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Hostels were used to accommodate new Australians. 1950's-1970's
 
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Bunnerong Hostel 1958 to 1959

 
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ForrestGump
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 3:06 pm    Post subject: Bunnerong Hostel 1958 to 1959 Reply with quote

My family left Tilbury Docks in June 1958 bound on the Orontes for Melbourne. At Melbourne we were filmed as 'new migrants' for television and unexpectedly ushered on to Sydney. There we found ourselves placed in Bunnerong Hostel near Matraville. We, my parents my brother and I were in the hangar (or navy store seven) in the two rooms supplied for a family of our size. We moved out in March 1959 to Parramatta. The hostel accommodation was basic but adequate. I loved the dining hall with its fruit cake and tea every afternoon. There was a carved map of Australia on the wall above the kitchen and it used to remind me of a merino sheep, just before shearing. I was six years old. With the other local kids we formed gangs and armed ourselves with sticks. It was Lord of the Flies but as far as I know it was all about running around and feeling alternately scared and elated. There was a television in the end of hangar 7 and we went there to watch the Mickey Mouse Club on Sunday evenings--most of my education owed to the Mouse Club. There were colourful lizards around the buildings whose tails fell off (and regenerated) if grabbed. Not far away was Laperouse Bay with its shipwreck, smell of the sea and tiny piece of French territory dedicated to Laperouse himself. Some people I think had lived in the hostel for several years and regarded it as 'home' which was not the Australian government's idea. But I suppose they were in a loop that made it hard to leave. Most people were desperate to get out and just kept trying. I remember it as a time of growing up. We had previously lived in the Middle East and run around as children in the hot sand there. So, if anything Bunnerong was another barracks and a rather richer environment. Bob
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Robert (Bob) Taylor
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:13 pm    Post subject: 1958/1959 Bunnerong Hostel Reply with quote

Hi there, I was at the same a Hostel from 1960/61.
Nice to see your recollections..especially re the lizards...Blue Tongue I believe?
La Perouse was a favourite especially the beach areas. I was also a big fan of Maroubra Beach and spent most weekends in the Summer hitchhiking back and forth with friends. We were at 10 Block and so were using the same dining block, though my mind doesn't recall the carving you speak of or the fruit cake on offer..memories are selective I guess and fade after almost 60 years..
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