Burleigh Heads Beach, Queensland, Australia

Tuesday, January 12, 2010



We migrated from England in 1949 to Sydney, I was seven. My parents had a difficult start, our first home was a tent and then a garage for five years. In that time my parents worked hard and built our house on weekends and annual holidays.
By 1956 the house was finished except for the garden and on going improvements. Mum and Dad were still both working, I was in high school and David, my brother, was working in the Territory of Papua/New Guinea.
My parent’s next goal was to own a car and go on holidays. In the winter of 1956 they had bought an Oldsmobile and planned a caravan holiday to Brisbane via the inland, New England route and return via the coastal, Pacific Highway. Their friends, Ida and John and daughter, Jenny were going to accompany us.
 Mum, me and Dad enjoying our first holiday in Australia.

John, Ida and Jenny also migrated from England a little after us.
 Dad and John had worked together in England driving trucks.

There is an interesting story about Jenny: Ida and John were unable to have children and when they lived in England they had taken care of their niece, Jenny, from birth, as Ida’s sister had other children and had been finding it hard to cope with all the children and the financial burden. Ida missed the little girl very much when they left England to start a new life in Australia. So, Ida asked her sister if they could adopt Jenny and bring her to Australia and give her a better life than could be provided for in England. The sister hesitated for some time, understandably. Finally she agreed and the papers were signed. Jenny, at the very young age of 6 was put on a plane as an unaccompanied child and flown from London to Sydney. Back in the 50’s that was a two or three day trip. It was headline news in Sydney and there was a photo on the front page of the newspaper of Jenny with a teddy arriving at Sydney and meeting her Aunt and Uncle who were now her mother and father. She certainly was a brave little girl and QANTAS staff did a good job keeping her happy.
Anyway the six of us set off in two caravans for our first holiday in Australia and our first holiday in seven years. My parents had spent the first seven years in Australia working, saving, and building a home. So they had been looking forward to this day for a long time.


  1. I am so pleased you are sharing more of your early life with us.
    It must have been extremely difficult for Jenny's mother to make that decision.
    Love the caravan :)

  2. Ah ! I am happy that you continue the story of your parents settling in Australia, when I think how the situation was at that time in Europe were everybody was recovering from the war ! At that time having a car was only for wealthy people ! My father bought his first one I guess in 1957 and that was a tiny little thing I don't even remember the brand, lol! and you had such a big car ! Your parents could be proud of what they had achived in such a short time !

  3. What a sweet story of Jenny flying over to Australia all on her own. And wonderful that Ida and John could give her a good home. Is she still with them - as their daughter?

  4. Hi Diane,
    What a beautiful story of your immigration to Australia, and the slaughter to continue.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Have a nice day

  5. What an interesting story, Diane. I love reading people's life history... Sounds like your parents were very hard-working people. That is a neat story about Jenny and the adoption.

    Thanks for sharing.

  6. Hi Diane

    That is really interesting. This story of your journey with your family to Australia, your adapting to Australia and now the follow up makes entertaining stories of life's journey. I can hardly wait until further installments. Great work.


  7. Oh! This is going to be fun. Thank you, Diane, for taking us on another adventure. I remember those cars.

  8. Hi Diane
    It's a nice story. Love the old vehicles. Is the car in the first photo a morris minor (or something like that)? My dad had one - I loved it! Always wanted to sit by the window so that I could see outside... Evelyn

  9. What an interesting story Diane, I am enjoying reading about your family. It had to have be very difficult of leave one's homeland and start a new life in another country. I look forward to hearing more.

  10. Evelyn: It was an Oldsmobile much bigger than a Morris Minor.
    Jo: Yes jenny stayed in Australia as Ida and John's daughter. She was about 5 or 6 years younger than me so I lost contact with her when her parents moved to a country town to live. I know John has died but I don't know about Ida. She would be very old though if still alive.

  11. This is so much fun. Lots of dreams from many people would have them 'picking up' and going down under, but that is where those dreams will stay. Your parents did it. Good for them!


  12. Your first holiday what fun. Dreams can come true :-) Diane

  13. Oh such memories that first holiday would had been a special one for you parents a reward after years of working and saving

  14. Don't you and Grandma look very stylish!!