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Hostels were used to accommodate new Australians. 1950's-1970's
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September onwards 1966. Childhood Memories

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Joined: 16 Sep 2013

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Location: Adelaide South Australia

PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:26 pm    Post subject: September onwards 1966. Childhood Memories Reply with quote

Arrived at the Hostel mid afternoon 26 September 1966. Culture shock !! The taxi driver picked us up at the Essendon International Airport after a four day flight on a BE Prop Jet. He proudly displayed Melbourne main street, Swanston Street. I sware there was not a building over four stories high. Rest of the trip in silence. Allocated several interconnecting rooms in one of the long huts. So it started.....
We were one of many poor Scots families arriving during the same period. Dad and Mum. John and Anna, older sister Linda 14,me 12, two twin sisters Bea and Bren about 10. Two other, older sisters and a brother had stayed in the old country.
Settling in for me, was not hard. I rode sheep in the abbatoir across the road. Looked for snakes under bits of corrugated iron in the surrounding 'swamp'' land. Explored and had a ball. Got incredibly sunburn the first week there and had to have two weeks off school, more exploring then, more sunburn.
It got hot in those living areas. The walls were paper thin and you could hear the neighbours, at it, in one way or another. Quite the education.
Dad worked at Fisherman's Bend in the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation as an engine fitter. Mum coped as best she could but would have returned to the UK on the next flight, had she the fare.
Made a few friends in the Hostel. There was another scots family also called Thomson and our families became friends. I remember it was, Bill and Marion with Drew, Helen and Stuart as their kids.
Meal times were an adventure in themselves. Chips with most things.
I went to Williamstown Tech school for a few months. The bus picked us up at the hostel and dropped us off outside the school. So I'd get off the bus and sometimes (often) go straight to the 'back beach ' and spend the day exploring. I was not Robinson Caruso there! All in all, it was an adventureland for me to escape to. I remember a rather insubstantial building outside the front of the hostel which I think was the railway station. It had a trough out the front of it, the horses to have a drink. I had the feeing of being in the wild wild west in 1800 and something.
I do have a couple of very grainy black and white photo's which I will post on finding them.
Love a chat to anyone there around the same time. It's all so distant now and two heads are better than one.
Anyway, these are my general recollections,
Regards to all. Glad you made it too !
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Joined: 21 Sep 2013

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Location: Christchurch NZ

PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Bryan. I also remember the first time I got badly sunburnt. I came out in big blisters that popped and then became infected. I was quite sick with it but I guess it was all part of the big adventure. Like you we played around in the creeks and ran wild through the bush but would have gone back to England in a flash, the homesickness was that bad. I was 10 when we arrived in Oz and did not go back home until I was 50. I was surprised that after all that time it all felt so familiar and when I came back to NZ again it took me a year to settle down. As Aussietrecker wrote, life is like a big jigsaw and it takes a lot of pieces to form the entire picture. Great to share your memories.
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aussietrekker aussietrekker has been starred
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Location: Geelong

PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good to see a new Altona inmate. Andy Logan and family were from Scotland, and would have been there the same time as yours.
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