• Photograph si671
  • Photograph si672

Father had to keep an appointment with a government official who would oversee his contract. He wanted me to come along to help with the language. ‘What will the young lady do?’ asked the man behind the desk. ‘Factory work, we need money’, Father said, more harshly than probably intended. He would learn English soon, he was confident, not worried about his job, where he would work in the language of mathematics. ‘Definitely not’, said the man behind the desk, after he had quizzed me about my education, six years high school. His secretary took me down King William Street. We walked towards Victoria Square, to Franklin Street, into a Firm called South Australian Farmers’ Co-op Union, where I was interviewed by the Staff Clerk (Personnel Manager). Two days after Christmas 1950 I was working there as a typist, learning shorthand at night school. One day during 1953 I was naturalized during one of my lunch hours, returning to work immediately afterwards. I swore allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, her heirs and successors which made me an Australian citizen and British subject, the first person in my family to achieve this. Life was hard, many problems had to be solved, but step by step my Father’s dream came true. As the family settled into their new home country, he recalled that of the many nationalities during his life time - Hungarian, Austrian, Czechoslovakian, German - only the last one, Australian, was of his own choosing. When his descendants now travel abroad, they return home to Paradise, they say. And so, as Father had predicted, his three daughters, seven grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren surviving him, all call Australia home.

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