Aboard Ellinis, 1965

Aboard Ellinis, 1965

Aboard Ellinis, 1965
Aboard Ellinis, 1965
Originally uploaded by MagicTyger

Neil (me) and Karen (in the pram).

I don’t know who that is pushing the pram.

Mum tells me that most days aboard Ellinis, she didn’t have much to do except walk Karen and me around the decks. She was 6 months pregnant.

Mum writes:

We arrived at Southampton docks after a long journey by train from London. After what seemed an eternity we finally boarded the Ellinis. I had never been on a ship before. We were shown to our cabin, which infact was old crew’s quarters.

Those weeks at sea were a strange experience for me. We did have some fun times, but mostly it was hard work looking after two small children whilst being pregnant with a third. Also I suffered from seasickness. And was feeling very home sick.

Departure Day

Departure Day

Departure Day
Departure Day
Originally uploaded by MagicTyger

58 Mount Road, Bexleyheath, on 29 March 1965.

The day we left the UK for Australia.

Left to right:
Bruce Ennis (Dad), Sylvia (Mum), Karen and Neil (me). Harold and Anna (Grandpa and Gran) in the background.

Mum’s pregnant with Kevin.

One can only imagine what was going through Grandpa and Gran’s minds as their eldest son, only 22 years old left for the other side of the world with his young wife and kids

The house is next door to a pub called the “Polly Clean Stairs”.

Liz and I visited here in 1997. Unfortunately no one was home. But at least I can vouch that the place exists!

As a matter of interest, it was spring the day we left – as you can see from the buds on the trees. When we arrived in Australia in early May it was late Autumn. So we experienced summer in England mid 1964, and didn’t have summer again till the end of 1965 in Brisbane. That’s a long time between summers.

Mum writes:

On his travels in the merchant navy Bruce had been to many countries one of which was Australia. He had really only seen it through the eyes of a traveller. He was sure it would be a great place to live. At the time we were living in Bexleyheath in Kent in a small house the rent was 8.00 pounds. That was a lot of money in those days; he only earned 16.00 pounds working at a dairy delivering milk.

We decided to apply to immigrate to Australia, our application was successful. We left for Australia on the 29thMarch 1965. Having said that, in sounds so simple. Looking back to that time it was heart wrenching. I had never been anywhere before, Scotland was the only other place I had ever travelled to. Leaving all our families was very frightening; also I was already 5 months pregnant with our third child. This was a chance to start a new life and we would never know if we didn’t give it a go. So off we went not really knowing what was in store for us. Ten pound Poms!

Back to where it all started

Back to where it all started

Grain Terminal Pinkenba

We drove out to the Grain Terminal at Pinkenba today.

It’s not very picturesque. A bunch of silos at the mouth of the Brisbane River. There’s a strong smell of rotting grain, and muddy puddles everywhere.

But what’s important about it to me, is that it’s on this spot on 1 May 1965 that we arrived in Brisbane from the UK aboard Ellinis.

Grain Terminal PinkenbaGrain Terminal PinkenbaGrain Terminal Pinkenba

You wouldn’t think that thousands of migrants to Australia would have come ashore here. But this is where the Australian history of our family began, so it’s something special to me.

On that day in 1965, we sat around on the wharf for a few hours waiting for a bus. Although the ship arrived at about 9am, the bus didn’t come to get us till mid afternoon. Not a very pleasant introduction to Brisbane.

I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Pinkenba. There’s nothing very pretty about the place. It’s just silos, fuel storage tanks, wharves and the oil refinery. The roads are muddy when wet and dusty when dry. I’m sure many a new arrival thought to himself or herself “what the hell have I got myself into here!!!”.

Grain Terminal PinkenbaBro's at PinkenbaShip at Pinkenba

The bus drove us down Kingsford Smith Drive to Yungaba. It’s about a 30 minute drive. I’ve read in other places that they used to have a welcoming committee on the front lawn with tables set laid out with tea and cakes for the new arrivals. I don’t know if they laid it on for us, but the place is quite picturesque.

