|Country of Origin||Austria|
|Date of Birth||6/24/1933|
|Year of Arrival in Australia||1960|
|Submitted by||Walter Rudolph Pape|
Walter Pape Part2
We where allocated our hut blankets, towels, cutlery, etc. We had to go to English classes every day. We also received some money, but nobody was to leave the camp unless there was work for them outside. Some people have been in the camp for considerable time and didn’t feel to happy about it. But I was only there for one week when a call from Tasmania came; Mr Vynalek from Lactos Cheese was looking for a Cheese maker so my hand went up and 2 days after I received the ticket for the train to Melbourne & the ship to Tassy also some money and a lot of good wishes. A new journey odyssey was in the making. I found my way to the Princess of Tasmania my first attempt on a ship and ended up the following day in Devonport. Caught the Tasman Limited the then train service to Burnie where Mr. Milan Vynalek, a migrant from Czechoslovakia himself picked me up and we had a nice meal and guess what he spoke German which was a relief because my English was very limited. Milan fixed everything up for me, accommodation, etc. & I started work 2 days later. I looked forward to it & really felt I could contribute with my skills for the factory & we had a very good relationship & I earned above basic wage. I worked a lot of overtime and started to save. All I had was about 20 pounds to my name and one case – my trunk which had to be shipped took about 3 months to get to me but arrived safely.
Then I engulfed myself in a lot of work. I liked my job & the environment. I knew after 2 years I always
could go back to Austria. I made friends & there was good camaraderie in the factory with other migrants as
well & we had good times together and also were very productive for the development of the Lactos Cheese factory which was than pioneering the industry in Tasmania. l lived in the factory at a single men’s dwelling quite comfortable which was good for me and for Lactos.
My English started to develop & so did my bank account. l purchased a pushbike and later on a AJS motorbike so I had wheels & could venture out a bit. One of my weekly routines was to get supplies from a Burnie delicatessen which had all the essential ingredients for my then diet. Sausages, Sauerkraut, braun bread, speck, Ghurkins & also some sweet things like biscuits, chocolate and cakes. But there was also a beautiful young lady behind the counter which brought me more often to the shopping & we got to know each other very well. Another chapter in my life started to emerge. Barbara was her name, daughter of Francise and Olive Walsh of Somerset from stock of hard working pioneer farming family with Scottish and Irish background. What a combination the young Austrian adventurer in a strange land far from his roots now courting his love & being warmly welcomed in the family just like one of their own. English lessons started in earnest at Barbara’s home and I progressed very well. l learned quite a bit of Australian history, the war – Alvyn her oldest brother served at the Kokoda Track & Lyn served in the navy. 3 more brothers & a sister made up a large family & I felt like one of them. So on 23rd of February 1963 we were married at the Somerset Baptist Church & in 2009 we had our 46th wedding anniversary. So what happened in this 46 years one could write a whole book, but just to highlight some events we where blessed with 5 lovely children who all doing very well. Mischelle, Jerome, Karen, Anton and Daniel. Most of my working life was in the Dairy industry in Tasmania and in the mainland but I also had 2 years in Gowry Park near Sheffield at the Hydro where I worked in the Lementime tunnel; hard work but really good money especially with overtime.
The quiet hero in our family is Barbara the devoted wife & mother – always home when needed. Education for the children was her priority & the results speak for themselves. 3 teachers, a lawyer, a geologist, & one nurse. Her influence of her strong Christian beliefs & actions stuck with us all & I really regret not to listen to her voice enough at times but still in the finish we came out alright.
On 3rd of May 1968 I received my Australian citizenship & was proud of it. Not long after we returned to Tasmania settled in Devonport & I worked in United Milk of Tasmania in Deloraine. After this factory closed down we started our own small Cheese factory in Latrobe called Mount Roland Cheese & were quite successful with it; won several awards – highlight was our Champion cheese in 2001 at the Melbourne Agriculture show. We decided to retire and sold the factory in 2004; made a trip to Austria, another highlight of our life. The opportunity to show Barbara where I grew up was rewarding. In 1980 my parents came to visit before they passed away. This was a beautiful time for all of us.