Our Be­gin­ning…

Hills to Hawkesbury Living Magazine - - Ivor Jones & Friends Memories - Lisa Meuf­fels

Piet and Lisa and two daugh­ters aged seven and five came on the Dutch mi­grant ship “Jo­hann Van Olden­barn­veld” on the 5 Septem­ber 1950. The ship was used as a troop ship that trans­ported Dutch sol­diers to In­done­sia. Lisa writes that the ship had no cab­ins at the time. Men slept in one dor­mi­tory whilst women and chil­dren were in an­other. There were not many pas­sen­gers on board as it was a trial run for the ship but the food and trip was good.

The ship ar­rived in Sydney mid-Novem­ber 1950 where the pas­sen­gers dis­em­barked. Af­ter gath­er­ing in­for­ma­tion Lisa and fam­ily boarded a train bound for Bathurst where they were placed in a for­mer army base now used as a mi­grant camp and given five blan­kets. The food was good and the chil­dren Tina and Mar­lies got spe­cial food.

Af­ter a lit­tle while an­other shipload of mi­grants came and Lisa and fam­ily were trans­ferred and went to Broad­mead­ows, New­cas­tle where they again boarded buses and were taken to a new hos­tel be­tween Nel­son Bay and Shoal Bay. The new hos­tel had Nis­san huts and they were pro­vided with two rooms. There was a lit­tle beach which was so nice. The rent was a pound a week for food and ac­com­mo­da­tion. Af­ter a few months or more we rented a lit­tle cot­tage for two pound a week.

Lisa goes on to say that that she had read in a Dutch mag­a­zine in 1949 of the CWA so whilst at Shoal Bay she de­cided to join the or­gan­i­sa­tion along with Ivy an Aus­tralian neigh­bour. The meetings were held in a room in a build­ing owned by the Navy.

“The CWA held a birthday party in the lo­cal pic­ture theatre at which a fa­mous Aus­tralian so­prano was the guest artist. To get to the party, we trav­elled in a lit­tle truck owned by Ivy’s brother-in­law. Ivy sat next to the driver, whilst I sat in the open back on a lit­tle seat. We had also gone once to the movies the same way. We lived there for two years”.

“When Mar­lies had to go to school we went to Nel­son Bay. When we en­rolled Mar­lies we were told that there was a school at the hos­tel. Piet said that ‘we came to mix’ and af­ter a few phone calls she was al­lowed to stay. Luck­ily some friends from the ship had rented a house at Nel­son Bay and they told us that she could stay with them be­fore school.”

“Later Piet bought a block of land at Warn­ers Bay and we bought a big Amer­i­can army tent to live in as he was go­ing to build a house for us. He built a floor on stilts and placed the tent on the floor. We had to use steps to get to the floor and en­ter the tent. We also had to build an out­side toi­let so that we could get the power con­nected. Piet built a dou­ble brick two bed­room home. That was our be­gin­ning.” A reg­u­lar reader of this mag­a­zine, Lisa Meuf­fels , of Rich­mond writes of the fol­low­ing mem­ory of liv­ing in Mi­grant Camps.


Mem­o­ries of grow­ing up lo­cally, or when you moved into our com­mu­nity are welcome. Tell us your ex­pe­ri­ences from school days, sport­ing clubs, hol­i­days, work or group or­gan­i­sa­tions.

If you have a funny or in­ter­est­ing neigh­bour­hood sto­ryies, we would like to pub­lish them! Write to: 17 Rose St, Baulkham Hills, NSW, 2153. Email to ivor­jones@hill­sto­hawkes­bury.com.au. Share on Hills District Mem­o­ries at face­book.com/groups/Hills. mem­o­ries or Hawkesbury Hap­pen­ings & Mem­o­ries at face­book. com/groups/Hawkesmem­o­ries.

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