Frank Mansell “Migration Memories”

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    Have just got around to reading the three fascinating episodes of Mr Frank Mansell’s “Migration Memories”. They take me back almost sixty seven years, from when I arrived on the “New Australia”. September 1950 as one of a group of 26 Little Brothers. I was fortunate enough to meet Mr Mansell on several occasions and found him to be a very nice and helpful gentleman.
    I would just to add a few of my own memories to those of Mr Mansell. He mentions that Mr Bob Holley was recruited to raise funds and recruit Big Brothers.
    I remember Mr Holley as the Manager of the newly acquired Hostel at 39 Broughton Rd. Home bush (later named Gunning House).
    In that role he was assisted by “Matron” (Does anyone remember her name? I don’t recall it ever being mentioned). My lasting memory of Matron is her strictness that beds should made in hospital fashion with neatly mitred corners.
    Of our group I was one of six who were the first occupants of the Hostel. The others went out to the Training Farm. Mr Holley had some words of wisdom for LBs before they headed out into the bush.
    “You must get used to drinking tea without milk, because when you are working out in paddocks and boiling the billy you won’t have any milk”
    “If someone calls you “Pommy”, it is most often a term of friendship. If they call you a “bastard”, don’t take offence as that too is usually a term of friendship. However, beware, if they call you a “bloody, rotten, Pommy bastard”; you have probably offended them”.
    The Training Farm was referred to as being at Liverpool. At that time Liverpool was still being developed as an outer suburb and the farm was in quite a rural setting.
    Mention is made of the farm at Nashdale near Orange. I and another LB were taken up there in early January 1951 by Mr Bill Waite. Manager of the Liverpool farm. I was there through to April. We were mostly on our own with Mr Waite coming up with supplies from time to time. I suppose that, in fact, we took physical possession of the farm on behalf of the Big Brother Movement.
    It is certainly true that the place was covered in blackberries. I spent most my time spraying them with herbicide. together with the rest of the time spent repairing fences.
    At that time there was no machinery or equipment apart from the knapsack spray. Apart from the rabbits the only animal was pony. I used to ride this to the Nashdale Post Office from time to time looking for mail from home.

    In April 1951 I went off to work on an irrigated wheat, rice and fat lamb farm near Leeton in the MIA. I enjoyed the work until I was called up for National Service. From there I eventually had a very satisfying working career with CSIRO near Mildura, until retiring to Adelaide.
    Thank you Mr Mansell for your memories

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