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Hostels were used to accommodate new Australians. 1950's-1970's
 
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The ships
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David worboys
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:06 am    Post subject: The ships Reply with quote

Hi everyone,
I have read a lot in these pages, about the ships we all came out here on and can tell you that I have been on most of them and was one of the first persons to witness the disembarkation of their migrant pasengers. I was a Customs Officer, stationed in Melbourne between 1965 and 1974 and believe you me it was the most interesting work, really a pleasure and what's more getting paid, to be at the dockside,usually Port Melbourne and watch the big ships tugged in, then seeing all the wondering faces on their way to the life I had experienced when first arriving here in 1954. David Worboys/Draper
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Robert (Bob) Taylor
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi David, brought back memories reading about your career at Port Melbourne, as mentioned in some of my earlier posts.
We came though there in March 1960 on the Fairsky. As an 11 year old my memory was that it was a fairly simple to go ashore no dramas like today.
From your memory towards 1974 did it change at that time,or is it only the latter years, with all the accent on drugs and the watch for plant and food menaces?
Cheers, Bob.
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Bob Prince
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,David and Bob I came through Port Melbourne on the Fairsky in December 61 on route to Sydney and Cabramatta hostel,I remember we ,my Mum and Dad and my two brothers and two sisters walked from Port Melbourne into the city,think it was a Saturday morning through the inner suburbs of Melbourne very wided eyed as a thirteen year old.
We also spend some time on Port Melbourne beach where a bloke told us that because of the ships Port Melbourne was a haven for sharks never did find out if true,thanks for putting the post up and me pulling that from the back of my memory all the best Bob
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Robert (Bob) Taylor
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Bob, we were in transit to Sydney also.We also went up in to Melbourne city,presumably by foot, a taxi would have been to much of luxury in those days!
Remember visiting ...presume .....
it was Myers store there and being very impressed by there array of floors and departments. Especially with there deli and lollies areas, had nothing like it where we came from in Gravesend in England.
Have a resounding memory of getting a big bag of liquorice and taking back to ship and scoffing it over a day or so.
Amazing what sticks in the memory and what gets jerked from the memory upon viewing these posts?
Cheers, Bob.
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David worboys
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:37 am    Post subject: Sharks and drugs Reply with quote

Sorry guys, I am starting to get the hang of this and should have posted a reply to your questions here. (Iv'e got them in the chat section though under my name)
Unfortunately, it seems that the doors were open to heavy drugs and the problems they created courtesy of the Vietnam conflict and arrived here via military personnel on R and R leave, which in the aftermath created a strong market and a lot of dirty work for us guys. Before all of that we had some problems with Heroin but our main targets and finds were opuim, on ships with Chinese crews, most of it headed for China town's opium dens.
Sharks at Port Melbourne Bob ? perhaps the stories came about because of the supposed effluent from ships at berth there, sometimes four at a time but I used to dip in the small bit of beach alongside the pier before going onto the concourse for baggage examination duties and never had a problem, although I did have a good shower after my dip, David
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peterv
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am new to this forum. My family came out on the Fairsea in May 1959 and we stopped at Fremantle, then Port Melbourne en route to Sydney. I was 7 and Melbourne was a huge event as I met my maternal grandparents, plus about 6 cousins and their parents, for the first time. They brought balloons so that we could recognise them.
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Robert (Bob) Taylor
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:17 am    Post subject: The Ships Reply with quote

Nice to get your memories on the Fairsea, it was a sister ship to our ship the Fairsky, there was a lot of talk and conjecture abounding during the trip about the various ships in Sitmars fleet.
There is plenty to read about them via Google.
You would have similar memories of Sydney in the early 60s, pleased to see you still live there and didn't go back to UK like so many. Would be pleased to hear of your early takes on the place and the people of those days.
Cheers,
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peterv
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:59 am    Post subject: Re: The Ships Reply with quote

Robert (Bob) Taylor wrote:
Nice to get your memories on the Fairsea, it was a sister ship to our ship the Fairsky, there was a lot of talk and conjecture abounding during the trip about the various ships in Sitmars fleet.
There is plenty to read about them via Google.
You would have similar memories of Sydney in the early 60s, pleased to see you still live there and didn't go back to UK like so many. Would be pleased to hear of your early takes on the place and the people of those days.
Cheers,

Certainly the Fairsea was quite an adventure. Mainly positive and exciting, apart from seasickness in the Bay of Biscay, the failure of power and hence airconditioning in the Red Sea and some stress due to the cramped conditions over the 5 week trip. I also remember the stops in Naples, Aden and Port Said.
I guess, being at 7 rather younger than you when I arrived, I don't have memories of making comparisons between Surrey and Sydney. From suburban London to the somewhat basic Bradfield Park was obviously quite a change - there were certainly issues in the 2 years we were required to stay. One reason why we were more likely to stay was that my mother was from Melbourne and most of her family were there, though none were in Sydney. I have many memories, mainly school, family and outings. However it is hard to extrapolate particular feelings about Sydney.
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Robert (Bob) Taylor
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:50 am    Post subject: The Ships Reply with quote

Snap! Re the Bay of Biscay, seems most people going through suffered the rough passage, still have vivid memories being flat out in the bunk, hardly interested in food.The only thing I could stomach was the dry bread rolls that they baked.
Interesting that you went to Sydney and not Melbourne.....one would have thought they would have put you in there seeing you had close family there?
We were meant to go to Melbourne, but then it all changed and we told we off to Sydney. Fate deals some interesting deals!
Still love Sydney and have been back numerous times.Love the beaches and shopping there.
Cheers,Bob.
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peterv
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:20 pm    Post subject: Re: The Ships Reply with quote

Robert (Bob) Taylor wrote:

Interesting that you went to Sydney and not Melbourne.....one would have thought they would have put you in there seeing you had close family there?

