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Today's quote:

Monday, April 21, 2014

Aboard T/V FLAVIA in July 1965



No one ever emigrates because of the success they've enjoyed at home. No one ever says, "Well, I have a happy home life, I'm rich and I have many friends - so I'm off." The only reason anyone has for going to live in another country is because they've cocked everything up in their own.

Being just nineteen years old, my opportunities for cocking things up had been rather limited by the time I left; in fact, my only - and certainly biggest - cock-up until then had been that I allowed myself to be born to parents who were so dirt-poor that they packed me off to work as soon as I had reached the minimum school-leaving age of fourteen.

If I had become what I was intended to be, I would probably have been desperate, because I would have had regrets. You know, like you work in an office and you say, "One day I will go to see the world." Instead, I went to see the world and I said, "Maybe one day I will be obliged to work in an office."

Some people see and some people don't see; much the same way they hear music or they hear noise, they only use their vision so as not to bump into trees or fall into a ditch. My vision was more than that and it led me to emigrate to Australia of which I wrote in this article.

Some 229 German "assisted migrants" (as well as a similar number of Dutch and a lesser number of Poms) were on board the ship FLAVIA with me and I have sometimes wondered how their lives turned out. Well, one person, now residing on the Gold Coast, read my article and sent me this email:

"Hello Peter,

I haven't finished reading your webpage yet as I'm too emotional. My parents and I were on the Flavia with you. I was only 4 but still have many memories of that voyage. Mum is sitting here with me, also quite teary. I came across your webpage when I googled 'Flavia'. Thank you for the memories. Yes, we are still in Australia, living on the Gold Coast. Mum sends her regards, unfortunately dad has dementia.

I do have photos, including a group photo the day King Neptune came on board. I'll scan them and email them to you, perhaps there's one with you.

Regards Anja"

Thank you for the photos, Anja! Unfortunately, I am in none of them - I was probably sitting in my cabin below the waterline, trying to learn English ☺ - but I publish them anyway as someone else may recognise him- or herself in one of the photos and email me.