Some more Pictures from our Weekend at Sussex Inlet in June 2019

 

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The above pictures I took early on Saturday morning on the 1st of June 2019.

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On that weekend at Sussex Inlet, Peter and I as well as our daughter Monika remembered our arrival in Australia 60 years ago, that is we arrived at Port Melbourne on the 31st of May 1959 when Monika was barely 6 months old!

Monika’s partner, her two sons and three daughters (one daughter pregnant with her second child!) and also their partners and Monika’s 3 grandchildren and our 59 year old son Martin (Monika’s brother)  were all cebrating with us. Still, there were a few other family members that could not come to Sussex Inlet on that weekend. But some we had been seeing earlier on in May. On the last weekend of June, that is this month, we are going to be in Newcastle to celebrate the 21st birthday of Martin’s younger daughter Lauren.

This is what I wrote in May after we had had quite a few visitors on Mothers Day:

“We had quite a few visitors yesterday for Mothers Day. Come to think of it, all the mothers that were visiting, were already grandmothers. And I am even a great-grandmother! I was so happy, that great-grandons Lucas and Alexander were visiting too yesterday! And Peter actually did hand out roses yesterday to all the visiting mothers. I think they liked this very much.

So, for about three hours in the afternoon we had a large crowd in our house. Daughters Monika and Caroline did most of the catering. This was very relaxing for me.

Monika had come with her daughter Natasha and her son Troy had come with his fiancee Antonina. Troy’s twin-brother Ryan and wife Ebony spent the afternoon with Ebony’s family, but Troy and Nina had brought their nephews Lucas and Alexander along to our plae. Caroline’s husband Matthew and Monika’s partner Mark had come too, and Mark had brought his mother Merl along.”

As far as the 1st of June is concerned, I reflected that on the 1st of June 1959 we had already settled into our accommodation at Bonegilla, Victoria. I wrote about it here:

https://auntyuta.com/2019/06/17/how-we-settled-in-australia/

 

Diary June 2019

We arrived from Germany on the SS Strathaird, a British P & O liner. We actually disembarked in Port Melbourne on the 31st of May 1959.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Strathaird

The Strathaird had come from England with a lot of British migrants and stopped at Cuxhaven to pick up more migrants from Germany.  So, Peter, myself and our two baby daghters were among all of those German migrants. We had stayed at Bremen-Lesum overnight. From Bremen-Lesum goes a direct train-line to Cuxhaven.  All the migrants, that had stayed together with us at Bremen-Lesum, were taken by train to our destination at Cuxhaven where the Strathaird was already waiting for us.

The Strathaird took five weeks to reach Port Melbourne. It was the most terrific cruise we had on that ocean liner! We were treated like first class passengers. We could not believe how lucky we were. So, this was 60 years ago in 1959!!!

This year we drove to Sussex Inlet on Friday, 31st of May, to celebrate this 60 year Anniversary with our extended Australian family. Most of them also arrived on Friday; some more people actually did arrive on Saturday, the 1st of June. Saturday night we had a great barbecue that was enjoyed by all.

All of us left our beautiful holiday place early on Sunday. Some of us stopped at the Lone Pine on our way home. I did like this very much!

How we settled in Australia

   This is a copy of a blog that I published in  August 2011:

Life in AustraliaMemories 

We disembarked in Port Melbourne on the 31st of May, 1959. The same day a train took us from Melbourne to the Bonegilla Hostel (near Albury/Wodonga).

https://www.bonegilla.org.au/visit-us/images/BME-Site-Guide.pdf

The train was a special train for us migrants who had come on the S.S. STRAITHAIRD to Port Melbourne.

 

Around lunch-time we stopped in what seemed to be the middle of nowhere. There were two long huts. Some Australian volunteer ladies were about to serve us a warm meal in these huts. One hut was designated for women and children, the other for men. Each hut was equipped with long tables and benches.

It was lunch-time. The meal for us consisted of meat with three vegies: Potatoes, carrots and peas. The peas were straight away called ‘Kuller-Erbsen’ by some German migrants for they thought the peas weren’t soft enough. They kept joking they were just good enough to be ‘kullert’ (rolled around)!

Peter was most upset that he wasn’t allowed to sit with me and the children. ‘I could’ve helped you with the feeding of the babies,’ he said. ‘Why on earth wouldn’t they let me sit with you?’ Yes, I would have loved Peter to be with us for the meal. Nonetheless, I felt that the feeding of the newcomers was well organised. I thought we ought to be thankful that they went to a lot of trouble to provide a warm meal for all of us. Strangely enough, I even liked the ‘Kuller-Erbsen’. The meat-rissoles were tasty and suitable to be fed to the babies. Besides, they had allowed us enough time for our lunch; we did not feel rushed at all. — And there were special chairs for all the babies! That gave me the feeling that Australians liked children. In Germany we had never seen a baby-chair in any public place!