YungabaYungaba and GardensThe Story Bridge from Yungaba 1 of 2Yungaba

This beautiful mansion is tucked under the Story Bridge. The bridge’s imposing form intrudes on the place from every angle. You can’t escape the noise of cars passing overhead. To get in and out of Yungaba you have to enter via a driveway that passes under the bridge. And to get anywhere else, you either have to drive over the bridge, or negotiate traffic coming off the bridge.

We stayed here 10 days in 1965.

During that time, my sister was quite ill, and stayed in hospital a few days.

I was ill too.

After a week and a half of sleeping in the dormitories at Yungaba, we caught a taxi out to Wacol Migrant hostel, and stayed in a Nissen Hut for a few weeks before finally being moved to a wooden relic from World War Two – our new home for the next 10 months.

When I think of all this now, I have a new admiration for my Mum and Dad. Coming to a new country, with no money, not knowing anyone, with two young kids, and one on the way. What a remarkable testimony to them that they made a success of it.

I’m so proud of them.

Fellow Passengers on Ellinis, March-May 1965

Here’s a list of all the people who left Southampton aboard Ellinis with us in March 1965, bound for Australia. There are 143 family groups.

Click here to download the passenger list.

  • AMOS George Gerald born 17 February 1936; Kathleen (nee Pearson) born 25 May 1938;
  • ANDREWS William born 28 March 1928; Elsie (nee Swann) born 26 May 1930; Christine Pearl born 5 July 1950; Carl William born 15 March 1956;
  • BARKLEM George born 30 June 1939; Barbara (nee Hartley) born 20 December 1938;
  • BARTON Terence Fredrick born 22 October 1937; Pamela Anne (nee Jenkins) born 11 March 1942; Terence Antony born 27 May 1960; Timothy Paul born 1 June 1961; Simon Frederick born 17 January 1964;
  • BASSETT Dennis Reginald born 22 August 1934; Aan Jeannette (nee Drudge) born 5 May 1940; Dean born 17 September 1961; Caroline Louise born 13 December 1964;
  • BILLING Martyn Kenneth born 5 December 1944;
  • BIRKENNEAD Donald William born 11 August 1936; Rose Ann (nee Hart) born 4 October 1941; Karen Ann born 1 August 1959; Alan Raymond born 14 January 1961;
  • BLYTH Gerald born 29 July 1938; Muriel (nee Mcgregor) born 16 February 1944; Jacqueline Dominique born 7 August 1962; Dawn Vera May born 3 March 1964;
  • BOYLE Colin born 16 October 1944;
  • BROADFOOT Thomas born 14 June 1929; Elizabeth (nee Mayes) born 24 July 1930; Lorraine Glynis born 1 November 1950; Yvonne Sandra born 13 June 1953; Darryl Victor born 5 July 1957; Nigel Trevor born 4 October 1960;
  • BRODIE Montague born 15 March 1927; Irene (nee Hall) born 3 September 1920; Sheila born 3 January 1947; Sandra born 12 May 1949; Janice born 6 July 1951; Susan born 4 November 1952; Warren born 4 November 1952; Gary born 2 April 1956; travelled per ELLINIS departing UK on 29 March 1965 under the Assisted Passage Migration
  • BULL Ronald Norman Frank born 25 November 1930; Phyllis Mary (nee Munn) born 5 December 1932; Nicholas Paul born 19 September 1952; Michael Norman born 9 February 1954; Kim Adrian born 18 September 1956; Simon John born 5 March 1962;
