Lake Macquarie History

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Stories of strength: Brian, 2019

  • Stories of strength: Brian, 2019

    Photo Ref: 25823

    I originally came from Wales in 1962. I was nine years old. We got here on Australia Day, and there were thousands of boats out on the harbour. My father said: ‘Geez this is a nice welcome for all of us isn’t it’ There was what’s called a sense of ‘hiraeth’, which is home sickness for Wales. It’s a Welsh word meaning ‘loss of connection’. Especially for my parents. We had roast beef, and Yorkshire pudding for Christmas. Even if it was 35 degrees inside the house, we would still have a baked dinner for Christmas day. I’m in Toronto - Kilaben Bay. It sounds posher than what it is. Even though it has grown, I still feel it’s a close community. I wouldn’t live anywhere else. Doing property maintenance, I’ve gone into so many homes and met all sorts of cultures and they’ve all got one thing in common: they’re all really glad to be in this country. In Britain, people ask me about the class system in Australia. I say: ‘Well if I acted like a toff when I went home, there’s always somebody to tell me to pull my head in’.