I’ve been asked a handful of times if I would consider nominating for local government or Parliament. Like many British born emigrants it never occurs to you are not an Australian…especially if you were a child when you left your country of birth.
The assumption of many Brits(10pound poms) like my parents-in-law was Australia is not truly Sovereign; We are still paying the tab for the Royals to come and visit the old colony.
I was spoon-fed a deep connection to Australia via my mother’s memories when she was transported to New South Wales, as a child migrant from the overwhelmed Orphanages in 1950. MUM’S HERSTORY LINKED – WHITE AUSTRALIA POLICY – CHILD MIGRATION
I spent a lot of my childhood digging in the back-yard to reach the land down-under!
My allegiance to this country of Australia when I arrived as a teenager was absolute. I was glad to cut my ties because I had been going through a tough adolescence with my peers.
It didn’t take much observation and reading the Daily Mirror to feel a sense of hopelessness for a girl like me, for example, Enoch Powell, a Conservative M.P. shook me with his hateful racist speech against the kids I went to school with.
I sympathised with the IRA especially when the BBC reported they couldn’t show the Republican spokesman due to Government Censorship. Somehow in the daily diet of bombings, the Protestant Reverend Ian Paisley and security checks at the Children’s library I figured the British Government caused the Troubles there.
When I was 18, living on my own with a bean bag, I confess to thinking I would go back to the Mother Country if there was a Revolution against Margaret Thatcher’s regime!
My husband said the same thought had occurred to him!
Then a funny thing happened entering Bali in 1984. Fatefully a Denpasar Airport officer said we didn’t have a re-entry Visa so wouldn’t be able to get back into Australia! But we live there!
This was confusing and worrying as I was 5months pregnant.
Roy’s parents in Highett would have a heart attack! So would our sisters in Frankston. Have you ever had a souffle sinking feeling?
The advice was to go to the Australian Embassy as soon as we settled into our hotel. A kindly official informed us she would issue a temporary visa but we would be need an Australian passport with Australian Citizenship even if we had emigrated in 1964 and 1978 on a family passport.
Nobody had told us we could be deported. Nobody told us we’d be put in a detention centre and sent back to that cramped, grey Thatcherite society. It was before Paul Keating had become P.M. and changed to oath to only have to swear allegiance to the country.
To be frank, I put my hand up to God and the Queen only to be pragmatic.
Currently the Australian M.P.s are still being bowled over by officially finding out they are dual citizens and not eligible to sit in Parliament. I bet there are millions of Australians reflecting on their geneology, and migration stories against the backdrop of the Australian Constitution section 44.
I’m HEADING TOWARDS THE BIG 4O YEARS since I arrived in Australia. It was Friday 13th January 1978 when we landed at Melbourne Airport. I had waited patiently for two years of paper shuffling before our family could emigrate away from the ‘hole-in-the middle’ of Birmingham.
GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!
Like the Sex Pistols – I CARED FOR NEITHER OF THEM.
We were fortunate our step-father was a Master cold-screw setter from the Industrial West Midlands (the Black Country). He recognised the name of a former Manager who had moved to Melbourne and placed an Ad in the Birmingham Mail for a skilled worker who would train others.
In the ‘Lucky Country’ 6 months free rent and the best wages my parents ever had in their lives, but they were not the prudent type.
IN MY DREAM LAST NIGHT I spoke to chief political journalist for the Guardian,
Catherine Murphy. She looks like she might have dual nationality, very Irish looking like my mum. Is our Federal Government imploding? What is the answer to all this mess? Sharman like I would consult with my ancestor Catherine Murphy:
THE ANSWER IS AN AUSTRALIAN REPUBLIC – A NEW ANTHEM, NEW FLAG. I see it blowing in the wind… Turn a new leaf on the recycled paper to compliment the Commonwealth with a Bill of Rights.
Make the young people proud like they are in the Irish Republic, guiding the Australian tourists with Irish roots around the old Oppressor’s administration, Dublin Castle; and this is a portrait of our elected President….
That’s all we need to rescue our social democracy for our grandchildren’s fulfilment of their dreams.
.A decent income for your labours in a dream home with a pool in a sunny climate, and enough spare to use your 6 weeks long service leave to visit family and friends in the Mother Country. As you would.
