Photograph of Merle Hathaway [right] with her elocution teacher Mrs Purcell, outside the Civic Hall, Mair Street, Ballarat.
Stanley and Lucy (nee Simmons) Hathaway and their daughter Hazel survived World War II in heavily bombed Coventry, England, remaining there until 1946. They 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' on 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 in Wendouree, 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. They later relocated to Melbourne and then retired to Buninyong.
Description of Content
Two women standing together in front of a building.
Black and white photograph on paper
Statement of Historical Significance:
The Hathaways are an example of the thousands of British migrants who were fled the austerity of post-war Britain in search of better opportunities in Australia. While they successfully purchased land and built their own house on the block, they had to work hard for this success, The birth, marriage, baptism and schooling records in this collection provide the historical building blocks of the family's history already in the collection. A piano accordion music book supports the Hathaway's piano accordion which is already in the collection and a small shipboard diary documents Lucy's mother's visit to Australia. The photographs provide a visual narrative of the family's life, through caravan holidays in rural Victoria, successes at competitive competitions, participation in Brownies and local festivals, Lucy's involvement in disability care and Merle's career in the arts.
Place & Date Depicted
Photograph, Black & White
Type of item