When Graham Murphy started to pen a simple memoir for his five grandchildren he had no idea the book would strike a chord with so many readers.
“Out of this little book that I wrote thinking wasn't of any great value other than to my family, the reaction has just been mind blowing,” he said.
Safe Return Doubtful is the retired Vacy businessman’s book about his time as one of the crew of renowned Lake Macquarie-based sailor Tony Mowbray’s voyage to Antarctica.
“When I first did the book it was more so for my family and my grandchildren, so they would grow up knowing who I was,” he said.
While it is a tale of an adventure, Graham says the message in his book is you really can achieve anything, if you put your mind to it.
“It’s about stepping out of your comfort zone and just having a go’ he said.
“The Antarctica trip made me realise I can just about do anything both in my personal life and business life.”
And he has lived the life of an adventurer since – traveling to Mt Everest, riding motorbikes through India and Tibet, walking up a live volcano, trekking up through the Andes and paddling a canoe down the Amazon.
His wife Sue was the catalyst for the original Antarctica adventure and the cleaning company they started is now in the safe hands of his daughter Amy and son Brad who “run it better than I ever did” allowing the couple to travel.
His travel adventures are not taken for granted, remembering his roots as a “boy from the hood” growing up in a housing commission home, never dreaming of the life he now lives.
“I am blessed, and we count our blessings,” he said.
Graham is well known in the shire for his involvement with the annual billy cart derby in Gresford held at Easter.
Since the book was published an East Maitland travel agency approached him to take people on adventure tours around the world and already trips are booked to Central Asia, Greenland, Iceland, South Africa and to Antarctica to follow the footsteps of polar explorer Sir Ernest Shakleton.
Tony Mowbray will join Graham for the official book launch at Dungog Library on Friday, September 14, at 5.30pm.
Tea and coffee will be served and both men will be on hand to sign copies.
Read Scott Bevan’s in depth interview with Graham here: