In 1989 my brother Peter Uwe came to visit us. He stayed with us for a few weeks. Unfortunately it rained most of the time while he stayed with us at Oak Flats. Only during our one weeks stay with him at Sussex Inlet we had beautiful sunshine. Looking at this blog about Sussex Inlet brings back memories. Here is the link to the blog about Sussex Inlet in April of 1989:
Last month we had many very warm days. There were plenty of opportunities for me to dip into some water. I enjoyed this very much! I think the following picture was taken on Thursday, the 24th of Jan 2019. We met Monika with little Carter (2) at Dapto Pool. And a bit later Ebony joined us with Lucas (6) and Alexander (4).
So, it is February now. After a few very hot days when the temperature went up to close to 40C, it is all of a sudden remarkably cooler. We even have quite a bit of rain today.
A couple of days ago, on Thursday, we spent quite some time in Stockland Shellharbour. Peter was able to settle the payment that occurred due to the car accident from the other week. The lady at the NRMA branch office was extremely helpful. To visit the bracnh office was a good idea. Communication was so much better than on the phone. It would have been too difficult for Peter to settle everything on the phone. Being in the Stockland Shellharbour Shopping Centre on that day, had also the advantage that we had air-conditioning. I mean it felt pleasantly cool in the Shopping Centre, whereas outside we had 39C on that day. However later in the afternoon the temperature dropped by about 20 degrees, and there were some strong gusts of rather cool wind!
We had some coffee in the Shopping Centre. And we bought grapes, peaches, honeydew, sprouts, some lovely stone baked sourdough bread plus a lot of other things in a huge fresh food store.
Now I still want to mention a few things about the accident. In that area in front of the Stockland Shellharbour Shopping Centre, where the accident occurred, there should perhaps be some speed restrictions. That would make it much easier for people to line up in the correct lane. So there are two lanes. One leads accross an intersection straight ahead, the other one also leads to the intersection with traffic lights and with the possibility to turn off right to another intersection with traffic lights. We wanted to go straight ahead. We had come from ALDI furter down on the right side. With no problem at all Peter joined the right lane where a lot of cars had piled up. They were all standing waiting to be able to move to the intersection. There were no cars in the left lane which Peter wanted to join for he had planned to go straight ahead when crossing the intersection. Peter looked whether there were any cars coming from behind on the left lane. There were no cars. So he indicated he wanted to turn into the right lane. Maybe this is where his mistake was. I mean he would never change lanes without indicating. I am sure this comes automatically. But why not first indicate and then look whether the lane was clear? It is possible that he indicated a f t e r he looked back and then proseeded rather slowly but without looking back again. In the meantime a car bumped into him that definitely had not been going slowly for in front of that car there were no other cars. If that cardriver had been able to see Peter’s indicator, she would probably have slowed down. But apparently for some reason she had not been able to see Peter’s indicator and Peter had not seen her approaching. Peter thought it was best to admit his fault and pay for part on the other car’s damage. The NRMA insurance comes up for the rest if the damage is such that there is more to pay. We think the door on the other car probably needs replacing.
Peter said I could copy what he wrote yesterday. Here are his thoughts on Australia Day:
Peter Hannemann <firstname.lastname@example.org>
“Today is Australia Day. And I want all of you to have a great day if you can during this massive heatwave. Kids take drugs at concerts around the country and adults down beers as they watch their BBQ turning meat into charcoal. Australia Day has in the last few years turned into a day of controversy. For the Aborigines of this ancient continent, it is “Sorry Day”. They remember it as their “Day of Infamy”. But we also have great people in Australia who are able to verbalise what is going on. Stan Grant is such a person. He is a unique person who unites in himself all the DNA of the Indigenous people and the early settlers. His forbearers were standing across each other on that fateful day in 1788 when Captain Arthur Phillips dropped anchor in Port Jackson and let his cargo of misfits disembark. This is the day we are celebrating today with as much jingoistic noise as we can. But Stan Grant offers us another view of what is happening in Australia. His head is full of the combined memory of Kooei and European culture. Please, make the time on this Australia Day 2019 and read his contribution. ” (The link to his article is at the top of this page!)
SO, THIS IS WHAT PETER WROTE FOR AUSTRALIA DAY. AND NOW I ALSO WANT TO MENTION THAT I DID SEE YESTERDAY A LOT OF VERY INTERESTING PROGRAMS ON ABC AND ON SBS. There was a very good program on SBS about the Cocos Islands in the Indian Ocean that are an Australian Territory since 1955. The islands’ history and present population is full of controversy. The problems that are pointed too are thought provoking.
And this morning I found a few interesting links in connection with Australia Day. Here are some of the links:
Sorry, these are a lot of links. I already glanced at a lot of these articles. It seems to me we live in very interesting times of change. There is definitely a lot of change in the air. Whether these changes are good for all of us or only for a few, who can tell?
The day after. After what? Well, on the way home yesterday we had a little incident. Luckily nobody got hurt. There is only a little bit of damage on two cars, ours and someone else’s.
I the meantime Peter found the insurance papers for our car on the internet! He reckons he could copy them and install them on his phone so he could look them up anytime.
This reminded me how flustered and helpless I felt yesterday when Peter went looking through all the papers in the glovebox of the car and couldn’t find the insurance papers. I felt awful not being able to help him in any way while the nice very polite lady from the other car was left standing in the hot afternoon sun.
I could not resist publishing this older blog once more. It certainly does bring back memories!
This pictures was taken in Düsseldorf, Germany, in a park called ‘Hofgarten’, on 17th June 1958. Gaby was not quite nine months yet at the time.
This pictures was taken by Uta’s Mum on her balcony in Berlin in August 1958. Gaby was nearly one year old. We were for a visit in Berlin at the time.
This pictures was taken near Fairy Meadow Beach, New South Wales, Australia, in June 1960.
This is where the pioneer family ended up in Oak Flats, NSW, Australia, which was ‘the sticks’ at the time. This picture was taken on the 28th August 1960 which was Gaby’s birthday. We were building a garage at the time. One year later the children were stricken by polio; as it turned out, Gaby very severely.
I wrote the above in January 2013. I was looking for a photo from our Berlin visit in August 1958 and found one in this blog. I was pregnant at the time. In December our daughter Monika was born in Düsseldorf where we had one room in my father’s apartment. We thought being given the opportunity to go to Australia as migrants was the best thing that could have happened to us.
11 Responses to “The “Pioneer Family””
January 23, 2013 at 4:47 pm Edit #
The beginning in Australia was tough and sometimes we felt like a “pioneer family”.. On the beach picture you can clearly see the Fairy Meadow Hostel were we lived for a while.
January 23, 2013 at 5:18 pm Edit #
You’re right, Peter, the beach was only a few steps away from the hostel. I thought it was great to have the beach so close. The picture you refer to was taken in June, in the middle of the Australian winter!
Robert M. WeissR
January 25, 2013 at 8:41 am Edit #
Great archival type photos, which reminds me it’s time to straighten up our family photos.
January 25, 2013 at 11:12 am Edit #
Thanks for commenting, Robert. I read your profile, which is very interesting. Do you do any writing? You seem to be a very contemplative person. If you’re writing, I’d like to hear more about it.
January 26, 2013 at 12:00 pm Edit #
I love the old photos. Your family was beautiful. My youngest sister Gerry had polio when she was two years old. Fortunately she had no lingering effects, and recovered completely. I was ten at the time. I remember how scared we all were.
January 26, 2013 at 6:01 pm Edit #
Hi, Pam. We always love to look at all our old photos. Gaby was severely effected, She became a quadriplegic and needed an iron lung.
Monika had some lingering effects in one of her legs and Martin recovered completely. It was a very scary time for us when all three children suffered from the disease.
January 27, 2013 at 2:44 am Edit #
I can’t even imagine how terrified you and Peter must have been with all three children seriously ill at the same. My middle daughter is a public health lawyer. She has asked me lots of questions about the polio epidemics. I’ll tell her about your family’s story. Thanks for sharing it. Pat
Three Well Beings
January 26, 2013 at 4:56 pm Edit #
I really enjoyed seeing family photos, Uta. From what you’re sharing, the children were very young when they contracted polio. I cannot imagine how difficult that must have been! I do remember when that disease frightened families and changed lives forever!
January 26, 2013 at 6:07 pm Edit #
That’s right, Debra, they all contracted polio. Martin was 1, Monika 2 and Gaby was struck down with the disease on her fourth birthday. No vaccinations were available at the time. A bit later oral vaccinations were introduced. I think this stopped the spread of polio in Australia.
