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Hostels were used to accommodate new Australians. 1950's-1970's
 
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Villawood hostel 1965/66

 
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Casper
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Location: The Hague, Holland

PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:28 pm    Post subject: Villawood hostel 1965/66 Reply with quote

Hi Len and everyone. Very nice website! My name is Ron Witte and we (family) arrived in 1965 (aged 16) and left the hostel in 1966. My first job ever was grass-cutter, cutting the hostel grass between the huts.
I used to hangout in the hostel canteen a lot. There was a jukebox and one or two pinball machines. I also played guitar (washroom etc.) with my Australian mate Charlie. Charlie lived on the Miller Road just outside the hostel. I had a great time in Good Old Villawood hostel. We migrated back to Holland in 1967.
There were a lot of teenagers in the hostel and I'd love to hear from anyone who was a teenager in the period (65/66).
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Phyl Phyl has been starred
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ron, I hope someone remembers you and makes contact.Great site Len has given us.
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Phyl
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Casper
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Phyl, I agree, itís a great site thanks to Len! Itís nice reading other hostel stories. It brings back many memories. Especially of those first days being in foreign country which took a little to get used to in those days. I saw something about the Easybeats and that triggered me to join this site. The Easy's had left Villawood hostel just before I arrived :-( ! They are still one of my favorite bands!
Regards,
Ron
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Phyl Phyl has been starred
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 3:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad you enjoy the site and I also read about the Easy's though I didn't know them.
We were at Villawood for a short while in 1955 ,it was where I saw my first blue tongue lizard.Beautiful creature, though it scared the living daylights out of me that first time I saw it.We also had about 18 months at Villawood August 1971 to April 1973 when my late husband left the company and we returned to NZ. Smile Cool
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Myriam
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:34 am    Post subject: Villawood hostel Reply with quote

Hello,
This is a wonderful group, it brings back so much memories! Thanks Len for creating it.
My parents left Belgium in March or April 1960 and we spent some time in Bonegilla, a few years in Scheyville and nearly 2 years in Villawood (64 - end 65). So I do have some records from that time in Villawood, pictures and films and would be glad to share them. My parents returned to Belgium in 66 on the SS Australis and I was heartbroken cry when we came back here and the only goal I had for years was to go back to Australia... when I finished my studies, I went to the Australian Embassy to go back but there was a quite long waiting list at that time so I went to South America for some time...and never went back to Australia.
Have a nice day and sorry for my poor english.
Myriam
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Myriam
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:53 am    Post subject: to Casper Reply with quote

Hello Ron,
maybe you were one of my neighbours! I was at Villawood at that time but a bit younger than you were (aged 10) but I remember very well about the boys who used to play music in the washrooms in the evening. Loud music that my mother didn't appreciate at all - I was very curious and I remember I was always hanging around although I wasn't allowed... wonderful times.
Smile
Myriam
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Casper
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:29 am    Post subject: Re: to Casper Reply with quote

Myriam wrote:
Hello Ron,
maybe you were one of my neighbours! I was at Villawood at that time but a bit younger than you were (aged 10) but I remember very well about the boys who used to play music in the washrooms in the evening. Loud music that my mother didn't appreciate at all - I was very curious and I remember I was always hanging around although I wasn't allowed... wonderful times.
Smile
Myriam


Hi Myriam,
Iím not sure if we were neighbours? My mate Charlie and I played our guitars all over the place in the hostel. Sometimes we played in the washrooms. We played on semi-acoustic guitars without amplifiers. Although we sang at the top of our voices I donít think it was loud enough to be a pain in the ears to your mother. But Iím not sure, we were quit noisy Smile! Most probably you heard the Easybeats practising and having fun! Charlie was often there with them. I think that the Easys had amplifiers and maybe a drum kit. If so, that would certainly make enough loud noise to upset your mother. The Easys used the washrooms up until the end of 1964. Maybe also during the first couple months in 1965. I arrived in the hostel in the second half of 1965. By that time the Easys had recorded their first records and they didnít play in the hostel anymore. The first time I heard the Easybeats was when I was passing a hut with the door and window open. I saw and heard them playing Wedding Ring. I still like that song very much. Whenever I hear it, it always thatís me back to that moment in the hostel. If the loud music was around the end of 1965 and beginning 1966, then that was Charlie me . And yes, I agreeÖwonderful times Smile...
Ron
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Hollander
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Ron,

I wonder if you might be related to Bart Witte (I'm pretty sure that was his surname). Bart's family and mine arrived in Australia in November 1964 on the MS Aurelia. Both our families initially went to Scheyville Hostel but then we moved to East Hills and I lost touch with Bart and his family. Scheyville was in the middle of nowhere and everyday, Bart and I would go exploring. We roamed the backroads for miles. Nice memories.

Cheers,
Ed
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Casper
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Ed,
I have checked with my family Witte if they know anybody who migrated to Australia in 1964. No one can recall that they do. Therefore we canít help you finding old Dutch mate Bart. We do have a Bart Witte in the family but, he is 26 years old and he and his parents have never been in Australia. It would be very nice if you find Bart again. I found my old Australian guitar mate Charlie after 25 years. A couple of years ago he did a Europe tour and visited Holland. We met in his hotel and in about 5 minutes we were talking as if the 25 years in between had never existed. Really fantastic Smile ! Last year he spent a 2 week holiday over here and we great time playing guitars etc etc. Ed I really hope that you find Bart, donít give up mate!
Cheers,
Ron
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Hollander
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Ron,

We were both 15 back then in 1964. Having come from Amsterdam, we felt like explorers in Scheyville, bushland as far as the eye could see. It took around 2 hours by public transport to get to the City: by bus to Windsor, another bus to Riverstone or Richmond, then on an ancient steam train (straight out of a wild west movie) to Blacktown and finally an electric train to Sydney. By comparison, two hours on the train from Amsterdam and you're in Germany! So, yes, we thought we were in the outback in Scheyville:-)

Thanks again,
Ed
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