I’ve discovered a branch of my daughter’s ‘ in-laws’ ancestry comes from a long line of labouring, farming stock of Buckinghamshire, England. They were the white foundation Colonialists dreaming of landing a prosperity unobtainable in the Mother country.
Queensland was New South Wales until 1859. Federation of the Commonwealth at the beginning of Queensland’s white history. When Catherine was born on Glengallen Station the big house was being built with the profits of merino wool.
Bounded in the north by the Bunya Mountains, in the east by the Great Dividing Range and in the west by the Condamine River, the Darling Downs area had been home for thousands of years to the Keinjan, Giabal, Jarowair and Barunggam Aboriginal people, who practiced a burning season to manage the grasses of the plains.
The first European to sight the Darling Downs was explorer and botanist Allan Cunningham in 1827, who named the district after Sir Ralph Darling, Governor of New South Wales. He had his first view of the country from the top of the range on 5th June 1827.
ENGLISH ROOTS: BUCKINGHAMSHIRE, ENGLAND. Catherine’s father was GEORGE WILLETT who was 8 YEARS of age when his family boarded the St. Vincent at Deptford dock, London in 1844.
Children were charged 9shillings one way and adults 12shillings. Agricultural labourers were the desired types to develop the black soil of SE Queensland, then part of the colony of New South Wales.
Opportunity to Learn & Grow & Prosper free from England’s class system.
CATHERINE’S mother MARGARET DOBBINS came to the Darling Downs via County Armagh, Northern Ireland(Protestant). Survivor of the Potato Famine, and the Voyage to New South Wales. She came as a single female aboard the famous Tea Clipper, CAIRNGORM.
After a short, always treacherous merchant ship trip to Newcastle coal port in the year of our Lord, of the reign of King Charles 1, 1631 ~ Hugh Cannaday, a Mariner, sometime resident of Wapping, did the honourable thing by the pretty wench from Bishops gate.
Hugh was 21 and rightly proud… yet humble. It was a successful trip to Newcastle as second mate. It had been bloody hard, dirty work, and if they got home in one piece was paid better than any Royal crew.
The boat ferried the lads over to the shore-line, sailors like excited children across to the Wapping playground; unadulterated Sinners.
The Captain and the Vicar were clever; Their earnings were sorted in the Vestry. It was no pay and no play until they’d expressed gratitude to the Holy Trinity at the Sailor’s Church in Stepney for getting them home alive.
It didn’t hurt to sit and begin to adjust to land and lovers, but this time he was going to do things differently. He had turned 21 in the year 1631. He could deflect the fatigue on his knees at the altar, and stand and sit for a reading of the Gospel and singing of a Psalm.
Once he was carrying a purse full of cash from his profitable sea-coal venture to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, returning to the Thames, though his back bone was weary, nothing a hot tub and rub by a musclie Turk couldn’t fix.
God Almighty knew his purpose. He wanted to see that girl again. No need for whores along Wapping Wall. He wanted to impress. There was still time to get fitted for new boots.
It would be bright tonight, suit a new shirt – she liked to stroke it…Yes, he needed the Barber, the shirt, the boots. Nothing else, after-all he was only tempting a daughter of Eve not marrying one!
The Italian barber insisted Hugh soak his hands in a bowl of warm soapy water then nails scrubbed if he was to please his mistress, or maiden is she? Believe me a female is allured like we had slinky, spot coat of the leopard at the Tower.
Really, as the Lord is my Saviour, my wife go wild in the bed everywhere when I take her to Royal Zoo.! True! Hair done, magnifico, very handsome man.
He took the money, and his eyes shone. Hey don’t forget to come back and tell me your love story! Angelo not a fighter, am a lover heh? I can tell you are too. He winked. Hugh was not one for revealing licentious information about his affairs with anybody, let alone with this depraved Roman.
His hand coveted his sword hilt. The barber was quick to notice. with pockets of money had considered not entering that particular tavern where they had met previously, danced to the early morning, then sneaked him back to her father’s shop, only a few doors down, and my God they were up for it.
He had paused at the threshold of the tavern Bishops-gate Street having a sense something momentous was about to occur. He surmised it was the thought of nothing else but the thought of fuckin’ with Thomasine again, or anybody with a nice round arse to grab.
He was 21years, a man who had a wage packet and feeling horny, but he wasn’t going to go with any tart who could give him Mother Clap for his sin.
