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Old Aug 23rd 2016, 2:07 am   #1
Gibbo Female
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Default 50 years almost to the day.

I have never posted very often but for some reason I felt compelled to post this today. 50 years ago I arrived in Sydney with my husband, two toddlers, 3 months pregnant and with 1500 pounds to our name. We were deposited in the hostel where upon I sat on the edge of the bed and bawled my eyes out. All I'll say about that was it was not the best intro to Australia. I very soon had 3 young sons and was thankfully in a rented flat. I hardly saw my husband as he left at 5am and didn't get home until midnight as he worked two jobs, like all the other migrants who lived in the flats. I slipped my disc and oh had to stay home until a young Aussie girl said that shed. look in thro' the day until I got mobile again. I detested Australia until I found a babysitter and I got back to work. We used our last $200 as a deposit on a block of land. Five years after arriving we moved into our own house. By then I was pretty much used to the place and life had become much better. Eventually, I had another son, 4 in all, but then when I was 47 my husband died. Life can be very cruel. My family wanted me to pickup and go home but that would have meant splitting up the family. Three of my sons were men the youngest 8. Anyway to cut a very long story short I now have 3 daughter in laws, 6 grandchildren and 3 extended families. I have so much to thank Australia for. I have a very comfortable life now - no money worries. My one big regret is that my husband isn't here to share it with me but I do have a wonderful family. I am so lucky compared to many. Sorry for the length.
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Old Aug 23rd 2016, 8:51 am   #2
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Default Re: 50 years almost to the day.

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Originally Posted by Gibbo View Post
I have never posted very often but for some reason I felt compelled to post this today. 50 years ago I arrived in Sydney with my husband, two toddlers, 3 months pregnant and with 1500 pounds to our name. We were deposited in the hostel where upon I sat on the edge of the bed and bawled my eyes out. All I'll say about that was it was not the best intro to Australia. I very soon had 3 young sons and was thankfully in a rented flat. I hardly saw my husband as he left at 5am and didn't get home until midnight as he worked two jobs, like all the other migrants who lived in the flats. I slipped my disc and oh had to stay home until a young Aussie girl said that shed. look in thro' the day until I got mobile again. I detested Australia until I found a babysitter and I got back to work. We used our last $200 as a deposit on a block of land. Five years after arriving we moved into our own house. By then I was pretty much used to the place and life had become much better. Eventually, I had another son, 4 in all, but then when I was 47 my husband died. Life can be very cruel. My family wanted me to pickup and go home but that would have meant splitting up the family. Three of my sons were men the youngest 8. Anyway to cut a very long story short I now have 3 daughter in laws, 6 grandchildren and 3 extended families. I have so much to thank Australia for. I have a very comfortable life now - no money worries. My one big regret is that my husband isn't here to share it with me but I do have a wonderful family. I am so lucky compared to many. Sorry for the length.
Thank you for sharing Gibbo

I can't imagine how different it all must have been 50 years ago.
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Old Aug 23rd 2016, 11:15 am   #3
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Default Re: 50 years almost to the day.

That's a great story, Gibbo.

It's sad that your husband missed so much but good to see that it worked out OK for you in the end.
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Old Aug 23rd 2016, 6:15 pm   #4
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Default Re: 50 years almost to the day.

Hello Gibbo, congratulations for making it for 50 years despite losing your husband. Less strong people would have given up.

Two of my sisters moved to Adelaide in late 1958 and late 1964 on the £10 assisted passage scheme, and both with their young families were housed in nissen huts. I don't think any migrants including illegals would accept that sort of accommodation these days.

In 1960 I stayed with a sister in her new house for a short time, then rented flats before buying a house in 1964 with my parents who had just migrated to Australia. Although I had also lived in Melbourne and Europe, I kept that house until October 2011.

Your story illustrates the strength and determination needed to survive in a country far from your original home, though when I reflect on our difficulties all those years ago, it puts me in awe of Australia's early pioneers who had none of the advantages we have to-day.

Your extended Aussie family is a credit to your unwillingness to give in, unfortunately many give in these days despite life being easier. Perhaps that is why they give in, life has become too easy to make big changes.
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Old Aug 23rd 2016, 6:21 pm   #5
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Default Re: 50 years almost to the day.

Thanks for posting your update Gibbo, it's a wonderful history of guts and determination. I hope you keep it to pass onto your children and grandchildren, your story is so important for them to know and remember. You and your husband did the hard yards for the life they enjoy now. What great parents and people you both sound.

I'm so sorry that your husband died so young, you must miss him a lot. I think he'd be very proud of the growing tribe of Australians you and he founded. Most of all, I think he'd be very proud of you.
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Old Aug 24th 2016, 2:54 am   #6
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Default Re: 50 years almost to the day.

Hi Gibbo - your strength, courage and determination are an inspiration.

I moved to Australia 11 years ago with my husband and then 14 year old son. My husband wanted to move here in the early 80s but I said I didn't want to, so it never happened.

In 2005 he got the chance to make that move and, although I had a job I thoroughly enjoyed, I didn't feel I could object again, so we made the move. Although it was hard for our son to adjust, my husband was so happy here, I am glad we made that decision.

Sadly, he passed away 5 years ago this week and, after losing one of my brothers earlier this year, I feel it is time for me to pack up and head back home; most likely back to Liverpool.

Does anyone here have any advice/experience of heading back after so long?
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Old Aug 24th 2016, 7:39 am   #7
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Default Re: 50 years almost to the day.

Thankyou all for your kind words. I don't think I am much different to lots of others. I suppose if I sit down and write it all, it might just fill a book. I do get angry when I hear how some asylum seekers complain about and trash the places that they are given live in. I never wanted to come but my husband was right the boys have had so many more opportunities than they would have had growing up in Scotland. I find that I am missing the land of my birth much more these days but I don't think I could settle there now - I have too much to keep me here.
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