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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.
Hi Dave, yes, most mobile phones can download a voice recording function (see this link if you have an iPhone https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/voice-recorder-free/id685310398?mt=8 or this link if your phone uses Android http://www.androidfreeware.net/download-voice-recorder.html ) and a memory of 16GB or more, with the recording being stored in the phone memory rather than on the sim card. I’m not an expert on using mobiles as recorders, but the recordings can be transferred to a pc or laptop (see this link http://www.makeuseof.com/answers/save-voice-recording-android-phone-computer/ )
Before starting to record, to avoid long pauses, best to prepare a dot-point list of key points. Speak slowly and have deliberate brief pauses. You get better as you go along.
Happy new year to you too Dooly. You’re enjoying life to the full with an attitude everyone should adopt. HNY to all the other LBs too. The sun is slowly setting on us all but some of us will live to 100. Those who have the chance, if they haven’t already done so, should now get hold of a digital voice recorder (no need to buy an expensive one) and begin dictating their stories, which can be stored in computer files for family to listen to many years from now, when they reach Senior age and begin to wonder about their ancestors. Half an hour a day – download the file (send a copy to BBM) and history is written
All of you have a great 2017- and 2018- 2028, and beyond.
Agree with all you said Dooly. This pathetic government (and almost as pathetic Opposition), headed by Prime Minister Murdoch, is determined to sell us out to the diktats of Big Business. There are encouraging signs in US & UK that the masses are stirring and are, at last, threatening to challenge the rule of vested interests. Bernie Sanders (US) and Jeremy Corbyn (UK) are promising to take on the media moguls and Big Business, and are drawing big crowds. I can’t see Sanders winning but he might prod Hillary to steal some of his promises. No sign of an Australian Bernie Sanders, – certainly not Shorten, but if the LNP are given a smack in your erstwhile home State, in Canning, Abbott might be shown the door. Reports here that ALP are offering to help the LNP campaign to ensure Abbott stays to receive the appreciation of grateful voters next year.
Brian in NZ – you in Philippines, me in Oz – a scattered mob. Keep the news coming
Dooly – you’re writing is inspired. Ignore Brian’s dig, which I’m sure was friendly. These forums aren’t intended only for crisp, pithy news. They’re for stream-of-consciousness prose, long rambling anecdotes, as well as short punchy items, all of which reveal the man behind the pen. You’re contributions – and Brian’s and a few others, have kept this site breathing. It’s a pity the internet didn’t arrive 30 years ago when far more of us could share our memories. No criticism of Jordan, but this site is not the easiest to navigate – and the recent addition of verifying we are not robots is bordering on infuriating. And talking of borders, wasn’t it a shame the Border Force could not stride Melbourne streets to make as all feel so much safer. Their very smart uniforms (pity about the Black Shirted Gestapo image) and ridding Australia of illegals, as they’re called, would be a great service for Australia. Anyone looking too Asian, or with a hint of Muslim, would be immediately deported to another country, even if they were born here. Soon Australia could be back to the comfortable White, Anglo-Saxon island it was when we arrived. Excellent.
It’s time now to admit I was wrong about Tony Abbott. I thought I would hate every minute of his rule, but, hey, I’m enjoying far too much the Border Farce, the TURC, the Q&A, the Bronnie saga, the Republic revisited. Abbott’s proved to be very entertaining – a laugh a minute. Such fun. Almost a pity he’ll be gone in a year.
Keep those essays coming Dooly – they add spice to life. You obviously survived the Typhoon – and milder weather on the way for you.
I must get back to reading the Tweets about the Border Farce.
Dooly – you should have entered politics, and I share many of your views. And Dave, I agree that Australia currently lacks a leader from any party who inspires hope. Australia is heading for major change, the mining boom’s over – yet Abbott seems to have no clue where future economic prosperity will come from, except telling us coal is the future, when even the miners are saying coal is finished. Shorten offers nothing so we await the saviour.