He could remember she was a comely 17. Could have been a gypsy. Aah, stop it, get over it, so he stepped into the bar where a mixed crowd of a Friday night generated the hive of convivial activity.
The barman greeted him with a nod, first drink on the house son; one group of youngsters were playing skull drinks, friends trained their eye to knocking the skittles, a balladeer sung favourite romances.
The fire was roaring, beckoned him over to sit with his tankard and relax after half a year of a profitable
“How do I know you ain’t stitching me up!” he said to her Mother, it could be any one of these fellas in this tavern?” Margaret Bond of Bishopsgate was 17 and burst into tears.
Dear God, forgive him, for he knows what you the Almighty wants to be done. She took his hand and pulled him to the floor to pray.
Margaret stayed seated. “He’s a good, hard-working man who would make a good father and husband, just as your Son, Jesus had in Saint Joseph. He was but an ordinary Carpenter but he performed the task which you God had purposed for him.
Due to this randy sailor my Virgin Margaret is no more, she fell for him, hook, line and sinker. As you blessed Saint Elizabeth, to be a Mother of John the Evangelist, and Blessed Mary, Mother of God, may this man Hugh consent to carry his Paternal line of Cannaday
to do your Will. Amen. Amen. Hugh had been ambushed. Margaret’s father Thomas Bond entered the room, “Here we are my dear, the finest Brandy to welcome the next little bundle of joy!” The three adults in the room stood and clinked goblets.
“Don’t forget me!” blabbed their daughter, “It’s me needs the medicine to fortify the Soul. You’re always ignoring me!, and he burst into tears. Her father rushed to her side after an urgent silent direction from his mother.
“There Pet, get this down you. It will settle you both down for the night. Please sit young man. We will leave you two betrothed love birds to re-aquaint.
See you in the morning, sweet her father kissed her head, shook his soon to be son-in-law’s hand, and said, “Margaret, you’ll have to show your young man what you have been collecting in your sea-chest!
Margaret complied. Her mother said to her, now he was reeled in, all she had to do was make him comfortable on the bed and stroke his cock.
She led him into the adjoining room with a double bed and hung curtain decoratively attached to the four posts. Margaret explained to him this was the conjugal bed which they could use until they got their own.
“I’m sorry I was weeping like a weak woman,” she moaned. I was so looking forward to seeing you handsome face and feel your strong arms around me.
“You have very understanding parents” he said as she leaned her breasts over to touch his side, lifted her gaze to his. They kissed. She was ravishing him so he had to succumb, being in an aroused state of shock.
Hugh lay back on the pillow. He thanked God for leading him to the mother of his children. What was amazing was the smell of fish, strong, fresh fish which would fly out of the sea onto the deck of the ship, showing, said he Captain, the fecundity of God.
Fecund. They took turns in saying the word in different ways. When she asked if he had seen a Mermaid, he laughed. “Not at Sea, but you are very close to how I imagined her to be.”
Now, what would they wear when they walked down the aisle at St.Mary’s Whitechapel?
Thanks for stimulating the writing episode today – David Fictum at the wordpress blog
In Australia the outlaw NED KELLY became a folk hero against the British Colonial administration. The standard bog-Irish prejudice transferred to the Colonies. Sometimes you don’t even realise you are prejudiced until something switches the neuron lights on.
For Fifty Years my husband had linked his paternal lineage to the Hero ROB ROY. Quite logical for a young boy called ROY, with a surname McNEILL…..Our grandson runs around with his superhero cape on, his grandfather Roy, when a Yorkshire lad in the 1950’s collected comics and patiently waited for the T.V. series.
Roy’s parents would have been encouraged he spent his pocket-money at Leeds markets, investing in the second-hand colour magazines, KNOWLEDGE of 1962 which grows into an encyclopaedia(and he hasn’t thrown them out yet)…
Being a MOD at 14years, Roy fancied himself as a lover of THE ENLIGHTENMENT which he learned from the Time-Life Books of 1966. The “Great Ages of Man” accompanied the Collier’s Encyclopaedia’s sold by a door-to-door salesman in his new landscape of Highett in suburban Melbourne.
When I met Roy and became a McNeill one habit I learned to love was listening to the ABCScience show at midday every Saturday(and for the next 32 years!)
