May and Herbert Gibbs Collection

H.W. Gibbs had an alias - 'Old Bill'

A Cheery Parting
Herbert Gibbs, 1910

This self-portrait was posted to May from Melbourne after her father visited her Sydney home in 1920. Ironically titled A cheery parting it depicts Herbert as 'an old codger' holding a streamer as his ship sails out of Sydney, 'too tired to do anything but go to sleep'. Aged 68 at the time, he shared May's sense of humour and considered himself fair game.

Herbert's note on the reverse reports that he had seen her newly released book, Little Ragged Blossom and more about Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, in Melbourne, 'in Hutchinson's Shop opposite the Royal Arcade'. He tells May that he sails for Perth later in the day and will 'loaf in town' until then. He signs off affectionately as 'Old Bill',symbolic of the rich friendship that existed between father and daughter.