Towards the River – a memoir

DIMBOOLA resident Bob Gooding launched his memoir with family and friends on Sunday.

“I didn’t think mine was a great story, but now I’m not so sure,” Mr Gooding said, who also celebrates his 89th birthday.

A man who describes himself as an ordinary bloke having a go, Bob’s memoir is a moving tribute to the many characters, and teachers that have shaped his life.

Bob was a champion rower who broke records, scored impressive victories in twos, fours and eights, and narrowly missed selection for the 1956 Olympics.

Inextricably linked to the Wimmera, he developed his love for the water as a child living at Lochiel.

Over his life he has fished it, swam in it, boated on it, and rowed on it (an estimated 30,000km). He even put his father’s ute in it.

Club life member for rowing, bowls and Freemasons, Bob has spent his whole life an active member of the Dimboola community, despite opportunities to move.

Joined by over 40 family and friends, Bob celebrated the launch of his book, written with the help of ghostwriter Francis Icasiano.

“Everyone has a story to tell, and every life is extraordinary. It’s been an honour to be entrusted with Bob’s story,” Mr Icasiano said.

Mr Icasiano has a background in writing and aged care and hopes to capture the essence of his elderly clients in writing, whilst creating a space for reflecting on life’s meanings.

Peter Gooding initiated the process as a gift to his father and said, “Dad has such a wonderful recall for events and people. When dad is gone it would be lost forever. But now we have it in writing.”

Towards the River – a memoir by Bob Gooding is available at