  • BULLED Ronald George born 28 November 1935; Helen (nee Waldron) born 13 April 1937;
  • BURTON Hedley born 10 May 1942;
  • CAIN William Anthony born 22 June 1945;
  • CARTMILL Bruce Mcrae born 24 June 1942; Jean (nee Millar) born 27 August 1944; Colin born 3 March 1962; Ross born 31 May 1964;
  • CHAMBERS Peter John born 15 October 1941; Kathleen Muriel (nee Clarke) born 24 November 1944;
  • CHESNEY Raymond Frederick born 15 October 1940; June Ann (nee Wilson) born 4 October 1939; Kim Elaine born 29 June 1962;
  • COLE David Arthur born 4 December 1939;
  • COLLINS Dennis Roy born 16 February 1925;
  • CONROY William George born 19 February 1936; Rosaleen Anne (nee Campbell) born 20 March 1937; Mark Timothy born 24 May 1962;
  • COOK Albert Leslie born 5 February 1934; Barbara Christine (nee Ashdown) born 28 December 1938; Stephen John born 30 August 1959; Nigel Leslie born 10 April 1964;
  • COOPER John Millaye born 19 February 1932;
  • COWAN Vallance Riddell born 20 June 1939; Margaret (nee Harper) born 9 February 1941;
  • CROUCH Charles Ivan born 21 January 1912; Jean Findlay Woodrow (nee Clearie) born 30 March 1924;
  • CUNNINGHAM Leslie born 11 September 1933; Alice (nee Lee) born 14 December 1936; Karine born 23 April 1956; Wendy born 6 April 1959; Mark born 6 January 1961; Beverley born 12 July 1962; Michelle born 31 January 1964;
  • CUTHBERTSON Daniel Jack born 14 June 1927; Elizabeth (nee Mcelroy) born 31 July 1926; Elizabeth Anne born 19 December 1949; Ian James born 20 July 1956;
  • DALRYMPLE Raymond born 27 March 1919; Doris Gwendoline (nee Foreman) born 4 October 1920; Susan born 13 March 1948; Janis born 18 April 1950; David Ian born 15 March 1952; Martin born 5 July 1955;
  • DOLAN James born 15 September 1933; Jean Edna (nee Long) born 6 November 1934; Stephen James born 5 January 1956; Jeffrey Phillip born 9 April 1960;
  • DOLLING John Edwin Joseph born 14 December 1926; Irene May (nee Bornand) born 3 July 1951;
  • DOUGLAS John Joseph born 27 January 1937;
  • DOWNING Basil Cecil born 2 December 1938;
  • DOYLE Thomas born 22 August 1944;
  • DURRANT Arthur William born 4 February 1922; Florence Winefred (nee Venus) born 30 November 1922; Tania Lariane Shareh born 26 December 1948;
  • DUVILL Harry born 31 July 1932; Audrey Joyce (nee Reen) born 7 October 1936; Karen Lesley born 18 May 1962;
  • EMPTAGE John born 12 August 1943;
  • ENNIS Bruce Anton born 13 November 1941; Sylvia (nee Mitchell) born 11 March 1941; Neil Bruce Anton born 23 April 1962; Karen Patricia born 17 March 1964;
  • EVANS Anthony John born 14 July 1942;
  • FARNFIELD Richard John born 20 November 1924; Doris Eva (nee Winson) born 1 July 1927; Susan Diane born 21 June 1950; Shirley Ann born 27 October 1954;
  • FINNEGAN Arthur born 11 March 1927; Margaret Mary (nee Daly) born 17 September 1936; Marguerite born 20 September 1958; Christopher Michael born 21 December 1959; Teresa Mary born 29 March 1961; Patricia Mary born 10 February 1962; travelled per ELLINIS departing UK on 29 March 1965 under the Assisted Passage Migration
  • FOLLIS Edwin born 15 April 1936; Margaret (nee Moss) born 8 November 1936; Stepen born 10 September 1963; Jeanette born 21 August 1960;
