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Remembrance 1968-69
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Len
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 4:53 pm    Post subject: Remembrance 1968-69 Reply with quote

I think that this thread shall be a remembrance to a young Father that tragically lost his life.

There was a family with 3 or 4 children whom had only been at the Hostel for only a few weeks and in this time the father of the family had started taking swimming lessons at the Port Kembla Olympic Swimming Pool, along with others from the Hostel.

Now I don't know if you know the layout of the Olympic Pool at Port Kembla but there was the main pool which went from about 3ft 6" at one end to about 12ft in depth at the other and there was also a small kiddies pool at the near end which went from about 'I'm not sure but I think it was about' 2ft to about 3'6".

Tragically on this particular day they had arrived at the pool early, so while waiting for the lessons to start the father of the family and others decided to practice their diving. They practiced at the 3'6" end of the pool 'just as many others had done before them'. All was going well until sadly the father of the family managed to hit his head at the bottom of the pool and as a result he had broken his neck and became paralysed from the neck down. He was in hospital for several weeks and due to his injuries he sadly died.
shortly after that, I believe the remaining family members returned back to the UK.

I think what I have said above is somewhere near has to what had happened. The year was about 1968-69. I myself at that time was only about 11-12 years old.

Does anyone remember this tragedy?
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June & Sue
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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi this is Sue of June Sue Thompson, I remember very well the gentleman who jumped in the shallow end. I can see his face in my memory and I used to remember his name but I can't anymore. I remember I used imagine if it were my Dad in a new country what would we do. June remembers they had a collection for the familly at the time.
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Teppo Grén
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 12:33 pm    Post subject: Remembrance 1968-1969 Reply with quote

Hi Len. I've just joined this migrant web-site. I was at Unanderra hostel from November 1968 to September 1969 and remember the tragical drowning. My recollection is that the family was from Ireland. I can't remember if they had 3 or 4 children, but it would've been terrible for the kids and their mother. Coming to a new country to start a new life and then something like this happens. I also recall that the mother and the children left to go back to Ireland soon after the accident.
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Lorraine
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:43 am    Post subject: remembrance 1968-69 Reply with quote

Hi Len, Lorraine Cawley here (nee Ferguson). Thanks so much for getting me set-up on this site. As discussed via mail to you, I am one of the four children that lost their father in that awful swimming pool accident. My dads name was Nicholas Ferguson. We returned to Dublin very soon after the tragedy. I now live in the west of Ireland and have a 13 year old son. I look forward to any comments your members might have. Hoping to hear from you soon

Lorraine
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Len
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Lorraine, so glad you made it.
I don’t think your family had been on the hostel very long before the accident. I was around 12 years old at that time and can remember the sadness that it had naturally generated. My parents told me that the remaining family members returned back home but I wasn’t sure where.
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Lorraine
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Len, not sure how long we were at the hostel. Think we were in another one somewhere else in Australia before Unanderra. I often wondered what it would be like if things had been different. Mind you I wouldnt have met my great husband or had my beautiful son. My thoughts regarding that time are very sad indeed. My mum never really got over it. She didnt talk much about her time there except to say that the people were wonderful and really helped her at that time. It was really mind blowing for me to see your site and to read your remembrance of my father. Thank you so much for that.
best wishes
Lorraine
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Phyl Phyl has been starred
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lorraine,please accept my sympathy for so much sadness in your life.So pleased you have such a wonderful husband and precious son.
We are so fortunate to have Len and his site.
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Len
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I spoke to my parents today and mentioned this. They said they remember your dad and the awful accident. They said your dad was the life and soul of any party/ Social.

On the hostel they used to organize social nights, which became quite popular amongst the residents. They would have these socials in the rec room, along with a few beers and dancing etc. They said when ever your dad was there, everybody knew it. He was a very friendly fun loving bloke always having a good crack with everyone. They said he was great.

I personally can vaguely remember an Irishman (about the same age as my parents) that always called me Johnny fartycoat. I think that was because I was wearing a coat at the time and after that the name stuck. hehe Now I don’t know if that was your dad but having spoken to my parents today it seems that it was a good chance that it was.
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Lorraine
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Len, it's amazing that your folks remember my dad!! What a lovely story. You must have a lot of happy memories there yourself to embark on setting up this site? Thanks for all.

Regards
Lorraine
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Lorraine
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks so much Phyl. Glad you enjoy the site. Take care.

Lorrainexxxx
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robert wilson jnr
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:24 pm    Post subject: unenderra hostel Reply with quote

Hi Len I have a funny feeling we were on the hostel at the same time, do you remember there was a red headed boy by the name of Mark Headington on there Cheers Robert
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Len
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only Headington's on the hostel that I can remember was Michael and Steven.
Our family was on the hostel from 1967- 69/70 ish.
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Jill
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:58 pm    Post subject: Nicky Ferguson Reply with quote

I lived on the Hostel with my parents and sister at the same time - I remeber the Ferguson Family very very well - it was a tragedy the accident in the pool. My sister was the one who jumped in the kiddies pool to keep Nick'y head above water to save him from drowning - I do have lots of photos somewhere - will check in my dad's loft.
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Lorraine
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Jill, I would really appreciate any photos you may have. We dont have many from our time in the hostel. Many thanks in advance
Lorraine Ferguson Cawley
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Jill
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Lorraine

I have found some but I'm sure there are more - haven't managed to find any of your Mum & Dad yet but I will keep searching - I have got a picture of who I think is your Auntie with some children - was the surname Wheelan?

I am going to scan them and send to Len he can then upload, if you would like any let me know and I'll forward to you also.

Jill xx
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