Richard Mellish

Ship name / Flight number: BA

Arrival date: 10/07/1969

At Hampshire railway station with mum , dad and sister Maureen 08.07.1969 on my way to Heathrow Airport for the adventure of my life arriving in Sydney

I applied to the Big Brother Movement (BBM) in 1969 to emigrate to Australia while I was living in England with my parents, my sister and three brothers; the family having moved back from Singapore/Malaya. At that time I was working as a messenger at the Borden Army base where my father taught mechanical engineering.

I was accepted by the Big Brother Movement and prepared to move to Australia at age 17.

I left England on the 8th July, 1969 on a BOAC 707, landing in Sydney on the 10th July, 1969.

On arriving in Sydney for my new adventure, with $20 in my pocket, I was taken to the BBM farm at Fairfield for ten days training, to be a jackaroo. My sponsor family lived at Yetman so off we travelled while the men were landing on the moon. I stayed on the farm until April, 1970 when I travelled to Inverell looking for alternate work to farming. I worked as a fettler for New South Wales railways and then for a local electrical retailer. In 1972 I undertook National Service with recruit and corp training at Singleton and battalion duties at Enoggera in Brisbane. This was to become the last national service intake.

While in Inverell I met my life partner Annette in 1970. We were married at St Augustine’s Anglican Church on 12 May 1973, and 49 years later we are still together with two sons Mark and Glen, and grandchildren Sebastian and Sienna.

In 1975 I joined the Life Assurance company National Mutual as a life representative. In 1980 I joined Farmers and Graziers as the local Inspector for the general insurance products. A merger with Dalgety Winchcombe followed in 1983 when I became the Area Manager for Union Insurance for Northern NSW. I was transferred Young in 1985. My office was originally where the big pink building is in Boorowa Street.

In 1993 I was offered a transfer to Canberra with Commercial Union which I declined to take, and decided to set up an insurance agency business with Annette. On 24th January, 1994 Richard Mellish Insurance Services was situated in Lynch street next to where MBF used to be. In 1996, I relocated to the Top of the Town building where we remained until 2018. RMIS was sold to Brokers, National Advisor Service, in 2016 and I was employed until 2018 from where I retired.

In 43 years in the insurance industry I have witnessed many changes; some positive and others not so good. Our son Mark was an integral part of the business and assisted RMIS to keep up with the many changes within the industry as well as developing good longstanding relationships with many RMIS clients. We had not only built a successful business but had made many friends, some of whom have been clients for over thirty years. I can’t pinpoint any one highlight as there have been so many, however service to many clients throughout Australia has been positively memorable. On the downside I would have to say the big hailstorm that ripped through Young on 21 October, 2016 wins hands down as a telling time of human nature.

In private life I was a member of Apex for over fourteen years and was made a Life Member of Young Apex Club in 1992. I have also coached junior soccer and cricket teams for over ten years.

In 1986 I became an Australian citizen and at the ceremony I was presented with a Survival kit by a close friend Geoff Hall, which included a can of Fosters, a meat pie and a cake of Palmolive . I rang Geoff that evening to thank him for the gifts but told him the beer was too cold, the pie too hot and as for the Palmolive it was the worst cheese I had ever tasted.

Australia is really a land of opportunities and I am very thankful to this great country of ours. Young also has given our family much to appreciate. My parents and my four siblings have all visited
Australia and I believe they wish they had emigrated with me.

Richard with Melanie Stray (on left) & Annemaree Adams (on the right). October 2019 at the BBM Office.

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