|Country of Origin||England|
|Date of Birth||10/28/1954|
|Year of Arrival in Australia||1961|
|Submitted by||Joyce O'Reilly|
My name is Paul Hay. I was born on the 28th October t954 and was six years old when I came to Australia with my parents Charles Robert and Joyce Margaret Hay leaving England on the 20e December 1960 on a P & O liner the SS “Strathaird” arriving in South Australia on the 19th January 1961. We had Christmas and New Year on the ship.
I remember it was very hot on our arrival. I had chicken pox after leaving Colombo but was allowed to disembark. From London, my father had already been employed by the South Australia Police Force and we were met on the quay by a Departmental bus and taken to Elder Park Hostel. It was very basic as was Gepps Cross Hostel where we were taken the following week. Mother was upset but another police officer was moving from a flat in Kensington to a house he had bought, so we were all able to move into his flat.
I began school at Marryatville Primary early February 196l and spent a year there until my parents and I moved into a house they had built in Tea Tree Gully and I then went to the Primary School there. My Mother was employed as the Headmaster’s secretary at a private college and we remained in the Tea Tree Gully house for seven years. My parents then had another house built at Valley View when I attended Modbury High School. I have always been interested in playing music so my parents sent me to a teacher who later recommended me to a private college teacher where I learnt the classics.
When I left school music was still my passion but I had to find work and earn in those days. I took a number of different jobs to achieve this. Sometimes I travelled interstate to follow my music passion but there was little reward. My father died suddenly in 1978. I married and in 1980 had a daughter. In January 1982 my mother through the Australia Day Council and P & O organized a twenty-one year reunion of the “Strathaird” immigrants in Adelaide Botanic Park. Over one hundred original migrants and descendants took part, plus representatives from the ADC and P&O. My mother still has the original Passenger List and the Guest Book of signatures from that Reunion. She also has the history of the “Strathaird” and the P&O Australia Story.
In 1985 my marriage broke down and. I travelled around Australia finally settling in Cairns for over 20 years where in 1988 I had another daughter. I continued with my music as my great passion but not much return so I undertook Financial Management courses and worked for many years in a bank in that capacity. Unfortunately in
March 1997 I suffered major heart problems. I was only 42 years old but due to this illness I finally had to give up my job at the bank following surgery.
In November 2007 my Mother who was then 77 years old underwent heart surgery. She was still living in Adelaide and although remarried following my father’s death, she had again been widowed. I decided I needed to return to Adelaide and this is where I am living. My eldest daughter is married with a son making me a grandfather and
lives in Adelaide. She works in a bank. My youngest daughter is a hairdresser and still lives in Cairns. My two daughters and family visit me in Adelaide and it’s a great togetherness. So from only my parents and I leaving England the family has grown and there should be more descendants coming along later.
My music has flourished. I am in a group of four guys and we have gigs around Adelaide City and suburbs. I have been to the U.K a number of times where I played in various Festivals. I have been twice to San Diego on a Blues Cruise and played on board the ship. Before leaving Adelaide the first time I played with a group at the Space Theatre (part of the Festival Theatre). I now have quite a repertoire of performances and I am happy that my passion for music has never left me.
I am now 55 years of age and with less parental responsibilities my music playing and composition is growing having more time to spend on it. Although I enjoyed my stays in the U.K and America, my parents and I became Australian citizens in about 1970. I am an Australian and am always happy to call Australia my home for almost