In the evening our train stopped at a siding close to the Bonegilla Migrant Hostel. It was still early evening, but already pitch dark. And we could immediately feel that it was going to be a very cold night.

At the Hostel we were assigned two rooms in one of the huts. One room contained two single beds with two sheets and four Army blankets on each bed. In the other room were two baby cots, also with sheets and warm baby blankets. Both rooms were freezing cold. An electric radiator was in each room. We decided we would use only one room to sleep in, and use the other room as a store-room for our luggage and for one of the cots. One of the cots fitted into our bedroom. So we let our twenty-one months old baby sleep in it. Our six months old baby was to sleep in her pram, of course also in the same room with us. We pushed the two single beds together to make one big bed. One of the Army blankets we hung over the window as an extra buffer against the cold. Using both radiators for the one room it was soon pleasantly warm.

 Before bedtime we were given another hot meal in the huge dining hall. We were told every day we would get breakfast, lunch and dinner in the dining hall. The meals were served from a counter. And again there was no shortage of baby-chairs for all the little ones!

For breakfast there was always semolina available, which was cooked in creamy milk. Our babies liked to eat it and so did I. Most German grown-ups didn’t like it at all and would complain that this sort of food was served every morning.

 Nonetheless, this was not the only breakfast food. There was always toast and butter and jams as well as other hot cooked food; for instance baked beans, scrambled or boiled eggs or fried eggs with bacon. I think there was also fruit-juice on offer and of course hot tea as well as coffee. The coffee would not have been made the way Germans liked it, but I’m sure I thought by myself, we had really nothing to complain about!

 We had severely cold nights during the month of June and wonderful sunshine during the day. We could use an outside laundry free of charge. There were a number of huge kettles and laundry tubs. Most mornings we boiled nappies in one of the kettles. After having rinsed those nappies in one of the laundry tubs, they were hung outside on one of the long clothes-lines. The sun quickly dried them. Taking the dry nappies of the line, they smelled wonderfully fresh! Some of the women made some rather sly remarks about how Peter was always around to help me with the babies as well as all the daily washing. They were probably envious that their husbands didn’t help them as much!

 We soon made friends with another German couple who had two babies of about the same age as our babies. During the day we often went for walks with them. The fresh air was good for all of us, especially for the babies, two of them being pushed around in their prams, while the other two could already walk a bit and when they got tired they could sit on a little seat which was fastened to the front of the pram.

 This other German family had been neighbours of ours on the S.S. Straithaird. The voyage on that P & O ocean-liner had been absolutely first class: Families with very small children had been accommodated on C-Deck with private cabins for each family! The cabins were large enough for double bunks for the parents as well as room for two cots. Right next to our cabin we had our own private bathroom, where the steward would fill the bathtub for us with hot seawater. He did this twice daily. Next to the bathtub was a dish which was filled with hot softwater for soaping ourselves.

 Every morning our steward collected our baby nappies to take them to the laundry-service, for which we had to pay some money. We were not allowed to wash nappies in the communal laundry, which people could use for free. Our voyage lasted for five weeks. For a five weeks nappy-service we had sufficient money, only just. Naturally we could not buy anything in the shops on board the ship. This did not in the least matter to us. All the meals on board for the passengers were absolutely first class! We regarded this sea-voyage as the best holiday we ever had.

 In Bonegilla we were immediatly given ‘dole’-money, since nobody had started work yet. The migrant workers were given a choice to look around themselves for a job or to start working in the Port Kembla Steelworks in Wollongong. Peter chose to go to Wollongong, a pleasant town at the Pacific Ocean. (We still live in the area!) Most migrants chose to start in the Steelworks. For a number of years Peter worked in the Steelworks with a gang of brush-handpainter climbing onto very high chimneys in order to paint these chimneys.

 Over the years Peter has had lots of different jobs. He was never out of work. It was like that in the sixties: There were always jobs available for everyone. People did not have to be afraid of losing their job. In the seventies Peter joined the railways and eventually was an ASM (Assistant Station Master). He worked then for the railways until his retirement.

 We raised four children in Australia. We are debtfree and own our own home. We never regretted that we left Germany to live in Australia. However we like to go back to Germany for visits. We’ve done so a number of times. 

Thirty Years ago

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These pictures are from the RBTU Holiday Park.

https://www.visitnsw.com/destinations/south-coast/jervis-bay-and-shoalhaven/jervis-bay/accommodation/rtbu-holiday-park

 

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:

https://auntyuta.com/sussex-inlet-5/

My, my, my, this was nearly thirty years ago!

 


Soon after waking up in the morning Caroline, Troy and Ryan go outside to greet a kangaroo.

 

Caroline with her Dad

Ryan and his boat