With the advent of the DNA science it was a chance to confirm what he had always imagined. When he got the results from a sample of his Y-DNA it was not the Scottish hero ROB ROY MacGREGOR who was his direct ancestor but the Irish War-Lord Niall of the Nine Hostages!
If it wasn’t enough to know you received a Y chromosome from the pagan High King Niall who kidnapped St. Patrick as a boy thus triggering the motivation to convert the Irish to Christianity, the story has leaped into my imagination with a Spanish migratory path.
“Galicia, northern Spain, ‘the land of a thousand rivers’, is famous for the ‘city of glass’, La Coruna, the treacherous shipwrecked coast Costa de la Muerte (the Coast of Death) and its unmistakably Celtic roots.
Due to centuries of shared fishing traditions and cross-emigration, Galicia has developed a unique culture, but one that is profoundly influenced and inspired by Ireland.
The region boasts a folk music tradition with tin whistles, fiddles and bagpipes, a form of traditional dancing and a similarly rich literary and folkloric history. In return Galicia has provided Ireland with one of its most potent symbols.
Five hundred years before the birth of Christ the Galician King of Spain Milesius sent his three sons, Ir, Heber and Heremon, to invade and conquer Ireland – promising the island to the first of the siblings to touch its soil.
As the legend goes, each of the parties raced towards the shore and one of the sons cut off his own hand with a sword and throwing it onto dry land so that he could lay claim to the country. The soil was Ulster, and the Red Hand has persisted ever since.
Due to the Irish oral tradition of storytelling, there are many variations of this tale. In some accounts the invaders are Vikings, returning Irish mercenaries or Scottish clansmen. One even attributes the symbol to battle-wounds received when two giants brutally fought each other across the mountains and valleys of the North.
Debate around its precise origins must be tempered by the recognition that the tale is likely apocryphal and of little factual historical basis. The Red Hand symbol is older than, and as universal as, civilisation itself, continually recurring in aboriginal art, Native American engravings right back to the cave paintings of Cro-Magnon humans”.
For locals and international visitors, Bede’s World, was an educational highlight for tourists to the North of England(like myself).
I’m sure the school children would grow up with pride at how their town was home to the Venerable monk and scholar in Europe.
A.D.735. Jarrow was the source of shining enlightenment of human history, literature, science and creativity and is now CLOSED. My husband and I were visiting in 2010 from Australia, having family history links there. To learn of the funding cuts reinforces the damnable policies of austerity for the poorest.
IS KNOWLEDGE only for the ELITES, who can trace their pedigree to the Norman invasion? Remove Educational opportunity and inspiration to higher education, and you are likely to perpetuate poverty of living and spirit. Parliaments of yore never wanted ordinary folk to vote, wanted them to feel alienated from power.
GETTING A PERSPECTIVE WITH HIS & HER STORY
My husband’s father Archibald McNeill was a Geordie of Jarrow in 1918.
His parents were both Jarrow born too: McNeill – Kelman families.
How many millennia did it take to “Educate Rita” – It wasn’t until 1900 A.D. our working-class ancestors finished school, not write their name with an X.
Parliament only opened the Treasury when the business owners requested an up-skilling, literate work-force. Governments only cared for the health of it’s people when they needed an army with resilience.
Jarrow was infamous for it’s shocking housing and living conditions. The Jarrow Town Hall were highly resistant to improving them, even when the child and mother mortality was highest in the country, but they had to provide a basic education by Act of Parliament.
The government and the armed forces had been shocked by the physical health of the young men of Britain when they were trying to recruit for the Boer War (1899-1902). They had found that many of the young men were too small or under-nourished to join up. As a result of this, a ‘Committee on Physical Deterioration’ was set up(Ulterior Motives Archives). The McNeill boys of my father-in-laws generation would be the recipient of free milk and school dinners introduced by the Liberal Government.
ALL OR NOTHING
The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. “Stop the Madness,” interview with Economist John Galbraith.
The neglect and prejudice by the British Government is expressed at this link:North-South Divide – Lord Melvyn Bragg, the Labour Peer, from a working-class background is incensed by the closure of BEDE’S WORLD and other educational museums and groups North of London is a sign that Westminster never learns and doesn’t care.
My husband’ Australian long service leave, and we went to the UK including our Jarrow crusade, with cousin Phil and his wife.
