Annie Isabella Gall was born on January 28th, 1914. Daughter to Edward and Margaret Magill, she grew up on a farm in South West Victoria. At 17 years of age she married my grandfather Albert Alfred Gall, great, great grandson of John Gall, a Scottish convict who was shipped to Australia for stealing cattle.
My beloved Nan would recount fond stories of driving the horse and cart to basketball games with her siblings, and of sleeping in a tent in the front yard of the house as there wasn’t enough room inside.
Nan had a way of making each of her eight grandchildren feel like they were her favourite, and I was no exception. Lucky enough to live in the same town as her, I spent much of my childhood with her, sitting at her feet, enjoying her company.
Blatant honesty was one of her traits. “When are you going to cut that terrible hair?!” she was often exclaim as I entered her house.
She would sign every card and letter with her signature A. I. Gall – never Nan. I now have her signature tattooed inside my right wrist – a great source of comfort. When she died in 2006, I was shown letters written to her by her father – all signed “Edward Magill”. So that’s where she got it from. It felt all the more special.
Life has not been the same since she left. I miss her every day.
A. I. Gall – Nan – appears throughout my memoir as I have used letters written to her throughout my cancer journey to tell my story.
I love you Nan.