  • FORD Alexander Graham Burnett born 8 July 1937; Sylvia (nee Steven) born 5 January 1939; Susan Margaret born 1 June 1959; Sandra born 4 October 1961;
  • FOUNTAINE John Walter born 13 October 1925; Joyce (nee Binding) born 16 November 1929; John David born 21 February 1952; Michael born 18 May 1953; Carol Ann born 23 December 1954;
  • FROST Albert Edward born 30 August 1930; Margaret Eva (nee Allford) born 6 January 1933; Heather Jane born 22 February 1956;
  • GALLAGHER Ann Gillian born 4 July 1940;
  • GARDNER Frederick Stanley born 28 October 1941; Valerie Ann (nee Leonard) born 5 February 1936;
  • GARVEY Kenneth Samuel born 16 October 1924; Ingeburg (nee Bolmes) born 6 February 1926; Kenneth Michael born 11 April 1947; John Herbert born 12 September 1948; Ingrid Lilian born 17 February 1955; Lindsay Alan born 25 July 1956;
  • GEARY Terence John born 28 July 1940;
  • GEMMELL James born 27 December 1944;
  • GOODHEW Thomas William born 19 July 1929; Jennifer born 4 August 1938; Christopher Thomas born 12 May 1958; Anthony John born 25 October 1959; Colin Paul born 7 April 1962;
  • GRAHAM Patricia Ann born 6 May 1946;
  • GRAVES John Edward Alfred born 9 January 1937; Cathleen Margaret Grace (nee Jimson) born 13 April 1940; Lucille Elizabeth Olga born 10 December 1963;
  • HAMLET Alexander born 1 September 1923; Alma Gladys (nee Coakes) born 26 January 1926; Peter Arthur born 26 October 1951; Shaun Michael born 24 October 1960;
  • HANLEY Desmond Francis born 14 October 1933;
  • HASSALL Alan Edmund born 2 November 1923; Vera Rental (nee Sheppard) born 17 November 1920; Geoffrey Robert born 10 April 1951; Phillip John born 17 April 1954; Andrew George born 1 September 1957; Elizabeth Jane born 24 November 1959;
  • HENDERSON Margaret Gilfillan born 16 October 1942;
  • HENDERSON William Dorman Reynolds born 14 September 1941;
  • HIGGINS Michael Lawrence born 10 August 1934; Frances (nee Kenna) born 14 March 1940; Paul Michael born 19 September 1961; Bernadette Anne born 8 May 1964;
  • HOLDEN Elizabeth Joan born 1 February 1926; Philip Henry born 4 October 1955;
  • HOLMES Keith Robert born 18 December 1943;
  • HUGHES Colin born 16 March 1944;
  • HUGHES Edward born 14 March 1926; Catherine (nee Sands) born 6 October 1929; Bernard born 10 April 1952; Edward born 11 May 1953; Catherine born 16 October 1954; John born 14 December 1957;
  • HUNTER Geoffrey Fewster born 20 May 1938;
  • HYNES Michael John born 24 August 1942;
  • JANKOWIAK Franciszek born 23 November 1925; Elsie (nee Morgan) born 22 July 1926; Paul James born 7 June 1950; Alan John born 21 May 1953; Cherie Elizabeth born 20 October 1954;
  • JONES Albert Frederick born 4 July 1927; Ivy May (nee Tolley) born 25 December 1927; John David born 7 February 1951;
  • KELLY Edward born 30 November 1924; Josephine Agnes (nee Zavadskas) born 13 March 1914;
  • KENYON Francis Terence born 10 June 1931; Lilian (nee Fletcher) born 11 April 1932; Lynne Francis born 12 January 1952; Terence Gilbert born 9 August 1953; Trevor Paul born 23 November 1954;
  • LANGHAM Anthony John born 2 July 1942; Lynda Eunice (nee Watson) born 8 June 1944;
