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- 8th August, 2014 at 11:23 pm #12582BBM Youth SupportKeymaster2nd August, 2018 at 5:25 pm #12958lenwaughParticipant
It’s 2 August 2018 & exactly 60 years since I disembarked from the SS Orion in Sydney to begin life in Australia. That day is still clear in memory. I had seen for the first time the Sydney Harbour Bridge & the Harbour. I was euphoric and entranced. I could not believe my luck, having 6 weeks earlier left a still sombre post-war London, though with increasing glimpses of a better life ahead.
Strolling through the city to BBM office in the city (O’Connell Place?) was exhilarating. The warm (Winter!!) weather the bright shops, the tinge of American style awnings & the easy-going way of Aussies all added to the euphoria gained from the trip in the harbour. That day was the beginning of a lifelong paid holiday in Australia. Going to Australia House in April that year to be guided to the BBM was the best decision of my life. LBs on the voyage included Chris Watts (who was returning after his family had migrated here years earlier, but returned to the UK.) He had lived in Dee Why. Bill Steptoe and David Wade were others, though I remember others. Sixty years would have seemed an eternity to a 17 years old in 1958, but it’s flown. And although Sydney, and Australia have changed substantially, I love them still. Happy anniversary to all the other LBs on that voyage.29th January, 2019 at 10:54 am #14074Stuart GeareyParticipant
Stuart Gearey – Orontes 1957 – As one of the first ships through the Suez Canal after the crisis, and with a docking at Naples en route, our trip was rather special. Just imagine three naive youngsters let loose dockside in Naples. A taxi driver was keen to act as guide in spite of our assertion that we had no money. “No problem” Says he. A twisty drive for miles to an outlook, viewing Naples from above was fantastic until the cost of the return trip to the ship was presented! Yes! We could see the distant speck of the Orontes and the time for its departure was drawing near. In panic we started to run down laneways and back streets avoiding the taxi driver, hot in pursuit. Yes! We made the gangplank before it was stowed, but what an adventure to open the memories of our Aussie Adventure.
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