Gundagai’s fame in Australian legend, verse and song readily lends itself to the spirit of Dad and Dave. The Snake Gully tourist complex, which enshrines in copper Steele Rudds four most loveable characters – Dad and Dave, Mum and Mabel, symbolising the indomitable characters and spirit of our pioneers.
Superbly crafted by sculptor Aurel Ragus from beaten copper over steel frames, the statues stand on a pedestal in the park outside the complex, and evoke the character of the type of people they so truly represent. They have become a major attraction in their own right.
Dave is the typical Australian country lad, akin to Banjo Pattersons Middletons Rouseabout or John OBriens Jim; those who know the bush have met Dad at many a stock sale, and seen Dave hitting the turps in many a country pub. Mum and Mabel typifying the country woman of a past generation, those great hands in the kitchen who could handle any crisis about the farm work without the aid of their men-folk.
Few Australians have not heard of the characters created by Steele Rudd in his tales of life down on the farm, subsequently made into a series of successful Australian films during the pre-war era, with Bert Bailey immortalising the image of Dad. Later, as a radio serial, Dad and his family became identified with Gundagai when the characters of “Our Selection” were introduced and farewelled to a huge listening audience each day by Jack OHagans “Road to Gundagai. The series still runs on some Australia radio stations.