To leave the only place you've ever called home and saying goodbye to all your loving family and friends must have been so heartbreaking for Mum and Dad and their first huge challenge.
The next would be getting to their ports of departure in Napoli and stepping onto these huge passenger ships that would take them away from all that they knew. They made some friends on the ships and talked about their new adventure, but still unsure inside as their hearts were still back home. They would be arriving in a foreign country and not knowing the language or the people and their cultures.
Trying to get a job with not speaking much English and trying to make new friends along the way. Another big challenge was to learn how to catch buses and trains so that you could get to work. Making sure when you had to get on and off them. Making sure that you would leave home in time as to not miss them. There were no alarm clocks back then. Your mind was your only clock as not everyone could afford a watch. People just helped each other out.
It must of been a huge challenge for both my amazing parents, but they both found work not long after arriving in Melbourne. They both made great friends and learnt about living in Australia and their cultures. They learnt to speak English and be a part of their new home. They also become Australian Citizens on 19th June, 1979.
Before Dad had met Mum he went to learn English at the Dandenong West Primary School as in the evenings they would have English classes. He did learn alot and he had this book that I now have that would help him practice. He loved going as it was a chance to meet new people. They would give each other advice too as everyone's experiences although similar were very different.
Not alot of migrants had their licences back then and especially not the women so getting your licence was a challenge, but it probably was alot easier than now in some ways.
Dad wasn't very happy with Mum when she had surprised him with a driving lesson, but he was happy when he had come home back from the lesson. Mum thought to ask for a lady teacher as Dad might not get upset with her and he didn't. They eventually bought their first car, but it was after 4years of marriage and after Dad had to walk over an hour each way just to get to work and back. These days most young people don't even like to walk. If only they knew.