Not long ago I asked my father this question. He was a teacher and we were sponsored by the NSW Education Dept. He said that NSW offered more pay than Victoria and help with accommodation. It was all organised before we came. I was always happy with Sydney though I also enjoyed our holiday visits to Melbourne.
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Phyl Phyl has been starred
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My father in law also a manager with hostels was posted to Colmslie in Qld. and my husband also a manager was posted to Nunawading in Melbourne .They hadn't seen each other since my husband was three years old and the postings took place after they had both been in Sydney two months later.Guess family was secondary in that instance Sad
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Bluebird
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:08 pm    Post subject: Australis Reply with quote

I travelled to Australia aboard the Australis with family.....as an 11yr old. What a wonderful journey it was......still remember the rough ride in the Bay of Biscay. We arrived in Sydney Oct 66. Stopping in Melbourne just briefly and looking in the department stores.....me hysterical when a huge coloured beetle landed on my cardigan sleeve!! Dad quickly removing it and wondering what on earth it was??
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Robert (Bob) Taylor
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes as I noted also seems everybody got a severe churning up in the Bay of Biscay!
Re the bugs.... Everything in Aus was, is larger than what we were used to in UK.
Cheers, Bob.
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peterv
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some brief further memories of our trip on the Fairsea in 1959:
    Naples: We trailed around Naples looking for, I think, lemon juice and toilets. We took on a large number of migrants from Yugoslavia and Italy.
    Port Said: We were not allowed to get off, but I do remember we bought a pouffe (footstool) from one of the small boats that came around the ship. It was pulled up with a rope. There was also a magician who came on board and did an excellent show. My mother was one of his subjects - he managed to extricate doves from her and she said later she did not know how he did it.
    Suez Canal: Good views as we traversed the Canal. We also nearly collided with another ship just after leaving the Canal.
    Aden: I remember a pleasant park and my parents giving the small kids who congregated around us melting Smarties.
    Crossing the Equator: A celebration with, I think, the Captain dressed as Neptune.
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Norm Faint
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:58 am    Post subject: Bay of Biscay Reply with quote

We left Tilbury aboard the SS Strathaird, April 1954, D Deck forward. Dad had previously sailed the coastline during WW2 and warned us that the Bay would be rough, really rough but once past Gibraltar the Mediterraean would be like sailing on glass. Hahaha how wrong he was, on both counts, I started believing that he had not sailed this way at all, until we reached Port Said and he conversed with the people there in their native tongue, likewise at Port Said where the footpaths were covered in what I thought was blood, not knowing of beetle nut spit in those days. Next stop Bombay to view a tiger or two on to Ceylon gto ride an elephant and watch a snake charmer with his 'dancing' cobra. Smooth sailing passing HMS Gothic (?) with a few loud toots and then entertained by Lord Neptune and his 'mermaids' as we crossed the Equator. Smooth sailing into Fremantle with a bus ride into Perth, a rough ride across the GAB and informed that we would now be disembarking in Sydney and not Melbourne. A brief stop in Melbourne where the weather was not much better than that we had left in Dear Old England, cold and drizzle. The local Newspaper reported UFO over the Harbour that morning. Up the East coast docking at Pyrmont after safely passing under the 'coat-hanger' Harbour Bridge. Loaded into double decker buses setting us down at Cabramatta. Well, at least we were not upside down, Australian was not a foriegn language (as such), cowboys did not roam the streets on horseback and large pythons were never seen, until I came to the Northern Territory some 12 years later. I hated the thought of leaving my Gran, other rellies and life long friends, memories fade but not forgotten. I often wondered what life would have been had we not migrated to Australia, having returned twice to England, my school mates as bald as badgers, jealous of my mop and tan to the point of cancelling our -planned 'Sunday dinner'. I now hold no grudges to my father that sought a better life. I have a 'second life' and home in South East Asia, made another 3 boat trips with P & O, short stays in no less than 22 countries, worked on 7 larger Islands of Indonesia and converse in the National language. Worked with Top End Aboriginal people on 6 Reserves, from a list of children, grand and great grand children our family is now rooted in Oz.
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1954, Cabramatta Hostel from England aboard S.S.Strathaird, followed by Matraville, Marybrinong, Broadmeadows, Williamstown, Heathcote Road and Bunnerong (various moves as dad was later in '54 engaged as a Hostel Manager.
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