rode everywhere and never had time to watch others playing sport (went to sleep while Viv Richards batted records at the MCG). Did more than 50 triathlons and duathlons until the body said no more running. These days I cycle +50kms every fair-weather Saturday and Sunday, gym 3 times a week and we hike and ski mountains all around the world.