  • LAWRIE William born 22 July 1922; Isabella (nee Bennett) born 3 November 1924; John born 1 November 1951; Robert born 23 January 1958; Christina born 9 March 1953; Catherine born 23 March 1954;
  • LEITCH Alexander Porteous born 7 July 1937;
  • LILEY Raymond Lenard born 4 July 1931; Joan (nee Martin) born 12 September 1932; Raymond born 18 November 1950; Machail born 29 July 1952;
  • LLOYD Norman Kennett King born 26 July 1933;
  • LORD George Richard born 18 January 1931; Daphne Doris (nee Toyne) born 2 January 1926; Nicholas born 10 August 1963;
  • MACLEOD George John born 23 February 1941;
  • MAIDLOW George Frederick born 2 March 1924;
  • MARSHEM Dennis Henry born 4 December 1930; Brenda Mailta (nee Susans) born 19 December 1937; Tina Marie born 17 May 1959; Dennis Marie born 17 May 1959; Dennis Dean born 13 January 1961; Derry Spencer born 13 January 1962;
  • MARSTON Robert born 4 September 1929; Joan (nee Hardy) born 12 December 1930; Robert born 16 February 1953;
  • MART Francis Allen born 20 May 1916; Edith (nee Neail) born 10 January 1917; Dilys born 13 June 1946;
  • MAWSON Francis Elias born 24 August 1928; Alice (nee Davison) born 18 July 1926; John William born 15 February 1952; Peter Mark born 31 October 1953; Lynn Francis born 28 November 1956; Janet Barbara born 4 September 1958; Alison Jane born 21 April 1964;
  • MCELROY William Graham born 2 March 1928; Frances (nee Maguire) born 8 December 1925; John Joseph born 3 February 1958; James Gerald born 2 October 1959; Mary Frances born 3 April 1962;
  • MCGOVERN Thomas James born 11 August 1924; Margaret (nee Rae) born 28 April 1928; John born 17 January 1951;
  • MCKERRON Joseph born 21 September 1936; Louise Kimber Baxter (nee Welsh) born 13 February 1935; Joseph born 27 May 1961; John born 30 March 1964;
  • MELDRUM Stuart Alexnader born 15 October 1943;
  • MERCHANT John Frederick born 25 October 1940; Janice (nee Brown) born 21 June 1940;
  • MILLEN Robert born 23 November 1943;
  • MILLS Edwin Alfred born 26 August 1925; Joyce Margaret (nee Court) born 16 August 1922; Peter Edwin born 27 November 1953;
  • MITCHELL Derek born 2 July 1932; Grace (nee Higgins) born 31 March 1931; Carol born 7 October 1954; Christine born 9 September 1959; Julie born 18 July 1961; Heather born 23 August 1963; Stuart born 13 October 1964; Derek born 13 October 1964; travelled per ELLINIS departing UK on 29 March 1965 under the Assisted Passage
  • MOORE Raymond Victor born 18 December 1919; Vera Edith (nee Wiggins) born 24 March 1922; Janet Marie born 21 August 1947; Jessie Doris Susan born 4 February 1949; Colin Ralph born 1 March 1952; Keith Norman born 6 October 1954; Philip Kenneth born 24 June 1957; Bigel Peter born 10 December 1960;
  • MORGAN Thomas John born 26 September 1927; Marjorie John (nee Wright) born 8 March 1951; Barry John born 23 August 1956; Janette Lynn born 30 January 1958;
  • MORING Richard born 24 June 1921; Jane (nee Towell) born 25 May 1925; Stuart born 23 May 1950;
  • MORSAW John Francis born 13 August 1936; Anne (nee Wright) born 20 November 1938; Steven Paul born 28 August 1959; Jean Margurite born 4 October 1960; Anne Francis born 1 November 1961; Luke Alexander born 10 June 1936;
