Born the eldest of three children to Alan and Penelope Woodfall. God Parents are Caroline and Albert Joynson. Was educated at Shepparton Central State School, then North Shepparton State School after moving to Queensland finished primary school at Mackay North Primary. Then spent two years being grades 7 and 8 at Mackay Intermediate School.
Left school at the end of 1957 aged 14, and started an apprenticeship in Printing Composition in January, 1958, he really wanted to start an apprenticeship as a motor mechanic, but after asking in the garage if any apprenticeships were available, only to be told no, he went next door to the printers and asked if there were any apprenticeships available there, much to his joy they said yes, but, after two months was made to leave Mackay to live in Melbourne.
On arrival in Melbourne after finding that there was no room at the Burwood residence of Frank and Nora Maldon for him, his mother contacted his Father’s sister Caroline so that he could live with them in Elsternwick. After being there a couple of weeks he approached The Glen Press in Glenhuntly Road, South Caulfield enquiring about apprenticeships and was lucky enough to find a vacancy. It was during his apprenticeship that one of the owners of the business John Perry a professional cyclist, suggested to Gary that he should take up cycling as a sport, a move which he took, as with most things he does, with full gusto.
He enjoyed considerable success in the sport, culminating in wins over both Tom Harrison (won a Gold Medal in the 1964 Olympics) and Gordon Johnson (won the World Professional Sprint Championship), these wins resulted in his dual selection in both the track and the road cycling squads for the 1964 Olympics. After a disagreement with Amateur cycling officials, he turned professional, but obviously the desire had lessened, and he retired prior to his marriage in 1967.
On the 19th May, 1967 he was married to Lynne Margaret Rowley at St John’s Church in Elsternwick. It was a Friday evening, they could not get married on the Saturday as the minister, Reverend Haddrick was a devout Collingwood supporter, and it was the football season, so he would not marry anyone when Collingwood were playing.
They lived in a shared house in Trevallyan Street, Elsternwick. the owner who occupied the other half of the house was an elderly lady who we nicknamed “Twiggy” at some stage she was hospitalised, and we took over her half of the house as well.
While living there the house burned down, around the time of Craig’s first birthday, so for a number of months they lived in an old caravan at the back of Joan & Neil Rowley’s place at Springvale South, until they were able to buy their first house at 13 Conley Street, Noble Park
After marrying Gary could not afford to keep cycling, so instead took up Australian Rules Football, playing for Elsternwick United, that lasted for about 4 years, when he decided that, what with paying off the house, and just trying to live on the wages that were coming in each month, he could not afford the injuries that came with football. So, in looking for a sporting outlook that could fill in the void, he decided that tennis was a good fill in, so he and Lynne joined the fledgling tennis club in Noble Park. Tennis as a sport improved to the level where Gary was playing LTAV Pennant.
Meanwhile, work had also improved, and he progressed from a Production Planner, to Factory Supervisor, then to Sales Rep to Sales Manager and finally to Factory Manager, this all with a company called Matherson-Selig (a division of ACI). Things at work went along quite well until around 1978, when a new Group Manager was bought in, then over a difference of opinion over methodology, Gary became quite disenchanted, with his lot on the work front. It was during a visit by a former work mate that he was asked to go to Tasmania to assist in the opening of a group of Paint & Wallpaper Stores called “The Painters Pot”, nothing further was thought of this, until early 1979 when things became untenable at work, that he rang his mate up and asked if the offer was still there, thankfully it was.
So, in July 1979, Gary set sail for Tasmania, leaving Lynne at home to put the house on the market, and finalise the sale, so that they had the finance to open another store in the chain at Launceston. Fortunately, the house sold reasonably quickly, and after about 6 weeks Gary returned home to pick up Lynne and the boys to move to their new home in Launceston. The whole idea was to run this store for around 2 years sell it, and return to Victoria. We sold out of the group in 1992, but still remain in Launceston.
|Lynne Margaret Rowley||Gary||Gary at Carnegie|