UK Storytelling Laureate launches Daylesford's Story House and Garden
telling and is managed by Taffy Thomas MBE and his wife Chrissy. In 2010 Taffy took up position as the UK’s inaugural Storytelling Laureate to promote the age old art of storytelling
Anne E and Jane Stewart dreamed of having Taffy and Chrissy here for the launch and were thrilled to hear that a visit to their family in Castlemaine would coincide with the occasion.
Taffy brought his famous Tale Coat and allowed members of the audience to choose a story from the images painted on the coat. He told us that "Stories inspire and encourage us at critical moments in our lives” and that "the stories we choose to tell and the stories we choose to listen to are a restatement of our cultural identity.” Importantly for our times Taffy reminded us that "It’s impossible for two people to hate each other when they know each other’s stories.”
Malcolm Sanders, from Regional Arts Victoria attended the launch and was impressed by the Story House and Garden venture and having the opportunity to meet the legendary Taffy Thomas and his wife Chrissy. He marveled at the wonderful Tale Coat, and the possibilities of something similar in Australia. Having also recently attended the Castlemaine Festival, Malcolm was interested to hear that Sam Thomas, producer of the Festival was Taffy and Chrissy’s son.
The ceremony was followed by refreshments
event. Anne created the show back in 2011 when she started investigating and doing the research. Hours of local interviews, a trip to the Gay and Lesbian Archives in Melbourne, dozen of phone calls from people wanting to contribute and Anne realised the question was not, who was the first gay in the village but what made it so Gay friendly. Anne decided that the 20th anniversary of Chill Out was a great reason to recreate the show.