  • MURRAY James born 15 July 1927; Margaret (nee Hoolaghan) born 12 October 1928; James born 10 March 1952; Ellen Woods born 2 November 1953; Ian Gerard born 8 March 1956; Gerard born 15 March 1956; Paul born 10 August 1961;
  • NANCEKIVELL Colin Andrew born 3 December 1926; Joan Iris (nee Bennett) born 13 July 1949; Graham Roy White born 9 March 1952;
  • NEILSON George born 9 May 1927; Agnes Nelson (nee Brown) born 2 May 1933; William born 8 August 1956; George born 22 April 1958; Alan born 17 January 1963;
  • NICHOLLS John Colin born 3 April 1922;
  • NISBERT Daniel born 8 October 1938; Iris (nee Tucker) born 18 August 1940; Jacqueline born 2 September 1963;
  • NORLING Keith born 14 September 1938; Susan (nee Phipps) born 15 August 1939; Victoria Helen born 27 July 1962;
  • OATES Peter born 9 April 1936; Beryl (nee Wilson) born 8 February 1938; Andrew Craig born 30 December 1959; David Neil born 16 July 1962;
  • OLD Beryl Winifred born 11 June 1942;
  • OLDACRE Cynthia Jill born 20 June 1941;
  • OLIVER Thomas born 25 April 1921; Kathleen born 1 April 1926; Norma born 30 May 1953; Marion born 27 March 1960;
  • PATTISON Diane Roberta born 16 June 1944;
  • PELLOWE Keith born 21 October 1933; Barbara Jean (nee Ruiz) born 26 February 1934; Susan born 9 March 1961; Mark born 13 June 1962;
  • PETKEVICH Peter born 3 October 1935; Janet (nee Fowler) born 27 June 1937; Lorraine born 26 March 1957; Andrew Peter born 9 August 1963;
  • PEYTON Michael Joseph born 5 May 1942;
  • PHILLIPS Albert Gerardd born 27 September 1922; Joan (nee May) born 4 May 1925; Vivien Angela born 2 January 1948;
  • PHILLIPS George born 4 February 1924; Emily Violet (nee Thomerson) born 14 October 1926; George Edward born 6 June 1947; Janice Ann born 11 September 1948;
  • POCKETT Mansel Roy born 5 November 1930; Rosemary Edith (nee Dore) born 5 March 1932; Carolyn Lucy born 14 September 1954; Melanie Jane born 28 October 1956; Debra Elaine born 25 July 1958; Jonathan Roy born 24 February 1964;
  • RELPH Norman Edward born 12 January 1935; Mary (nee Bowe) born 20 February 1935; William Edward born 23 October 1956; Shaun born 8 August 1962;
  • REVELL Stanley born 26 January 1931; Mavis (nee Taylor) born 24 September 1931; Christine Lynn born 2 October 1954; Philip Mark born 22 June 1961;
  • REVIE Stewart born 1 September 1919; Joyce Barbara (nee Nenn) born 5 January 1926; Lesley Barbara born 21 May 1946; Jessica Olive born 29 July 1947; Christine Sheila born 2 February 1952;
  • RICHARDS George Ernest born 3 October 1914; Betty Louise (nee Cross) born 3 February 1919; Terence George Rossiter born 5 September 1945; Marion Lynette born 20 May 1949;
  • SCHOFIELD Jeffrey born 24 October 1928; Joan (nee Page) born 12 February 1929; Paul Anthony born 17 March 1951; Christopher born 7 April 1956; Beverley born 7 February 1958;
  • SCOTT David born 6 April 1942;
  • SCOTT John Gateshill born 27 November 1922; Jean (nee Shortman) born 1 November 1927; John born 26 February 1956; Vanessa born 29 September 1957;
  • SIDEBOTTOM Edward born 22 March 1927; Joyce (nee Liddle) born 6 January 1930; Christine born 16 August 1930; Beryl Angela born 16 August 1954;
