Thursday, November 01, 2007


I have just watch a TV programme called Ten Pound Pom. yes I was a Ten Pound pom.
In 1966 I set foot in Australia. But contrary to most of the poms that came I wasn't going home.
We, that is The Scot and I. Newly married a couple of months, discussed it carefully. After much discussion (mind you I would have followed him to the end of the earth, I loved him so much. Come to think of it I did - didn't I :) came to the conclusion that we would. We had to write to Australia House in London, then we had an interview at Wellingborough, a town about 10 miles away from my home town.

One of the questions was .... how long did I think I would be in Australia for.
My answer was........... well until I die.

By now, you should know The Scot, if he decides to do something then ... he does it... very black and white.

The condition was, if we came, we stayed, there was no thought of every going back. I had to have that very clear in my mind.

My condition was... don't tell my Mum until the very last minute. When we did, she cried all night. Just couldn't understand why we had to leave England.

Everything happened very quickly. We spent a few days with The Scot's Parents and then the last couple of days at my parents. We didn't want anyone to come to the airport with us. Farewells are best done at home. The taxi arrived, and the taxi driver asked me if we were going away for long and how far. I replied just to Australia for ever. He said, I thought something like that because everyone was crying. Except me and The Scot. Although I think it did hit me on the train down to London as I was very quiet.

We were among the first migrants to fly out. We arrived after three days flying. Including a detour over war zones, and a stop at an Airport with Soldiers guarding everything including the toilets.

First Aussie stop was Darwin............ a beautiful memory. Showers and lovely white fluffy towels. On thinking back, maybe they thought we needed it :)))

We were sent to a Guest House, complete with Military type landlady and bugs in the beds. Quickly out of there and into a flat and we never looked back. I only had one really homesick moment.

Maybe we settled so well because we were young and happy, maybe because The Scot still wont tell me if we could have gone back if I had really been homesick.

Is it all in the mind and can we adapt to whatever we want to.

Well I certainly did.

We have been Aussie Citizens, with a signature to prove it, for quite some years now.

Ten pound each well spent.


Elaine Adair said...

An interesting story - courage? or lack of knowledge at the time? Amazing what a person can do -- yes, adjustment is THE name of life.

Now, what is a POM?

gwensmom said...

My mom would have killed me if I had done that! Was Australia actively seeking immigrants during that time?

gwensmom said...

Oh wait- I just read all about it on wikipedia.

Molly said...

You were brave! Or was it foolish? Or is it that you had each other and love conquers all? The only thing you can control, they say, is your attitude, and you obviously had a good one!

riseoutofme said...

An adventurous spirit Birdy! Isn't love grand?? Do you still have an English accent?

Ten pounds was an absolute fortune in 1966. How did ye raise that much?

Oh, thats another post is it?

O.k. then.

Delighted to see no evidence of the wicked man in the red suit.

Miss Frou Frou said...

Lovely story Sheila, you were both so brave... and I love the fractured log cabins... and yes, I'm back!

Ali Honey said...

Well Done you two. You are certainly Aussie by now!

Lindi said...

You paid, but we gained!
I'm glad you had the courage and stayed, otherwise we probably wouldn't know you.

Sue said...

I watched that program too, it's a pity that they didn't interview you.

I've always admired the newcomers to this country, to pack up and move to the other side of the world. How very brave! Or is it crazy, lol. :)

meggie said...

I love this story. I think when you are young, anything seems possible. You sound as if you have both been happy here!