Maurice Cole

Ship name / Flight number: BA9460

Arrival date: 19/02/1970

Left: Maurice with Bill Manning in April 1970, 2 months after arriving in Australia harvesting rice

I landed in Australia on the 19/02/1970. In summary I was very lucky to have been sent to Bill & Shirley Mannings farm in Coleambally. I am still friends with them today. Bill is now 92 and Shirl. Both live nearby and we catch up at least once a year.

As my records show I was involved in a serious motor accident in 1971 and if it had not been for Bill and Shirl I’m not quite sure what I would have done. The Big Brother Movement supported me during this time and on leaving hospital Bill and Shirl looked after me during my convalescence of some 4 months after discharge. They did this just from the goodness of their hearts. The accident was not related to the farm and yet they looked after me, moving me into their home and charging me nothing. It explains why we have remained friends and in contact for over 50 years now.

When continuing a farming career was no longer practical a very helpful young man in the Griffith NSW Commonwealth employment service assisted me in obtaining a clerical position with the then Department of Navy located in North Sydney. From there I obtained a Traineeship with the Navy (civilian) in Canberra and qualified as a Design Draftsman (one of the original options I provided on my BBM application).

I worked in a number of Government Departments for the Commonwealth over 15 years before moving into private enterprise working in IT. This enabled me to retire early and after moving to a smallholding on the NSW South Coast for 10 years.

My wife and I downsized and moved to Cootamundra, where we have been for the last 12 years. The country lifestyle has not been lost!!

My wife and I have been back to the UK on numerous occasions catching up with family who I never lost contact with. Mum and Dad passed away some years ago and a brother last year. I am thankful to have been back to see him just before he died.

My life has been interesting as I have numerous different jobs and have travelled the world. So a 16-year-old boy with just a suitcase in hand, has a lot to be thankful for of BBM and Australia and all the opportunities that presented themselves to me.

Below: Maurice and his wife Allison (married for 41 years) outside their home in Cootamundra, 2023

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