My Mother and Father decided to come to Australia from Germany. In 1963, just after Christmas, we started our long journey. I was only 5, but I remember travelling by train from Waldshut (in the Black Forest) to the northern port Bremerhaven, where we set sail. It was a long trip and I remember sleeping on the train. The villages were under a blanket of snow. After 6 weeks sailing on the "Flavia"... for us it was a holiday. We ate in the dinning room, which to us was wonderful. We played and swam in the pool.. which was only filled to a about a metre or so. So that the children could swim. When we crossed the equator we had a Neptune Party for crossing over. We landed in Melbourne, where again, we boarded a train for Bonegilla Migrant camp at Wodonga. We were there for about 3 months. My Dad wanted to go to Sydney, so we headed off to Scheyville Migrant camp near Windsor. Where we stayed for 6 months before finding a house in Cattai. We made friends with others in and around the camp. I don't have any camp photos. I was the eldest girl (6), and a big brother 19mths older, and 3 younger brothers and 2 sisters. My Mum had my baby brother while we were living in Cattai, so there were 7 children. Dad's first 5 years in Australia was filled with pain and hardship. Within in the first 12mths in Cattai, he had a car accident breaking his neck. In those days treatment was very different, and it resulted in him being strapped to a board and in traction for months. He spent nearly 2yrs in hospital and convilescent care. In 1964 there wasn't any unemployment benefits.. so Mum had to find work on the local farms. Leaving me (aged 7) and my big brother Karl (aged 9) to look after the family. Unfortunately, after Dad recovered and came home again, within another year he was again in a vehicle accident. This time on a scooter. Coming off head first onto the road. Helmets weren't worn in those days, so he suffered horrendous head injury. Sadly, he was never the same again

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kublerd
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