Towards the River

Bob Gooding

Towards the River
Towards the River
A Memoir
By Bob Gooding

Photo book

Immensely rewarding and enjoyable

“Our thanks go to Francis and his colleague Anoush, who took Dad on a journey to tell his story. I know dad has found the whole experience immensely rewarding and enjoyable.”

~Peter Gooding, son

Passion and gentle empathetic approach

“I called Francis and we connected almost immediately. I was impressed with the passion that he had for his work, his gentle nature and empathetic approach to people and relationships.”

~Peter Gooding, son


“It’s been an exercise that I never dreamt I’d be doing and it’s been enlightening. You don’t realise what you’ve done and what other people get out of you. I feel it’s something that’s come up in my life I never thought would. I mean I’ve made notes, but nothing like this.”

~Bob Gooding, 89 years young

Great Story

“I didn’t think mine was a great story, but now I’m not so sure…!”
~Bob Gooding, 89 years young


Title:              Towards the River: A Memoir

Author:         Bob Gooding


In this day and age of "not enough", where so much of life is about having more, it is both a relief and a breath of fresh air to meet someone who is truly content with what they have.

Even as a younger man growing up near the Wimmera River at Lochiel, Bob had the sense to recognise true teaching and wisdom when he heard it. Plucking a feather from each passing goose, young Bob looked up to his many teachers, those figures who sparked his passion for engines.

With an enduring love for the river, rowing, automotive engineering and bowls, it was the camaraderie, friendship and teamwork in physical activity, common purpose and sport that marked Bob's life. Bob appreciates the quirks and idiosyncrasies in the people he met along the way.

This story pays homage to the people that influenced his life.

His life took a few unexpected turns with his three year "walkabout", and the decline of his dear wife Kathleen; the rock of the family.

A 'hands on' man, Bob has the grace to focus on what's in front of him, whether it's the next stroke, or an old engine to be restored to it's original condition. Respectful, generous, mindful, and cooperative, with a side serve of caution, he navigated the bends in the river of his life with honour, decency, and good humour.

Inextricably linked with the Wimmera, he lived his whole life a part of the communities of Dimboola and Lochiel, despite the opportunities to move.

A man who know how to be content and humble, he saw his life as ordinary, but it is truly no less than extraordinary.

This is Bob's story.

~Francis Icasiano with Anoush Witsel


Matter of Life Services provided:


Publication Details:

  • First edition published in December 2019 by Matter of Life.
  • In partnership with Bob Gooding, this life story book was written, designed and produced by Francis Icasiano, Matter of Life; with creative consultancy from Anoush Witsel.
  • Foreword by Peter Gooding (son)

Design Elements:

  • Book layout and design by Francis Icasiano, Matter of Life
  • Front and back cover designed by Megan Riley
  • 214 pages
  • 33 photo single spread captioned images which include: photographs, images from the National Archives of Australia, a hand drawn map of Bob's first home in Lochiel, and newspaper articles from The Argus and Dimboola Banner
  • Explanatory footnotes, including links to Youtube videos and Spotify music playlists and old Australian radio serials.
  • Table of contents and three appendices (Chronology, List of Characters, Family Tree)

Production Details:

  • Produced in Adobe Indesign and Photoshop: Hardcover dust jacket wrap, 15x23 cm, white end sheet, standard trade paper (colour), matte finish


Book Launch Details:


  • 15 December 2019, Dimboola Rowing Club
  • Activities: Book signing, speeches, short story sharing, toasts, memorabilia and photos on display, music from Bob's era played
  • Professional photography and videography

See Photos from Bob's book launch party

Towards the River
Towards the River
A Memoir
By Bob Gooding

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