  • SIMMONDS Michael James born 31 December 1942;
  • SIMMONDS Robert David born 1 May 1938;
  • SIMPSON Gerald born 23 February 1931; Doreen Mollie (nee Brown) born 13 August 1930; David Mark born 4 September 1955; Jacqueline May born 23 October 1953; Joanne Roberta born 14 May 1962;
  • SINTON Gavin Dickson born 17 November 1924; Sheila Rose (nee Clark) born 6 July 1937; Anna Lesley born 15 January 1961; Gavin Mark born 29 January 1964;
  • SMITH Joseph born 16 June 1920; Geraldine Mary (nee Geelan) born 6 May 1936; Philomena born 15 October 1956; Nora Mary born 4 May 1958; Joseph John born 22 February 1962;
  • SMITH Leonard born 15 March 1935; Patricia Elsie (nee Alcock) born 1 December 1937; Graham John born 2 February 1957; Maurice Neil born 7 February 1959; Jennifer Claire born 23 May 1964;
  • SPILLER Ian Edward born 6 June 1929; Georgina Betty (nee Bateman) born 9 June 1933; Susan Georgina born 22 March 1956; Diane Elizabeth born 27 April 1957; Janette Margaret born 22 January 1959; Beverley Anne born 10 November 1960;
  • STANFORD Terence Sidney born 6 September 1942; Carol Ann (nee Martin) born 14 November 1944;
  • STANLEY Charles Henry born 9 October 1918; Eileen Mary (nee Cooper) born 13 October 1946; Carol Ann born 13 October 1946;
  • STEELE Edward Stanley born 7 April 1927; April Joy (nee Hayward) born 29 April 1925; Elaine Lesley born 20 August 1952;
  • STRONACH David Brown born 1 December 1940; Mary (nee Niven) born 10 December 1941; David born 1 August 1962; Catherine born 9 October 1964;
  • SYMMERS Caroline born 28 October 1937;
  • TAYLOR Vincent born 21 December 1929; Margaret (nee Wardrope) born 12 March 1930; William born 5 May 1956; Sandra born 4 January 1958; Stephen born 20 March 1963;
  • THOMSON David born 1 March 1923; Lily (nee Lomax) born 1 January 1924;
  • TURNER Kenneth Hope born 15 March 1925; Daphne Mary (nee Ward) born 2 September 1922; Carol Anne born 1 January 1946; Timothy Hope born 28 February 1963;
  • TURNER Norris born 4 May 1925; Doris (nee Henthorn) born 2 June 1926; David born 13 September 1950; Marilyn born 25 September 1953;
  • TYSALL David Frank born 11 March 1943; Valerie Joy (nee Hogdgetts) born 14 February 1943;
  • VALENTINE John Thomas Wilfred born 6 September 1927; Barbara Anne Sheina (nee Killin) born 9 January 1932; Sheina Macdairmid born 16 April 1958; Iain Douglas born 2 September 1959; Joanne born 14 February 1962;
  • WAITE Herbert Raymond born 22 August 1919; Margaret Nicol (nee Aitken) born 3 June 1920; Kenneth Raymond born 4 October 1951; Brenda Anne born 7 June 1960;
  • WALLACE Joseph William John born 14 March 1942; Margaret (nee Reaney) born 23 November 1943;
  • WALLACH Robert Hart born 18 December 1929; Hilda (nee Thompson) born 31 October 1930; Hilary Jane Summers born 20 February 1957;
  • WARD Elizabeth born 25 August 1899;
  • WATERHOUSE Victor Joseph born 5 December 1919; Doreen Margaret (nee Hart) born 24 April 1923; Elizabeth Margaret Balchin born 29 March 1960;
  • WILLIAMS Trevor born 6 February 1942; Janet Millicent Delia (nee Standford) born 25 November 1941;
  • WILSON Frank born 22 October 1941; Yvonne Ann (nee Hustler) born 16 May 1944;
  • YOUNG William born 20 January 1928;

