• Photograph si807
  • Photograph si808
  • Photograph si809

The local newspapers in Melbourne and Sydney carried articles on the arrival of the MV Roma with its migrants. The Melbourne Argus, on Monday 8 October 1951, had one headed "THE SHIP THAT CAN’T BURN VISITS US" which included a picture of three young children seated at a child’s table being served drinks by a waiter. I am the four year old seated on the right. [See http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/page/1749187] A similar, but more extensive article, with a variation of the photo, ran in another newspaper – see attached article. This clipping was given to my mother soon after we arrived in Sydney and she kept it as a cherished memento. An interesting coincidence occurred at this time. Berthing in Sydney on October 7th was the Orient Line ship, "Orontes". It had sailed from the UK and, like the MV Roma, had stopped in Melbourne before coming to Sydney. Dennis Gibbings, my future father-in-law, disembarked in Melbourne and flew to Hobart to marry his fiancé, Ruth Brown. Dennis had obtained a CSIRO scholarship to study electronic engineering at the University of Manchester, achieving his Ph.D. in just two years. Now he had to marry Ruth, have a four-day honeymoon, and hurriedly travel to Sydney in time to commence his new job with CSIRO a week later. In 1954 Ruth gave birth to their second daughter, Justine, whom I went on to marry in 1979.

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