How Har­vey in­spired a clas­sic

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - NEWS -

The Har­vey com­mu­nity swelled with pride last week as sev­eral events paid trib­ute to au­thor and il­lus­tra­tor May Gibbs to recog­nise the cen­te­nary of her en­dur­ing clas­sic, Tales of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.

Gibbs lived in Har­vey from the age of 8 to 10 at the fam­ily home Stir­ling Cot­tage, where the sur­round­ing bush in­spired her gum nut crit­ters.

On Satur­day, fans of the beloved chil­dren’s book came to­gether to learn about the au­thor’s life, through Age Link The­atre’s play Un­cov­er­ing May Gibbs.

Har­vey Recre­ation and Cul­tural Cen­tre man­ager David Mar­shall said while Gibbs lived in Har­vey for only two years, she later said they were “two of the hap­pi­est years of her life”.

“That is the sort of thing that makes com­mu­ni­ties feel proud about their town,” he said.

“There is and has al­ways been a re­ally strong sense of pride in May Gibbs and the Gibbs fam­ily.”

He said it was im­por­tant for the com­mu­nity to learn the his­tory be­hind the books to gain “in­spi­ra­tion of the past”.

“That is where a play like this and a the­atre com­pany like Age Link The­atre is re­ally im­por­tant, not only to com­mu­ni­ties like ours, but the whole State of WA,” Mr Mar­shall said.

The per­for­mance fol­lowed an Early Years cel­e­bra­tion on Thurs­day for chil­dren six and un­der, where guests created gum nut boats among other ac­tiv­i­ties.

“It was getting the story across to a new gen­er­a­tion that will hope­fully see it up for the next 100 years,” Mr Mar­shall said.

Jen­nie Deer­ing and Mau­reen Lit­ton, both of Har­vey.

Jess Reeve, baker from The Messy Kitchen, and Har­vey Com­mu­nity Re­source Cen­tre man­ager Tracey Ann.

Age Link The­atre ac­tress Re­becca Davis, who por­trayed May Gibbs, with her daugh­ter Saskia Halusz, 8, who played a num­ber of roles in the per­for­mance.

Michael Long­ford, of Har­vey, with his chil­dren Flynn, 8, and Florence, 6.

Ch­eryl McQueen, of Australind, and Elsie Wilkin­son, Marj Eck­er­s­ley and Olive Buist, all of Har­vey.

Denise Sara and Gemma Long­ford from the Har­vey Vis­i­tors Cen­tre join David Mar­shall from the Har­vey Recre­ation and Cul­tural Cen­tre to cel­e­brate the cen­te­nary.

Stella Gasteiger, of Har­vey.

Laraine Hard­ing, of Bun­bury, and Mar­i­lyn An­gel, of Har­vey.

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