Summary

Single page handwritten letter with koala stick pin and camp sticker attached, sent by Jean [name illegible] of the International Camp Australia to Lucy Hathaway, 22 January 1959. Lucy Hathaway had migrated to Australia from England with her family in 1951. She and her daughters were involved in brownies and girl guiding in England and then went on to become very active in the Ballarat area where they settled. The letter refers to the camp, the groups and sub groups and the writer offers the gilt of a 'Koala group' pin and camp sticker.

Stanley and Lucy (nee Simmons) Hathaway and their daughter Hazel survived World War II in heavily bombed Coventry, England, remaining there until 1946. They attended the Victory in Europe celebrations there on 8 May 1945. The Hathaways relocated to Buckinghamshire (where second daughter Merle was born in 1948) and Hampshire between 1946 and 1951, finally deciding to migrate to Australia. They applied successfully to the Assisted Passage Migration Scheme but had to wait two years before departing, living and touring England in a caravan until departing on the 'New Australia' 17 November, 1951. They first stayed at the Bathurst Migrant Camp in New South Wales before being relocated to a housing commission estate in Ballarat, Victoria. Within six months they had purchased a block of land, living in a caravan while their house was built. The family became active members of the local Ballarat community, with Lucy working for the newly established McCallum House Centre for Retarded Children at Sebastapol and continued her strong interest in the Brownies and Girl Guides associations.

Physical Description

One page single-sided letter on cram paper handwritten in blue ink. The letter is headed 'International Camp [illegible] House and dated 22.1.59. There is a blue and yellow stamped log for the Australia International Camp. there is a camp logo sticker stuck to the page and a metal koala stick pin threaded through the paper.

Significance

This collection represents the experiences of thousands of post-war assisted migrants from England who brought with them memories of danger, sadness, courage, austerity and celebration in both tangible and intangible forms. This family survived one of the most severe bombings of any English city during World War II and brought with them material symbols of endurance and triumph in the Victory Day dress and Union Jack flag, symbols with almost universal resonance. The collection also includes items which tell stories about the goods migrants select in order to start new lives, the adventure of the ship voyage, and the seeking of familiar interests in a new community. The collection also explores the theme of maintaining connections and loyalties to homeland, in this case through memorabilia relating to the British monarchy and exchange projects with former local communities.

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