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Today's quote:

Sunday, July 5, 2020

"You only had to look at your plate to know what day of the week it was."


Bonegilla, the migrant reception centre - my first "home" in Australia for just two days - has set up an online exhibition called "So Much Sky" which brings back memories of those uncertain early days almost fifty-five years ago - see here.

After only two days at Bonegilla, I worked for less than two months as "trainee manager" with Coles in Melbourne, followed by another two months as truckdriver for Ingram & Sons, a hardware store in Canberra.

Then, still penniless and "fern der Heimat", just four months after my arrival and having just turned twenty, I became a bank officer with the Australia & New Zealand Bank, starting a new career in a new country.

Not that this was the end of my privations as I faced - and, strangely, enjoyed - many more years in boarding houses and mess halls which is why the comment "There was always plenty to eat, but every now and then it got boring. You only had to look at your plate to know what day of the week it was" on the "So Much Sky" webpage resonates with me.

After Bonegilla came the Capital Hill Hostel and Barton House in Canberra, a couple of boarding houses in Sydney, the Public Works Department mess hall in Rabaul in Papua New Guinea, and by the time the Bonegilla Centre closed in 1971, I was still living in Camp 1 on the Bougainville Copper Project. Bonegilla had been a great introduction!

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