• Photograph 8114015

It was 16th March 1952. I was a 10 Pound migrant, aged 23, and 5 weeks out from London’s Tilbury Docks. This was my last day. Tomorrow the RMS Oronsay would arrive in Adelaide. Up on deck, it was getting late. I was by myself, thinking about many things, but not for long. The big ship was battering its way through the massive seas, pitching and rolling as it encountered yet another mountain of water. I was fascinated by the enormous power of nature. Then my thoughts went back to tomorrow. I went back to my tiny bunk down in the bowels of the ship. My five cabin companions were bedding down for the night. We had talked about everything over the past few weeks, and been able to share our confidences and concerns. They were a mixed lot, but all young and agreeable. Some were ten pound migrants like myself. Others were Australians returning home after a working holiday. The Aussies gave us plenty of advice, and often a lot of “leg pulling” and misinformation by exaggeration. They enjoyed that, but it was all in good fun. As a quieter person, I was the butt of a lot of humour, because I had mentioned I would be met by my sponsor. My sponsor was The Reverend Strange, the pastor of the North Adelaide Church of England. As the ship got closer to Adelaide, they embellished the story. Everyone was informed that I was being met by no less than the Archbishop of Adelaide. The next morning as I disembarked, they were all in awe as I was greeted by my sponsor. Padre Strange was still in some of his clerical garb. There was a big wave from the ship by my Sydney/Melbourne bound companions as we left. Padre Strange was a very large jovial man. He drove me to the manse next to his big church.

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