Three Well Beings
January 26, 2013 at 6:50 pm Edit #
I really can’t imagine, Uta! As a mom, this must have been devastating. They were just babies. I’m a little awed you can even talk about it. oxo
January 26, 2013 at 8:45 pm Edit #
It was a very emotional time for Peter too. All three children were admitted to Wollongong Hospital. Gaby went on to Intensive Care at Prince Henry Hospital in Sydney where she was in a coma. According to the specialist there was not much chance of her surviving. We had gone in the ambulance with her and stayed with her through the night. Early in the morning we went back to Wollongong on the milk-train. That morning after a lot of weeping we went to see Monika and Martin in Wollongong Hospital. Martin Baby soon became the darling of the nurses. He looked so cute. When we saw him he started throwing all the toys out of his cot the nurses had put in there for him. Monika was more sick than Martin and absolutely quiet. A few days later Martin was allowed to go back home. We were overwhelmed when we had him back home. Monika had to stay in hospital a bit longer. Once she was home she was referred to a specialist who treated her leg. Some muscles were weakened because of polio. She had to wear special boots and a splint on her left leg which she hated!
Peter and I are spending this weekend at home in Dapto. It is now already Sunday afternoon. It feels to me that yesterday and today were very normal days for us. Having done some shopping on Friday, we had plenty of food in the house. Since the great heat had left us, we felt like doing a bit more cooking over the weekend. On Saturday we also spent a bit of time doing some cleaning of the house. Peter did the vaccuming. I soon got tired of wiping the floor. I did get very, very tired and soon rested a bit, and then rested a bit more. Peter and I played some Rummicub Games. We also watched some great programs on RBB (Rundfunk Berlin Brandenburg). Yes, Peter has no problem getting these programs in from far, far away. This is really amazing technic!
After several nights when the room temperature did not go below 27C, last night the room temperature had gone down to 24C, and this felt really cool to us. The outside temperature went even further down during the night. This morning when we woke up, it was only 22C outside, inside it was still 24C despite our open window. Anyhow, we felt really refreshed and went for our usual morning walk, had our usual Sunday breakfast with soft boiled eggs, watched on TV the news (including a speech by President Trump!) and then at 9 am the news from Germany. After the German news we had a very pleasant morning tea. Before having to start cooking lunch, I had a bit over an hour left. I felt somehow quite energetic. I thought this was maybe a good time to spend the hour to investigate what sort of writing needed to be sorted out. So I took time out to look through a box of old stuff I had not been looking at for quite some time. It mostly contained papers from the early 2000s. But there was also some writing from August 1957. I was in hospital at the time, having delivered our first born child on the 28th of August 1957. In the hospital I seem to have had plenty of time for writing, since the hours when I was allowed to see my precious baby were few and far between. For some reason they seem to have thought that babies were best kept in the nursery under the care of the sisters. Only for a few very restricted times were the babies be brought to their mothers for breast feeding.
I said that on Saturday, after a bit of cleaning in the morning, I soon felt very, very tired. I had acually planned on visiting a couple of neighbouring properties that were open for inspection yesterdy at certain times during the morning and early afternoon. There are two villas that are for sale for about half a million Dollars each, and they belong to our complex of ten villas. I had been interested in finding out how well these properties had been renovated as compared to our villa that we have lived in for nearly 25 years now. I feel that our poor house has not been sufficiently renovated over the years. Let’s just say it looks ‘well lived in’. Well, yesterday was the first time that an open house was advertised. Most likely there are going to be other open days before suitable buyers are being found. So maybe next time I’ll feel up to it to have a look. After all, these houses are only a few steps from our house.
The Indian Pacific Train Trip Perth to Sydney takes now usually about 65 hours. The SBS showed today this same trip within close to 15 hours. Everything had been filmed life, but apparently these 65 hours had been cut to about 15 hours. We watched today only about half of these 15 hours. (The program apparently started today already very early in the morning!) Even watching only about half the program did give us a good impression what it is like to be on the Indian Pacific. Right now it is not quite finished yet. According to the timetable, provided by SBS, this program, that we have been watching for so many hours already, should be finished in about one hour. So I go back now to watch how the train that has just left the Blue Mountains is approaching Sydney. I am looking forward to see how it arrives at Sydney Central!
One hour later: Yes,we have been watching now how the train moved towards Sydney Central along a train line that we are very familar with. They said, all in all the trip fom Perth lasted this time 66 hours.