• Photograph si865
  • Photograph si866

We were loaded into Buses, it took more than two hours to arrive in Villawood hostel, some houses were build out of bricks, they were for families, others, most of them, were Nissen huts, those semi circle corrugated iron huts. Assembly was in the mess hall, it was lunchtime, and our luggage was stored along the wall. Lunch was: soup, salads, and two sorts of meat, potatoes vegetables and sweets. As many helpings as one liked. Later I learned that there always were two sorts of meat, as well as for lunch or dinner, but always one of them was lamb, bar Friday evening then it was fish and lamb. We were registered and rooms were assigned, single men were housed two and two, if two knew each other they were housed together. By then I knew nobody and I was bunked together with a Hungarian, name of Laszlo Todd, we had no common language and we communicated with hand signs. Later he told me that he left Hungary by night, crossed to Yugoslavia, to Austria and finally took refuge in Italy. Here the Red Cross took charge of him and arranged passage to Australia, all he had were 10 US dollars. In the room next to us were Tunisians; on the other side an Algerian and a Palestinian, around the corner two Spanish brothers, further down, Germans, there were no French. Villa wood hostel was a big complex housing all in all 1200 people, 400 of them single man. By shape it looked like an oval, it was wired in but everybody was free to come and go, as he liked. I the center were the management huts, there was a store, a post office, an employment office, several class rooms, 3 mess halls, one of them next to the main kitchen, the other mess halls were supplied from here with ready cooked food, stores, a butchery and a canteen serving soft drinks.

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