Tuesday, June 12, 2018

R flies to Australia

R was fed up with life in England, a life of grimness, rain, miserable people and unemployment. Canada, South Africa and Australia desperately wanted immigrants for varying reasons and of course British immigrants were a good and easy fit for these countries. While he had an aunt who emigrated to Saskatchewan (I really relied on spell checker with that name) in Canada, he did not want to go from one cold country to another. Apartheid and political instability ruled out South Africa and Australia's High Commision in London produced gorgeous photo brochures designed to attract immigrants,  to sunny Australian beaches, modern suburbs,  a nice new Holden car, work for all and happy families.

The cost to emigrate to Australia was £10, which sounds quite cheap, but it was a substantial sum then, perhaps a few weeks wages for a basic worker.

He flew to Australia, as one of the very early ten pound poms to fly rather than travel by ship. The BOAC Boeing 707 from London stopped in New York, San Francisco and Hawaii, (later: I left out Fiji) before finally landing in Sydney.



On the trip he met a lass his same age. They got along well and once in Australia and briefly being in the same migrant hostel, they formed a relationship. I think I remember him telling me that they 'did the biz'. They lived together in a Sydney shared flat for a short time and became engaged, and then R confessed where his real attraction lay. She did not take it well and I don't think he ever saw her again. I must ask him about it again, one day when he has partaken of a glass of wine or two and his tongue is loosened.

If it was me, I would Google her to find out how her life turned out, but R is not so focused on the past as I am, perhaps a good thing.

He left Sydney and via Queensland and Tasmania, ended up in Melbourne. He liked Melbourne. It reminded him of England more than any other Australian city (perhaps not a good thing).

Where did this post come from? I read that around the world Boeing 747 planes are being retired and not before time, but they were great and large capacity long distance aircraft. They first came onto the market in 1970, hence me asking R what aircraft he travelled on to fly to Australia, the same year as he arrived here. BOAC bought some 747 planes in 1970 but due to pay disputes with pilots and other staff, BOAC did not fly them until 1971.

41 comments:

  1. Loved to hear about R's reasons for moving to Aus. Hope you are going to continue the saga.

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    1. Marie, I don't know there is much more to tell. Well of course there is, but I am not sure he want me to say too much. I will see.

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  2. Echoiing Fun60. If R permits I would love to hear more. My mother, her husband and my brothers travelled by ship (a few decades earlier). Apparently when they landed in Perth my brothers saw their first fruit shop (rationing was still limiting the fruit in the UK).

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    1. EC, funnily this morning I heard about a Sudanese lass who when arriving in Australia at the age of 9 was so excited to see a basket of apples, a luxury back where she came from.

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  3. Anonymous8:55 am

    Did a search. Other ten pound poms include the Bee Gees family, the Easybeats, Hugh Jackman's parents, fast bowler Harold Larwood, Ian Roberts, Alan Bond and Julia Gillard. And Toxic Tony Abbott, the only time the scheme is thought to have failed. - Ian

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    1. I didn't know about Roberts. Also Red Symons from the band Skyhooks. Haha about Abbott.

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  4. Crikey Andrew ..... Mum would be googling that sheila too. Lucky you and she aren't cats, aye?? Curiosity kills those blokes. She would love to hear more about R's younger days.

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    1. Charlie, yes, it is hard being curious at times. Thanks.

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  5. It takes so much guts to emigrate

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    1. Indeed it is John, indeed it is.

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  6. I recall the early days of the 747s flying to Australia. Watching from my position on the sand at Bondi Beach (those were still the days of all day Beach sun tanning by me) I marvelled at their descent into Sydney Airport. So slow did they seem in descent they appeared to hover and I wondered how they didn’t stall and fall to the sea.

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    1. Victor, I too have wondered at large planes flying very slowly. I guess the pilots know what they are doing, mostly.

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  7. Lot of people in world sure is moving about. I'm close to Canada and they come down and shop, but they go home.
    Now our Mexican border is complete different story.
    It a crazy world...Coffee is on

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    1. Dora, yes, and it is a bit naughty of them to shop in the US where taxes are lower, but wan't all the benefits back in Canada.