Dooly – I also ask why we’re spending $20B on submarines another $20B on fighter planes that don’t fly properly. At least the subs could create employment, but the money spent on more useful infrastructure would also provide employment. Reported here by a senior Sky journo that Abbott asked the US to ask us to join the bombing of Syria. Abbott has no worries about the legal niceties there, about how the US can invite us into Syrian air space. But don’t get me started.
Abbott’s visit to Thursday Island is a PR job to help TA. I spent time working in the NT and I know the Aboriginal communities hated the visits by a PM – it upset their routines, so many staffers to look at and all for photo ops for the blow-in suits from Canberra. In my time in the NT I learned quickly that the visit of a bureaucrat from Darwin, or even Canberra, didn’t impress the remote communities much – a few times I flew in to learn the people I’d arrange to meet had found other business (funeral, football, ceremonies) had taken precedence over us.
I hope the typhoons don’t blow you away, Dooly, so enjoy the fish.
Dooly – your temporary illness has certainly not damaged your spirited and amusing messages – might have even enhanced them. You obviously stay informed on politics in Oz. I expected to hate every second of Abbott’s reign, but hey, I was wrong. I’m loving every minute of the current chaos, sniping, disunity of this current mob. Two cabinet meetings with one deciding on the talking points Ministers must use in public and the other was cancelled. Talk about dynamic government. You’re well away from the circus that passes for mature rule in Abbott’s tent. Even rural communities have had enough. This letter in today’s Narooma News expresses my views precisely.
Growing weary of the spectacle of the decline
One grows ever wearier of the spectacle of the decline and fall of the Abbott regime.
Any joke grows very, very stale when it lingers and lingers and lingers.
Sure it is a magnificent spectacle for the paleontologist – perhaps the last manifestation on Earth, apart from somewhere in deepest Arkansas or Turkmenistan, of the blartings and fartings of the senescent dinosaurs who deny human induced climate change, the possibility of a new economy based on renewable energy, same sex marriage, Aboriginal people’s capacity to determine their own people’s needs, the value to society of accessible quality education for all, etc etc etc.
The regime’s whole “platform” will be seen as utterly incomprehensible and risibly archaic in a year or two when Australia finally manages to limp into the 21st century.
Australia certainly has lots of growing up and catching up to do.
NZ, just over the way, is at least a generation more mature as a society. It is utterly unimaginable that a great Kiwi sportsperson would be booed and denigrated because she or he is a Maori.
Over there a carbon tax, same sex marriage, and a reasonably good deal for the first people can co-exist with civilisation as we know it, and even under a conservative government!
It would be such a joy to see Australia wake from its stupor – but it will likely require breaking the mass addiction to the opiates peddled by the Murdoch media and finding some way to fund the major political parties that frees them from their abject subservience to the dying coal industry and such special interests as the gambling industry and property developers.
I hope you’ve been spared the typhoons that are around SE Asia. So stay safe and keep up the humour.
Good to see you’re back to form, Dooly, or should we now call you Riley. Seems you’re enjoying an enviable life. Away from Winter and from Abbott. How good is that? Now that the Bishop has gone, checkmate might not be far away for Abbott and his horrible mob. Today, 2 August, is the anniversary of my disembarking in Sydney in 1958. Such a long time ago – so much has happened, nearly all good. It was Winter, but it seemed better than the English summer I had left. The streets had an American look, so much slicker than the London streets, still with debris from the war. I walked over the Sydney Harbour Bridge the next day – enchanted and thrilled by the whole experience of being in such a beautiful city.
Dooley, your living costs are a dream. Returning to Oz with power costs rising, a hopeless government taking us backwards cannot seem attractive.
Welcome back to the world Dooley. We’ve missed you. The health worry seems to have had no effect on your sense of humour or sense of adventure. The Philippines!! No doubt a few LBs will find themselves “happening to be in the area” and looking for a place in the tropics to stay ‘for a day or two’.
Don’t blame you for leaving Oz- withthe worst government in living memory led by the worst PM ever, we’re mad to stay.
We look forward to normal service being resumed.
