Jacaranda Trees line the streets of Grafton, NSW


Showing posts with label 1971. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1971. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

VERY SPECIAL VISITORS

Continuing "My Story"

It was October 1971. We had only been in our new house for a few months when we heard that Bill's Mum and Dad were coming from Switzerland to visit us. They had to move from their apartment because it was being renovated and turned into commercial premises. They had a new apartment to go to but they had to wait six months for it to be vacant so they came to Australia while they waited. They came by ship, which docked in Sydney so we had to drive down to Sydney to pick them up. Luckily we could stay a few nights in my parents house in Sydney

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Mutti and Vater at Mum and Dads house in Sydney. They were very brave travelling by themselves to Australia when neither of them spoke English.

Soon we set off for Brisbane and we warned them that it was a long drive.  It is 1000k. My parents house is on the southern side of Sydney so it is about  50k to get through Sydney to go north. It takes about one and a half hours. Before we were out of Sydney, Bill's Dad said, "We must be nearly there now." They had no idea how big Australia is compared to Switzerland. If you drive for two hours in Switzerland you are probably out of the country. 

We stopped at Urunga over night to give the oldies a break. The next day we were excited to arrive in Brisbane. We were proud to show off our new home. Bill's Dad loved it here. He made a vegetable garden and furniture for us. Bill's mum found it harder to adapt to the hot weather.

Some time later, my parents also came from Sydney to stay with us for a while and help with making our house a home. Mum helped sew curtains and Dad helped concrete a front patio.

Then surprise, surprise my brother was on his way from Papua/New Guinea to Canberra for work and he stopped in Brisbane on the way to see us too.

Bill, me, brother David, Mum, Vater, Dad, Mutti. A rare photo indeed to have us all together except for sister in law, Ann and nephew Michael, who were in Papua/New Guinea. We all lived so far away from each other. (Don't you love the white knee sock brigade? All the rage in the seventies)

The four of us.

Time to say good bye to David at the airport (1971 style) as he flies off to Canberra.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

MOVING IN

Continuing "My Story"

1971 was rolling along. Bill and I were living in a flat in Red Hill an inner city suburb. We were having a house built in Springwood, a new outer suburb to the south of Brisbane. We were both working, Bill for Carrier Air Conditioning and me for Queensland education. 
 In June we attended the Carrier Air Conditioning Ball. 

 It took some time getting used to having seasons again after living in Papua/New Guinea for seven years and never having a winter just hot and wet or hot and dry. Even though Brisbane has mild winters, I found it cold . My mum knitted me a jumper (sweater).

 In September it was Spring but I still found it cool. However, we were very excited because we could move in to our house even though we didn't have a driveway or landscaping. We were going to do that ourselves to save money. On the first day our furniture from the flat hadn't arrived so we slept on the floor in sleeping bags. Springwood was so new that it didn't have a post office or shops. So our address was Lot 14 Springwood Rd, Eight Mile Plains, which was the next suburb. Springwood wasn't a recognised suburb yet. Springwood was actually the name of the estate which was being developed across the road from our place. Our address was to change three times while we in the same house because of all the development going on in that area.

We were very happy with our brand new home. It was only a small three bedroom, one bathroom house but it was big enough for us. However, it was on an acre of land and that was a lot of land to look after. We left most of it as natural bushland.

Because we were in a new suburb but not in an estate, we didn't have town sewerage and we had to have a septic tank toilet. When it was installed, Bill wasn't happy with the length of the outlet drain and he wanted to make it longer. Lucky for him, his friend Ben, borrowed a back hoe from his boss and the pair of them dug a decent sized drain. I think Bill enjoyed operating the back hoe. Boy stuff.


Friday, December 9, 2016

BUILDING A HOUSE

Continuing "My Story"

We had returned from Switzerland in December 1970. In January we moved from Sydney to Brisbane and lived in a flat in Red Hill. Bill was re-employed by Carrier Air-Conditioning and I was employed by Queensland Education after waiting for three months for a vacancy. I started work at Mt Gravatt State School as a relief teacher at first but later I was sent to Mansfield State School as a classroom teacher for Years Two and Three composite class. 

We were keen to build a house on our block of land, so every weekend we went looking at display homes. Finally, we decided on a three bedroom boomerang shaped house. It was all a bit scary signing up for a mortgage but we were young, strong and healthy so we took the plunge.


The pegs mark where the house will go

I heard that you could grow pineapples from their tops so I planted some on the block before the house was started.


 Soon it was the day for the bulldozer to carve out a flat space for the house. Bill drives in front of the truck carrying the dozer along Springwood Rd. We didn't have a drive way so we used the neighbours.
 Bill shows the dozer driver where the house should go.

 Not long after the foundations were laid.

 The frame goes up and we are getting excited to see our first home taking shape.

 Bill is installing the electricity cables himself, as he was a qualified electrician. This saved us a some money.

 Almost finished. It was winter by now and we were looking forward to moving in by September.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

TIME TO SETTLE DOWN


For readers, who have been following my blog for years will know that I have been writing My Story in post form now and then. I must thank those of you who left encouraging comments and suggested I publish my stories in a book. Well I have just published my second book titled "Butterflies in my Tummy", which covers my adventures between 1956 and 1970.  Now I am going to continue my story only because I am renovating my old photo albums and scanning the photos. Hopefully, the stories will continue to interest my children and some of my readers. However, after the adventures my family had as pioneering new Australians, my working and fun years in PNG and an exciting time travelling the world and living in Switzerland the rest of my story is a bit ordinary.

Bill and I arrived back in Australia after spending 1970 romping around the world. We came back from Europe  by ship with our car in the hold. On board we had made friends with a Swiss couple, who were migrating to Sydney. However, Bill talked them into coming to Brisbane with us. At first they were accommodated in a migrant camp in Sydney while Bill and I stayed with my parents. 

Even though Bill was promised a job in Brisbane we were short on funds to get there so we sold our nice new car, which was a model not available in Australia. We bought a second hand one and a trailer and loaded our belongings together with our Swiss friends, Silvia and Rene and off we drove to Brisbane. We had a block of land there and we decided it was time to settle down.

When we set off the weather was fine as we crossed over the Hawkesbury River.

 We showed Silvia and Rene our beautiful beaches on the NSW coast. I couldn't resist a photo of the old fisherman. Then it started to rain. Our trailer, full of belongings was covered with a tarpaulin but the water ran into the trailer and our stuff got wet.

Rene, Silvia and me.
When we arrived in Brisbane we found two flats  in the same old building in Red Hill. They were under the house like a basement. We hung all our wet blankets, sheets, towels and everything all around the flat to dry because it was still raining.

We spent the first week helping Rene and Silvia find jobs. (They were easy to find in the seventies) I applied to the education department but the reply was that they didn't need married women. Bill had a job waiting for him with Carrier Airconditioning. We spent some free time playing Jass, a Swiss card game.

 The view over the suburbs from our flat in Red Hill
The view of Brisbane from Mt Coot-tha in 1971. We were living in Red Hill on the right of the photo but we were going to build a house in a new suburb called Springwood, which is way in the distance to the south of Brisbane in the bush.
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