My husband’s family had emigrated to Melbourne, Australia in 1964. It was 2010 when we visited the town where the cousins father’s Archibald and Gordon were born – JARROW, by the River Tyne.
Western democracies exalt the ideal of social equality, but our economic system arguably emerged from 16th-century Calvinism, a Protestant religion whose members believed that God showed favor by bestowing wealth and other forms of success on what they called ‘the chosen.’ Martha Beck
My husband’s family left Jarrow Durham in 1933 to find work in Leeds, Yorkshire. The last cry for the working families was the 1936 JARROW CRUSADE.
The hungry shipbuilders walked to London with a petition asking for the steel and iron industry to be rescued and revived by investing in the steel works and shipbuilding industry.
The 26-day trek, ended in heroic failure when Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, head of the Conservative government, said he was too busy to meet the bedraggled marchers.
Of the Hunger March Archie & Isabella McNeill Grandparent’s view from their new home in Leeds, Yorkshire, was Their comrades effort would be a waste of time – they still had horrifying memories of when Winston CHURCHILL set the British troops on the Welsh coal-miners strikers, in the Tonypandy Riots of 1910.
Greenock Scot, Great-Grandfather Archibald(1841-1907), was part of the big migrant wave to Palmer’s shipyard when at peak productivity in the 1850’s. The population of Jarrow grew but hardly enough building of new or older houses for the families who came down from Scotland, across from Ireland and elsewhere was of affordable rent and standard.
Western democracies exalt the ideal of social equality, but our economic system arguably emerged from 16th-century Calvinism, a religion whose members believed that God showed favor by bestowing wealth and other forms of success on what they called ‘the chosen.’ Martha Beck
ALL OR NOTHING
1st Archibald MCNEILL was born in Greenock , Scotland, and had been a labourer on the Glasgow dockyards.
There is some family rumour he was on the run for his Union activity but I have no proof for that, yet.
Maybe he had word the wages were higher at Palmers Shipyard at Jarrow. By 1875 Archibald had a wife Anne Laird, nee Johnston from Carlisle, who had been widowed 3 years earlier. The youngest LAIRD step-son was three years old, and 4 more siblings.
Tragically his wife Anne died from an infection of childbirth. She was 45years when she died. They had two daughters together though one daughter died aged 2yrs. JARROW had the highest mortality rate for women and children in England. (a reduction of the causes were not on the agenda at the Jarrow Town Hall).
It is only recently that the Church of England prayer book removed the service for the ‘churching of women who had recently given birth’ which starts by giving thanks to God for:
‘The safe deliverance and preservation from the great dangers of childbirth.’
Archibald must have had something going for him because 3 years later he married 20 years young, Margaret Slaughter Hunter from Westoe. Four children later, in 1907, Archibald died of a stroke at 66yrs.
Isabella was 13yrs when her Mother Mary Blake Kelman age 37yrs died in childbirth 1907, which meant she would leave school to become the older sister, “mother”.
When Isabella met Archibald he had finished his apprenticeship and worked as an Iron ship Rivetter. She learned his father died of a stroke in 1907 when he was 15yrs. His mother had re-married so he had a step-father so his mother was now Margaret Leadbetter.
On my father-in-law’s Archibald’s birth certificate Grannie Margaret Leadbetter is witness to his birth on October 16th 1918 at 101 Back of Western Rd.
Summer 2010 The McNeill cousins wait for a train at JARROW STATION to take them for an Indian curry at NEWCASTLE. We checked with a local lad of about 18yrs dressed for a night out. Were we heading in the right direction?
“Yer not from here then?” “What yer doin’ comin’ to Jarrow for?” he said incredulously when we described ourselves as tourists! The McNeill cousins said their fathers were born there……
By the time young Archie was 14yrs he had earned a scholarship to continue his education, but the advice of the Head Master was bleak – there was no future in Jarrow for them. He should get out of Jarrow.
The industry had died. Archibald had arrived in Jarrow 1850, and the last Archie leave 1933.
How did Archie McNeill feel after helping to create a state of the art battle ship
then hear it was destroyed by the Germans with a grave loss of those on board?
Human beings, from the time they can walk love to build things and then destroy them. It’s a Game. How do people invest in a building to house and educate about their unique place in English/European history, then dismantle it?
revised text 12 July 2016 (c) copyright all rights reserved by Julie McNeill as author of blog