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Balgownie Hostel arrival 1957

 
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Mick Atkin
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Joined: 06 Dec 2005

Posts: 13
Location: Shellharbour, NSW

PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 6:04 am    Post subject: Balgownie Hostel arrival 1957 Reply with quote

Our family arrived at Balgownie Hostel in May 1957 having travelled here on the 'Strathnaver'. My twin brother and I were 11 and we had a younger brother aged 4.
Unfortunately my mother died 3 months after arrival and as a result we lived on the hostel for nearly 4 years. To my father left widowed in a foreign country with no family support, the Hostel was a godsend (not withstanding the frugal living arrangements) in that we three children got fed in the canteen and neighbours kept a close eye on us.
Hostel living allowed my father to work overtime to save for a house and we boys were encouraged by Skip Townsend to become actively involved in hostel sporting and social activities.
I have fond memories of that period and I will be eternally grateful to my father for persevering in the face of adversity. Without the security of hostel living things could have been much tougher for our family.
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Len
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Joined: 24 Aug 2004

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Location: Great Harwood, Blackburn. UK

PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So sorry to hear about your mother mick, that must have been awful.
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Phyl Phyl has been starred
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Joined: 05 Jan 2007

Posts: 544
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mick,
I am so sorry about your mother, tragic. I take my hat off to your father
who persevered and looked after his precious children.
"Skip" , too, played an important part and I think you were very brave so I take my hat off to you and your siblings ,I know your mother would have been very prouid of you all.
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Phyl
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Mick Atkin
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Joined: 06 Dec 2005

Posts: 13
Location: Shellharbour, NSW

PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phyl,
Sometimes good things come out of family tragedies. Following my mother's death on the hostel in 1957, my father was befriended by a couple of migrant families who remained his best friends until his death in 2001.

Two of my best friends today I first met as an 11year old boy on Balgownie hostel. In fact only an hour ago I returned home from visiting an friend in Cooma NSW who was the centre half in our Balgownie hostel under 14 soccer team of 1958!
By the way I'm currently reading a book called 'Ten Pound Poms' Australia's Invisible Migrants - A life history of post war emigration to Australia. It's a fountain of information.
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Phyl Phyl has been starred
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Joined: 05 Jan 2007

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Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mick
I too have friends who were in CHL and are still my very dear friends and have been since 1958, !960 ,and later in the sixties. Though we are in a different country now and have rarely seen each other we have managed to to keep a close friendship by first ,writing letters and cards and then the telephone and later the internet. One couple have been over here several times and I have been back to Australia a couple of times. I sometimes feel it is like yesterday since I saw them all some Australian friends away from hostels included. Smile I speak on the phone with one couple every couple of months and it is though we have never been parted.
I think it is wonderful if you can maintain the friendship and you and you Dad obviously achieved this too.
I have been back in NZ since 1973 so I feel very blessed to have my friendships last so long.
I hope to see the DVD of 'Ten Pound Poms' Smile
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Phyl
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