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Hostels were used to accommodate new Australians. 1950's-1970's
 
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Memories of Fairymeadow hostel

 
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Kathy
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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2006 2:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My family arrived at Fairymeadow Migrant Hostel in 1960. I was 7 years old at the time. I have some great memories as a child and some bad ones as well. I will get these together as well as the few photos I have and post them as soon as I get permission from the other families in the photos.
Just as a sideline my husband lived at Tarrawanna around the same time and used to play at the hostel with us migrant kids. We don't remember each other though and we went to different schools.
I remember the earth quake that occured while we were there. I was in the wash house and thought a truck had run into it. Does anyone remember the date of this quake?
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dancewithmarg
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Brown family from London (Jim, Nell, Brenda & Margaret) arrived at Balgownie Hostel in January 1958. I remember the first evening we arrived my mum sitting on the bed in this awful nissen hut, in tears and the rest of us joining in.
My sister & I went to Wollongong High School, Dad worked at Port Kembla steel works and I think mum worked in the kitchen at the hostel for a while, as she was a cook by profession. I remember picking up my "crib" (packed lunch) of Vegemite sandwiches to take to school each day. We walked along the railway tracks to get to school, and on the way home we'd take off our "licorice legs" black stockings - part of the uniform - and shoes, and walk home barefoot. Being a bit of a tomboy I used to enjoy going down to the creek behind the hostel and trying my hand at fishing, but don't remember catching much. The only name I remember from the hostel was Molly Wagstaff, and her brother Glen. Another family, I think their name was Smith has this old nag called Prince, all us kid would climb up on him and he'd just stand there and not move, until one day a kid put on some spurs and used them and boy did Prince move then!
Names I remember from school are Barbara Sophios, Marcia Watling and Elaine (can't remember last name) who took me under their wing when I first started school and had a hard time making new friends.
Also remember some distant relatives of my mum who arrived at the hostel a few months after us, Winnie & Teddy Webster, I think they may have stayed in Oz, they had a boy (John, I think) and a girl. My mum & dad couldn't settle (i think the shock of having to go on a "dunny can" was too much for mum Smile and we returned to UK after 2yrs.
I think my sister may have some old photos, I've written to her to ask, so she'll likely post any she has.
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Phyl Phyl has been starred
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice to see some new posts on the sites Welcome to you both ,I know Len will be pleased to have you posting memories.
Novia Scotia sounds a fasinating place to me,My mother's side were all Scottish with a Swedish line and there were many Scots.migrated to Novia Scotia after the 'Highland Clearances' There are beautiful songs written about it too.
I have here a menue from Hostels and of interest there are 12 items on it for sandwich fillings. yet everyone seemed to have picked Jam, peanut butter or vegemite. Confused
Would love to know what a 'dunny can ' is? Do you mean communial ablution blocks ? We were at Balgownie in 1963 and Berkeley in 1960-61-62 and part of 1963 and we flushed the "loo".
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dancewithmarg
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wasn't referring to the toilets at the hostel - they were flush toilets, I presume they must have been on a septic system. It was the houses in Fairy Meadow that all had outhouses with a 'dunny can' out the back, which was replaced with any empty one every Wednesday. There was a big truck that would come around and take away the full ones and our walks to school always seemed to coincide with having to pass the "dunny can van" which as you can imagine didn't smell like roses, and we'd make a big deal of walking past it holding our noses. Having an outside toilet seemed to my mum like being in the dark ages, having come from London, and it was one of the things that stopped her from adjusting. Having come to Canada myself, I realize now that there were many places that didn't have town sewers in those days, I'm sure a lot has changed since then.
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Len
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember those dunny wagons, early 70's mainly while waiting for the school bus, which would take us to Warrawong high. If we were lucky and spotted it coming along North cliff drive, Lake Heights ‘were we lived after leaving Unanderra Hostel’ we would all scatter but if we weren’t then you was in for a serious nasal assault. Shocked

I hope those blokes were paid good money back then because it sure was a vital service. I’ve no doubt that these day’s things will have obviously changed and if there is a need for such a service ‘in perhaps remote areas’ then hopefully they will have better fitting lids. Mr. Green

Smile
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Phyl Phyl has been starred
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to tell you that those days are sort of semi gone but we live in a country village here and we have a septic tank in our back yard so superior sewerage hasn't reached us yet Rolling Eyes Every three years we have to get the septic tank emptied and a big tanker like truck comes to empty it. He always tells us the tank could go five years but I think three is enough. Wow !!!! does it pong and do you know we are only 8 miles from the nearest town and our rates are on a par too and we pay for the tank, yikes cry Our tank is an old timer so the septic tanks have been around for a long time here.
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Molly
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 5:36 pm    Post subject: dancewithmarg Reply with quote

Hi Margaret I have fond memories of you and Brenda, we used to call you minnie. Do you remember walking like a woofla, I still do it today.
I an currently living in the Uk with my husband Carey for four years. But our home is in Melbourne Australia. Would love to make contact with you. Laughing [/list]
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dancewithmarg
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have replied privately to Molly

Marg
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Len
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi molly and welcome. wave

Are you in the UK on business or on a long holiday. Can you tell us how long you stayed at the Fairymeadow hostel and how did you find it, meaning, did your family enjoy your stay whilst there?

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Mick Atkin
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:05 pm    Post subject: re dancing with marg 24 april 2007 Reply with quote

Ted and Winnie Webster arrived at Balgownie Hostel on the 8th May 1957 having travelled on the Strathnaver. My family were on the same voyage and we lived next door on D block.
Some years ago they moved to the Gold Coast to be with their son.
They are currently living at Banora Point, Queensland.
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skippy
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We arrived at Fairy Meadow Hostel in September 1970 after some government official stuffed things up, they thought I had come to work in the steel industry because I came from Sheffield which was a big steel making city.
After arguing for 40 minutes, they said that accomodation had been organised for us, and if we went just for the weekend, they would then transfer us back to Sydney on the Monday, so we agreed.
On the way from the airport, the bus stopped at Bulli Lookout, after seeing that view we decided there and then that this is where we wanted to start out new life.
after 3 weeks in the steelworks, I got a job on the construction of the new F6 freeway to Sydney, and earned 4 times what I had at the steelworks, so life was good.
We had done our research on the hostel situation, so it didn't bother us that much, it was somewhere to stay until we got our bearings, so after 2 months on the hostel we moved to a rented house in west Corrimal.
I had a serious car accident whilst drunk in 72, so we lost everything we had worked for, and we finished up getting a commission house at Warilla, after I got back to work, we managed to save enough for a deposit on a new house in Albion Park where we still live today, unfortunately it is no longer the village it was back then, but it will take a wooden box to get me away from here.
I returned to the UK in 92 for a visit, and realised that we had made the right decision to come here after all.
There are a couple of pics of when we were on the hostel, on a forum called Poms In Oz, under the heading [Whats the Illawarra Like] in the NSW section.
People said we were brave to come here when we did, but seeing that migrants nowadays have to find their own accomodation etc, etc, it was a lot easier for us in many ways.
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