George Hopwood

Ship name / Flight number: New Australia

Arrival date: 31/08/1952

In 1952 aged 17 and being dissatisfied with my factory job and family break up (parents divorced) I looked for alternative. I was made aware of migration and Big Brother Movement as an avenue to an adventure and a future on the land. I sailed on S.S. New Australia and arrived in Sydney in September 1952.

I was firstly at Calmsley Hill Farm for a short period and then sent to a wheat and sheep property at Gilgandra NSW. I was met at the train station in a Ute (the first I’d ever seen) by my new boss. He apologised that I was going to have to get used to no electricity, no sewer, no running water. I explained this was the same as the cottage I had come from in Yorkshire.

Left:  Gilgandra property

We worked six days a week and the hours were from daylight to dark. I was
paid standard rates of the time, plus board and keep. After some months the
boss recognised I was fully competent in all aspects of farm work and
machinery and was given a percentage of the wheat crop.

In 1954 I was called up for National Service and on completion signed on for six
years regular Army, serving two years active service in Malaya.
In 1959 I married a Sydney girl and in 1960 discharged from the Army.

I began a position with a semi-trailer manufacturing company for 26 years progressing through the positions of workshop foreman, Spare Parts Manager and Service Manager.

In 1971 I took and extended holiday back to the UK with my wife and two young daughters. It made me realise my home was now definitely in NSW. I made other trips back to see my parents (now deceased), as have my 3 children.

In about 1997 I revisited the property in Gilgandra and the family were still there. The house had been extended and renovated and had all mod cons. On reflection Big Brother Movement fulfilled an important role in my arrival here. They offered support and advice and helped me as a young boy on a
journey that has fulfilled my wishes and ambitions.

Below: Gilgandra Homestead

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