Brisbane, QLD

Saturday, April 23, 2011


In 1959 we had been in Australia for ten years.  My Mum and Dad had arrived in Australia with 250 pounds and they had worked hard to build our house after clearing the bushland, living in a tent, and a garage.They continually worked on improving the house and establishing a garden.

They both had jobs and saved for a car, for holidays and for my brother and I to stay at school.

Although establishing themselves in Australia was a difficult road, they both enjoyed the challenge and loved their adopted country.

I had lived more of my life in Australia than England and I felt Australian. I was very happy.

My brother had returned to work in P/NG so there was just the three of us at home.

Mum worked hard at establishing a garden.
Dad added a carport to the garage, where we had lived for 5 years.

The Royal National Park, Sydney.
So now my parents could relax a little and enjoy themselves. Often we would go to the National Park for hiking, picnics and rowing on the river, especially when we had visitors, from England. like the lady in the photo. The Park was only a twenty minute drive from where we lived. I spent many weekends cycling there with my friend, Kerrie. We would hire a canoe and paddle up stream as far as we could go and then swim in the rock pools. It was such fun, I can't imagine young girls doing that unaccompanied nowadays.

Parliament House, Canberra.
Over the Easter holiday, we drove to Canberra for a few days. Dad was quite interested in politics and he was keen to visit the Federal Parliament House. (We have a new one now but this one has been preserved as a museum)

Swimming pool, Canberra.

But, you know me, I was more interested in finding the swimming pool. I do remember, though , that it was freezing cold.


  1. I did not know it gets cold in Australia. 250 pounds went a lot further in the 50's but that was a tiny amount to get started with. they built you a wonderful life

  2. All the hard work was evidently worth it as, in the end, they'd built a lovely home and were able to give you a very solid upbringing, for which you're still grateful all these many, many years later :)

  3. It all sounds you had a great childhood with very caring parents. Must have been wonderful to grow up with so much freedom. I think the world has changed a bit for girls now indeed.

  4. Another great installment, Diane.

    I did respond to your "Aussie bashing" comment on my blog. It surprised me not a little.

  5. What brave people your parents must have been. Yours is a fascinating story of a very rich childhood.

  6. What a legacy is being left by your recording these thoughts and photos all together in one place. I've loved following along!

  7. What a neat account of your growing-up years. I enjoy your pictures and wish I knew how to post my own. But alas, my expertise does not extend to that leading-edge. :)

    Have a wonderful Easter ...Marsha

  8. Love the vintage photos of your homeland, cars and family. Lovely. cheers Lori

  9. I've missed a few posts and had to catch up a bit. As always wonderful stories about your school days and the hard work your Mom and Dad went through. You were a very lucky young girl to have such caring parents. The picture of your Mom and Dad again shows such warmth and love.

  10. I have always thought swimming pools in Canberra were a weird thing ... the water IS freezing cold even in the height of summer

  11. And we thought you immigrate to Australia, find a house a job and have a royal life ! Now thanks to you I know that the truth was completely different ! We also thought that all Americans had TV and a fridge in the 50th, also not true ! Thanks to blogging, otherwise I would have never known. When I tell your story to my friends they make eyes like dinner plates !
    Your parents really worked hard, but they can be very proud of what they achieved !

  12. Your parents sound like amazing people. They created a wonderful life for themselves and for you and your brother. Thank you again for sharing these memories and pictures with us.

  13. Enjoyed the latest two Chapters! And all at one time ("can we read two chapters of our story tonight mom, puhleeze?"). Did everyone wear uniforms? We saw the kids in uniforms in England just a few years ago, so I guess it's not surprising. That's almost never done at public schools here in the US. Seems like a good idea.

  14. Brisbane is beautiful. If only we could divert flood waters.
    Loved the photo of you shivering on the starting block at Canberra pool.
    We don't see many high dive towers now... I was never brave enough to jump off.

  15. Lovely family recollections and photographs.
    I think they're putting their swimming pools under cover in Canberra now.

  16. It is so strange seeing Australia. My family could have stayed on and I considered moving - and reconsidered. I must go back again.