Ignacio & Teresa Delgado
|First name||Ignacio & Teresa|
|Country of Origin||Spain|
|Date of Birth||21 September 1924, 3 November 1928|
|Year of Arrival in Australia||1968|
|Submitted by||Peter Delgado|
WHY WE LEFT SPAIN – I assume that like most migrants dad was looking for a better life for his family.
THE TRIP- I was 7. I have some memories of the trip. I remember feeling that this was a BIG event. Not like buying a car but much, much bigger. I remember the kindness of the flight attendants. In flight breakfast included a small box of Corn Flakes which I mistook for potato chips. I ate my chips thinking they tasted funny, but happy to be on the plane. We stopped in Rome Teheran Karachi Singapore & Sydney.
ARRIVAL- I have memories of the food. It took me ages to get used to it. The hostel. The wog taunts at school. The resulting fights.
This story is about my father Ignacio & mother Teresa, to whom I owe everything I have in this life.
28 July 1968 Ð Dad (44), Mum (40), my brother Florencio (9) & I (7) fly into Sydney & go to Villawood Migrant Hostel. Mum & dad hate it. 2 weeks later we go to Melbourne. Dad has a friend there. We live in a tiny attic. Dad works at Toyota assembling cars & mum at Arnott\’s packing biscuits. Dad buys an old car for $150.
1968 Ð 1975 Ð We hardly see dad except on weekends. He finishes work at the factory & then cleans offices for another 4 hrs. We move houses about 6 times. Each time improving on the last. School is tough.
1975 Ð Dad buys a house in St Albans in Melbourne\’s east. 4 br on _ acre with 2 garages. Unthinkable just 8 years ago in Spain. This is dad’s pride & joy & he deserves it.
1977 Ð My brother Florencio enters University of Melbourne. Another unbelievable achievement.
1978 Ð I join the Navy as an aircraft technician. It\’s been my dream for years. I\’m an Australian citizen. Dad\’s dreams are becoming reality.
1986 Ð After 8 years repairing jets & helicopters, I am accepted as an officer in the Navy. This is far beyond the wildest dreams dad could have imagined. Mum & Dad are so proud of me. When I\’m in uniform mum hugs me like she\’s never done before. They become Australian citizens too. Life is great.
1988 Ð Mum is diagnosed with cancer & has a massive operation.
1994 Ð I leave the Navy & find work in Canberra. Mum gets worse & spends time in hospitals. All this time, dad never leaves her side. They move to Wollongong to be closer to Florencio (Sydney) & me. Florencio marries Milagros.
1996 Ð I start a University course in Graphic Design in Canberra. Mum is in & out of hospitals.
1998 Ð I marry Patricia. Florencio is a father. Mum & dad are overjoyed. Soon he is transferred overseas & the happiness turns sour. Mums health goes downhill. Dad is always there with her.
1999 Ð I graduate from university. Mum & dad come to live in Canberra where I can be closer.
22 March 2000 Ð My 1st daughter is born. Mum is critical in hospital & I rush the baby to her side. I have a photo of mum holding her 2 day old granddaughter. 2 days later mum dies. This is the most mixed up day of my life. Dad is devastated. We take mum to Spain to rest next to her own mother.
Dec 2001 Ð My 2nd daughter is born. Dad goes to live in Spain. He says that he should be in the land where he was born.
2005 Ð Florencio returns to Australia (now with 2 boys 7 & 5). Shortly after he is diagnosed with a brain tumour & dies after 6 weeks. Dad is in Spain when I tell him & I arrange for his sisters to be with him. Florencio was the pillar of our family. He was the cool head we could count on when things were falling apart.
2006 Ð I take 18 months LWOP to live in Spain temporarily, to be with dad, and so my kids & wife can learn about my heritage. Dad has dementia & needs constant attention. He lives in a nursing home in Madrid. We see him often.
2008 Ð We return from Spain & I settle back into my job. The kids are bilingual now & have a good appreciation of their roots. I bring dad back to Australia with us. Even here, he needs to be in a nursing home.
2010 Ð Dads dementia is getting worse. He asks who these two little girls are. I fight back the tears.
I miss mum & my brother so much, it hurts to think about them, & I do every day. I love you both so much, I will never forget you. Mum will never hug & play with her two granddaughters. Soon I\’ll have to miss dad too.
But I feel fortunate.
¥ to have had such courageous parents & brother.
¥ that they chose to come to such a great country, &
¥ that I have a beautiful wife & two beautiful daughters.
I once asked a friend how his day had been. He said ‘Peter, any day you get out of bed is a great day’. I\’ve had many great days, & I\’m grateful for every one of them.
a final quote:
Man strives for glory, fortune, fame, that all the world may know his name
Amasses wealth by brain & hand, becomes a power in the land.
But when he nears the end of life, & looks back o’er years of strife
He finds that happiness depends, on none of these, but love of friends.