It is a matter of regret. Thanks for all your work and help. Many times over the past few years when I’ve been in Sydney, I’ve hoped to have made time to drop in to chat with you, but never did. I’ll be more determined in future and hope to catch you on a Wednesday. Cheers Len
I haven’t given much thought to the design of the website. As you know, they are complex beasts, requiring a good technical knowledge as well as sound knowledge of the organisation’s history and clients.
Off the top of my head, I believe there is almost no connection between Little Brothers who migrated here and the current focus of the BBM ie sponsoring Australian Youth. So, for many LBs, the current work is barely relevant and the LB sections cut adrift into a separate site. This would make the LB site more user friendly, with fewer and shorter drop-down menus, but, perhaps, a link to the full BBM site for those interested.
Alternatively, BBM could attempt to connect LBs with current BBM clients. Not sure how this could be successfully achieved as I don’t know if there is an interest within LBs in Australian Youth – and vice-versa. Might be worth exploring, as many LBs have led interesting lives that some of today’s youth might find engaging and even inspiring. Some of the LBs who went to rural areas really did it tough, and bush life in the 1950s was different to today.
I’ve not the skill to imagine a website that is easy to get around, anticipates users’ paths and easily retraces steps. Your greater technical knowledge of the site and the BBM’s activities makes you far more qualified. I doubt there’s such a thing as a site that everyone loves, but hiving off the LB areas into a self-contained site is a thought. We do appreciate your efforts and we enjoy the postings. If the BBM could make a major effort to boost the site’s use among the many LBs who have no knowledge of it – even though many are now in the age group that dislikes new technology or have died, any new contributors would add to the enjoyment.
Hope that helps.
Thanks Jordan, I hope you and the BBM Admin all enjoyed Easter, despite the Sydney rain. We all appreciate your work on the website and the invitation to offer suggestions. I hope you receive many replies, and I shall give some thought to possible improvements. However, I find it difficult, firstly, to conceive how an ideal site might look, and, secondly, how I could convey that to you in an email. We probably all know of websites that are user-friendly, easy to navigate and that have anticipated very well the pathways that different users might take. We also know those that are poorly designed, maddening to navigate, with many dead-ends and endless loops. If LBs interested can offer there minor and major suggestions, perhaps naming sites they like, this will help. My first thought is that a welcoming Home page that has the well thought-out drop-down menus is a good start.
If I have further inspirations, I’ll pass them on. Len
I’m reluctant to complain about the site as it seems ungrateful. Eddy and his team probably work on the smell of an oil rag and have few resources to keep site up to date. Having said that though, Brian, I find the new site hard to like. Maybe when I’m used to it, it’ll grow on me, but I preferred the previous version. The new layout could be described as ‘minimalist’, making, for me, anyway, trial and error the path to gaining familiarity, which is tedious.
Thanks for the thought, Dave, yes, I’m still around & fighting fit. Today I signed up for my 3rd Sydney City to Surf, in August 2015. To be honest, I’m not expecting to win, they’ve given some youngsters a hell of a start, and I’ll never catch them.
Hope you’re all well and enjoying life to the full, and special cheer to Dooly.
Dooly, I’ve been away from the site for a while and, returning, it’s changed again. Trying to return to Forum topics, I came across your posting of 2011, telling of the girl you left behind in UK contacting you after 50 years. I don’t remember reading this in 2011,but I’m intrigued. The romantic in me would like to learn that you’ve met again – not to rekindle the romance, but to swap stories of the years apart. Have you met again?
You’re right Dooly. There have been a few sparks of activity on this site. It’s not easy to navigate around, which might inhibit potential new scribers. There is a Facebook site for Big Brother Movement. It has 36 members, so it’s not yet gone viral, and it includes females. I don’t know its origin, but the addresses of many of the members are Australia and England, which suggests a common history of migration. The site is https://www.facebook.com/groups/3205345 … 4/?fref=ts
It is a closed account, but the administrator can confer membership. I shall ask to join, and ask about its origins. Facebook is, of course, very widely known and probably more likely to capture the attention of LBs looking for other LBs. Maybe other LBs who use the BBM Forum know of the FB site and whether it has strong links with LBs.