VERTREK = Departure........

I’m pleased that yet another book has just been published telling what the experience of migrating from the Netherlands to Australia was like.
The MORE the better, in my opinion and I repeat: the political spin regarding BUILDING up the population to ‘defend’ the country, to cover the far more likely reason: ‘factory fodder’, required to make use of investment in the Australian economy, was “not nice”.
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I shall repeat until all those cows come home that, as after midnight we were shown into the ‘well-used’ ex-army room, having climbed down from the steam train which had brought us from Port Phillip Bay to a paddock outside Bonegilla Migrant camp, my mother CRIED: “Have I left my beautiful apartment in Gouda, for THIS?”

  • Re-building their lives aged 39, after having been in the Hunger Winter", in the Netherlands, in 1944, from 1956, working VERY hard (in factories – BOTH), they DID regain a good life shared with lots of particularly Dutch-Australian friends.
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    If they’d known that they were not really heading to a lovely cottage with gardens all ‘round as were shown on the “Information Evenings” they no doubt would NOT have done this.
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    Luckily my father had great social skills and it’s not surprising that he served 12 years as the ‘president’ of the Netherlands Society in Bankstown. Absolutely in his element at the regular balls and dances, picnics and bus trips that they organised. Always in a darkened room the next day with incredible migraine but repeating all that again within a few days, i.e., the meetings, the hiring of the halls, the preparations for the events, etc..

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READ: VERTREK by Keith Paulusse

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