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  8. Those brochures must have really looked attractive back then for so many people came out to live and work in Australia - and I don't how what it would have been like to live in England way back then, or even now..
    Always interesting to read how people came to Australia and made it their home.

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    1. Margaret, certainly as R described the brochures, they must have been very attractive. It could be pretty miserable back then, but the country is very different now, certainly where R comes from.

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  9. Whenever a child leaves home to emigrate to another country, he or she leaves broken hearted parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Clearly R made a great decision for himself and for Australia, but hopefully his family wrote, emailed and visited their son often.

    My son migrated to Israel 20 years ago

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    1. Hels, there was some resentment but did keep in touch with his family. I'm sure you wish your son was much closer.

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  10. I'd not realised the "ten-pound Poms" immigration carried through to 1982. I was under the impressing that system had ceased long before then.

    Live and learn. :)

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    1. Lee, did it really. Strange when we also taking in lots of Indo-Chinese refugees before then.

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    2. "Impression" is what I meant to type.

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  11. If R flew to Oz in around 1970, £10 was more like half a week's wage for a lowly worker. I was paying £10 a week just for my London flat in 1965.

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    1. Cro, thanks. I made a poor guess.

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  12. The Boeing 747 is such a beautiful plane to watch. I will be very sad to see them go. :(

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    1. Snoskred, beautiful to watch but no longer really acceptable flight comfort standards.

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  13. Considering today's wages and prices etc, it's hard to remember that back then, Ten pounds really WAS a lot of money for a lot of people. I think here in the 70s we were better off, having already converted to the dollar (1966) and seen prices and wages rise quite a bit. Imagine trying to fly anywhere now, for ten pounds.

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    1. Then pounds sounds a lot to me, especially if it was the early 1960s when we had pounds. Just assuming UK£10 is AU$20, that was a lot of money in 1970. My first wage was only about $28 I think. But Cro seems to be correct, half a weeks wage.

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    2. perhaps we've got it wrong. I remember my first wage in 1969 being $70 and thinking I was terribly rich, being only 17 at the time. Adult wages then must have been more than that.
      If Ten pounds was a lot of money in 1970, perhaps England was a very poor country back then, with very low wages?

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    3. Yes, perhaps we have. My first wage was as an apprentice, so that would be very low. My first in the job I am now in, back in 1979 was $130.

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  14. We were amongst those early lucky travellers. Took us ages to save the £10 but we did it.
    Would you like the take a six week 'cruise' or a 2 day flight? we were asked
    What do you think I said.
    November 1972 saw us boarding an aeroplane that took a similar route as Rs (only via Fiji) to bring our 5 youngsters to this beautiful country.
    Thanks for the memory Andrew- you've given me a great idea for a post.

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    1. Cathy, I forgot Fiji, so it was the same route, just two years later. So do you reckon £10 was about half a weeks wage back then?

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  15. ABC tonight has a bit about our new Northern Connector road/expressway which my brother is working on.

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    1. River, thanks. I will investigate.

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  16. I was fortunate to have traveled on the Boeing 747 during the 90's. Will always be able to recall those lift offs. Anyway, thanx for the post and hope you are well.

    Cheers

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    1. Padre, the 90s is perhaps when they should have thought about retiring the 747s.

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  17. I had no idea the 10 pound scheme went into the 70's. Immigration to Australia costs a hell of a lot of money nowadays and only well off people can afford it!
    I wonder what the sea route would have been like?

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    1. Sami, as per a comment, until 1982! I think the sea trip was ok, especially for people who had never travelled before. I think the first Australian port ships stopped at was your Albany.

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  18. My dad made that choice all those years ago but he picked Rhodesia, I'm glad he did, growing up in Central Africa was brilliant.. apartheid was the reason South Africa was out too! I'm as happy to be here in Perth as I'm sure R is to be in Melbourne ✨

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    1. Grace, I think for children, Rhodesia must have been a wonderful place. For both black and white, it is a shame how the country turned out post independence.

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  19. England is about the size of Oregon and probably about the same climate. Not sure. Rainy, gray, and people do not seem happy a lot of the time. Is different elsewhere?

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    1. Strayer, maybe you are right about England. I have visited twice and the people do complain a lot, but that is supposed to be a characteristic of English people.

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