 

Arriving in Oz

Arriving in Oz

Liz indulged me for a while yesterday and patiently looked after the kids while I dug through some newspaper archives in the Qld State Library at Southbank.

I arrived by ship in Brisbane in May 1965 with my Mum, Dad and Sister. We were “Ten Pound Poms”.

I have a postcard of Ellinis sitting in my office here as I type:
RHMS Ellinis (Chandris Lines)RHMS Ellinis (Chandris Lines) (Reverse)
(Click on the images to see a larger version with more info)

So I was looking through old copies of “The Courier Mail” for evidence of the arrival, and came across a couple of announcements from the Shipping Agents of Chandris – the owners of “Ellinis” – the ship we sailed on. I came accross these notices posted by Australia Express Co. Pty Ltd:

Arriving in Oz - Part 3 of 4Arriving in Oz - Part 4 of 4
(Click on the images to see a larger version with more info)

Courier Mail 29 April 1965 Page 26

A couple of days before Ellinis arrived in Brisbane, the local shipping agent posted a notice in the city’s daily newspaper.

The ship was due to arrive on 1 May 1965 – the Saturday of the Labor Day Long Weekend. The port was very congested according to this ad.

Mum and Dad tell me that they eventually berthed at a “Wheat Wharf”, which I’m guessing was the old grain wharf at Pinkenba — on the northside of the river, out near Eagle Farm airport.

According to the other notice, Ellinis arrived at 9am on Saturday 1 May 1965.

It was the Labor Day long weekend, and in those days, Brisbane shut down for the three days. No shops were open, and most public services were operating at a minimum.

Dad says there were lots of people at the wharf waiting to greet friends and family arriving on Ellinis. They all waved from the shore as they recognized their loved ones on board.

Dad waved back, pretending he recognized someone on the shore who was supposed to be greeting us. No one was there. We were all alone in a new country. Mum was heavily pregnant with my brother Kevin, with my sister, who had just turned 1 year old, and me, who had just turned three.

We were bussed to “Yungaba” – a temporary migrant hostel under the Story Bridge, and put into large dormitories. Women and kids in one dorm, men in the other.

That night, laying in a strange dormitory full of unfamiliar people, we could hear the “thud, thud, thud” of cars driving over the bridge above us.

I’ve got a few other photos which I’ll try and dig up and post here soon.

If you’re interested, I’ve included more details from the page of the Courier Mail that each ad was on, so you can get an idea of what was happening in town at the time. It’s a bit boring – the ad was in the “Classified Ads” section, which doesn’t really make for riveting reading!

Arriving in Oz - Part 1 of 4Arriving in Oz - Part 2 of 4
(Click on the images to see a larger version with more info)
Courier Mail 30 April 1965 Page 28

Incidentally, can you see that ad for radio station 4BK on the second page? That radio station is now known as “B105”. But in 1965, they didn’t have FM radio, so they broadcast on the AM Band.

But that’s another story.

Links for Ten Pound Poms

There are many online resources that can help you find more info about your Ten Pound Pom history. If you have any, please let me know and I’ll add them to the list.

The National Archives of Australia has a comprehensive Record Search facility that lets you query details of anyone who arrived in Australia as a Ten Pound Pom. Retrieve info such as the name of the ship, the date of departure and arrival, other passengers on the ship. You can even order a digital copy of all documents related to your journey.

The ABC has published a DVD entitled “Ten Pound Poms” which “tells the story of nine Britons who took the gamble of migrating to Australia in the post war years”.

PictureAustralia.org by The National Library of Australia is a compilation of historical photos, maps, documents and works of art.

Picture Australia also lets you share your own photographic history of Australia via Flickr in these groups:
Picture Australia: People, places and events
Picture Australia: Ourtown
Re-Picture Australia

Members of the cruising community at CruiseCritic.com discuss their Ten Pound Pom heritage.

Wolfram Dallwitz has collated some wonderful pictures of RHMS Ellinis. Ellinis was just one of many ships that brought migrants to Australia.

Migration Journeys by Sea
Fred Feddes writes about his migration experience and round the word journey by ship aboard RHMS Ellinis.
Maritime Historian Reuben Goossens has collated these stories at ssMaritime.com:
Theo Kroon writes about his journey from Amsterdam to Wellington NZ in in 1956.
Tom Boelen writes about his journey by sea from The Hague to Brisbane Australia.
Harold Weis writes about a fire at sea aboard Skaubryn.
Harold Woering remembers his sea voyage from Rotterdam to New York in 1956.
Piet Mulder’s journey to Melbourne aboard Sitmar’s SS Fairsky.

About TenPoundPoms.com

I originally created http://TenPoundPoms.com as a resource to share my family’s migration experience in the 1960’s. This history is important to me. I want my kids to know how we got here. Understanding this gives me a better idea of who we are today.

By exploring my own history, I also discovered that many other people had a similar experience.

There are millions of “Ten Pound Poms” and their descendants throughout the world today.

So I’ve decided to expand this site to help other people get in touch with their Ten Pound Pom history.