|Country of Origin||Netherlands|
|Year of Arrival in Australia||1954|
|Submitted by||Maria Rosenberg|
Opportunity in waiting;
When I was a teenager and stood at the World harbour of Rotterdam,watching those large Ocean going ships listening to their last Br-Br-Br.as an last Good-Bay, I had no idea that one day I would be aboard of one . World War 11 had just finished; life slowly was turning back to normal living; a lot needed to be rebuild in our little country.
I learned at school Australia is nearly as big as Europa, and native Aboriginals live there. The climate is sub-tropical, it is an cattle and sheep country, with large rye fields. l0 years later, my husband of 6 weeks and myself were on one of those big Ocean Ships on our way to Australia on the beautiful Himalaya. We passed the equator; stopped at many different countries and finally after 6 weeks we reached the first Australian harbour, Perth. The sight of it did not impress me at all. I found it unclean and not what I was used to – my first impression was disappointment.
On arriving in Melbourne we felt match happier and were allowed a shore for two days, we went sight-seeing had an lot of new things to take in, those old buildings are really beautiful. We wandered into a milk bar for an ice cream and asked for an big one, we were given an half pound butter size each and were amazed at its size, but
managed to get through it. At 2 shillings we could not believe it, but later we got another surprise – a block of Cadburys chocolate for two shillings. People must be all rich here we thought, we enjoyed the sight of all those tropical fruit displayed in the shop windows, bananas, pineapples, oranges, etc. Is this the country of milk and honey? We did taste luxury fruit on the ship, is this an promise of the tropical smorgasbord we can enjoy when we live her we asked ourselves? And so it happened to be!
After our arrival and settling in, the first tool we bought was a garden shovel, we must have a garden here there is plenty room. The neighbour told us when you sow radishes they will be ready to eat in 6 weeks, we realised there was a lot to learn and we were open minded for it all, now we had the opportunity to experience this.
Back home in the Netherlands we lifted an tile out of the street pavement to grow a Tulip. with an population of 15 million and the land size that can fit 28 times in Victoria only, the population then in 1954 was in Australia the same, we could spread our wings now, and so we did! We worked hard, but we also wanted to see the country
and travelled in our little VW. We bought an old bluestone home of 1778 build by the Cornish people in Sebastopol near Ballarat Victoria. restored the old lime between the bluestone, what took us 7 years to do between our jobs. The front block 70 feet by 278 feet first we planted potatoes, then all those gumtrees we loved so much; lemon
gum eucalyptus, dollar gum and many more, our children played under those health giving trees, how were we blessed!
I still love my little country of my Birth, and am proud of its achievements especially the well known Delta Works that stopped our little homeland from flooding, as the people of Australia also well know the frustration of floods
Now at my age past 80, my husband at rest, I can look back to with pride to our hard work and achievements Can is a word of POWER!
Maria Rosenberg 23 -3 -2010.