Malcolm Digby – 1967 – My story
I arrived in Australia on 09/11/1967 on flight BA714, I was 15 years old, the youngest of eight lads in our group. I can still remember the day before we departed the UK. We all met at the YWCA in London, where we were all put into the same room. It was a good idea, as it was then that we started to get to know each other.
On the flight over, the flight was due to land in Rome, Karachi New Delhi, Singapore, Darwin then Sydney.
We could not land in Karachi for some reason, so we by-passed it and flew onto New Delhi. Alas when we arrived in new Delhi, the crew had done their hours and could not go on, so we were put up in a hotel for the night. Half of our group in one room and the other half in another.
Being in India, we came up with the idea to try the curry, boy was it hot, and hotter when it came out.
The day we arrived in Sydney, we all found it very hot, as we left England in the winter and of course had English winter clothes on. We were met by a Big Brother representative for the bus ride to the farm near Liverpool.
We were put up in dorm sort of room, and I can remember that there were no doors on the toilet or showers. I spent about a week and a half, when I was told they had found a spot for me. The daughter of the boss of the farm guided me on the school bus to Liverpool, where I boarded a train to Sydney. Actually got lost. As the train went over the Sydney harbour bridge I realised I was going the wrong way after asking a fellow passenger. Finally got back to circular quay, then after asking a few people arrived at the Big Brother Movement building in Martin Place. Where I was given my ticket to Jerilderie in NSW.
Can remember in the cabin there was two nice guys who looked after me, and even bought me some food.
On arrival at Jerilderie, I was met by a former little Brother, Colin Taylor. It was a good farm, and I was treated like one of the family.
Over the years, I worked on various farm in and around Finley, I also worked on a couple of farms in the Hunter valley, also worked in Sydney for awhile.
In 1973, I along with another little brother, decided to travel around Australia. I made it to Townsville, Queensland. I got a job in Queensland Rail, where I started out as a shunter, working my way up to a Fireman on the Locomotives and finally a Train Driver. I retired after 41 ½ years.
I met my wife in 1975, and married her on 15th March 1975, we are still married with one daughter, one son, and five grand children.
I have been back to the UK three times, and going back again in July this year, as I still have family over there.
Looking back, I know that I have had, for the most part a much better life out here. There were times when things were not so good also. I also wonder, why my Father signed the papers for me to come out here, after all I was only 15. Did I really know what I was doing ?
One day, I would like to go back to that farm near Liverpool and have a look around, and maybe meet people who came out with me, to see how they went.
Malcolm Digby – 1967