Roy George Gumm
Harolds Cross Braidwood
When I was a child living in Braidwood I would witness Roy on his commute to work most days. To me he was 'the man with the rollie'. He held a sense of mystery about him; traveling down from high in the hills of Harolds Cross beneath the mountains of Mt Jineroo and Mt Lowden in the Tallaganda National Park; always in his hat, cigarette in hand, on the slow drive past my parents' farm.
I took this photo of Roy in 2011 when he was 74 years and it won me a Silver Award with the Australian Institute of of Professional Photography the next year. On that day I opened (and closed again, as you always do in the country) no less than six gates to arrive at Roy's weatherboard home. This was the home he'd live in since he was just six months old, and like the man himself, it showed the wear of time.
Roy grew up on the family farm with his twin brother. Together they owned the local timber mill where they worked for 55 years until it was closed in 2008. He never married and has no children. To me his seemed such a solitary life, but when I spoke with him he confessed no regrets. Roy was a man who valued the simple pleasures of life (a cigarette and glass of scotch) and finding the value in the every day.
Roy passed in 2016. I feel a great sense of privilege that I was able to document his life in some small way.