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Christmas Card - P&O Orient Line 'Canberra', 1963 Document Reg. No: HT 13692

Christmas card featuring a colour image of the P&O Orient Line ship SS Canberra. Inside the card is signed 'from your steward Ken'. This card was collected by the Myerscough family during their migrant voyage from England to Australia in 1963 and kept as a souvenir of their shipboard experience.

John and Doreen Myerscough migrated to Australia from Liverpool in England with their daughters Jill and Julie on 20 November 1963. Searching for greater opportunities and with savings behind them, they took advantage of the Australian Government's 'Nest Egg Scheme'. They were also assisted ten pound migrants. The family sailed on the P&O Orient Line SS Canberra and settled in Melbourne where the climate was said to be similar to that of England. They transferred directly to Altona Migrant Hostel and ended up staying there (most unusually) for two years. John worked on the Geelong-Melbourne oil pipeline, in construction, and as a sub-contractor all over Victoria installing ceilings. Doreen had another baby Paul and later worked at Rothman's cigarette factory in Brooklyn. The couple purchased a block of land in Melton, promoted as a growth suburb, but the potential for isolation, as well as the couple's inability to really get ahead, made them decide to give up the dream and return to England. They paid their full fares, sold their land and returned to Liverpool on the P&O Orient Line SS Oriana on 21 January 1966. However, the challenges they experienced inspired them to strive and succeed, and John and Doreen have subsequently become frequent tourist visitors to Australia.
Soft card cover card. 4 pages. Colour image on front. Blue text on back and inside. Message written in blue pen.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mrs Doreen Myerscough, 2007
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 17.10 cm (Width), 11.90 cm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: migrant hostels, nest egg scheme, return migration, shipping lines
Themes this item is part of: Migration Collection, Transport Collection
Primary Classification: MIGRATION
Secondary Classification: Travel - Shipboard Life
Tertiary Classification: souvenirs
Inscriptions: Text, inside card: With every good wish for a/Merry Christmas/and a Happy and Prosperous/New Year/from your/Steward/Ken.
Past Owner or User: Mrs Doreen Myerscough, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1963
Past Owner or User: Mr John Myerscough, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1963


janet morgan Posted on 04 Feb 2012 5:59 AM
we went on canberra on 20th Nov 1963 on £10 scheme my parents were Albert and Mary Higginbottom my sisters Lorraine and Denise, my dad had a job at the Government Aircraft factory, when we were sailing there was a steward I think called Les Merkitt we used to have a good laugh, also I met Norma she was an aussie going back home to aussie she was from altona, I remember going and staying with her she had a horse I tried riding it and was frightened to death. When I started work at Gunnerson Nosworthy Louvre doors down salmon street the secretary was mrs ritter and she felt sorry for me and gave me a job, I made friends with a pat banche and judy jesson but have lost contact with them, pat married alan coleman but thats all i know. I came back to england in 1968 I wasn't happy in aussie, my son Gary Morgan was born there and does bmx riding championships for veterans, and also my grandson Jordan races. I now live in sheffield thats where I left to go to aussie, I always wanted to come back here to live. Living on Fishermens bend hostel was an eye opener, we used to have a good laugh Bernadette Mcdade and Peter, Bonnie Latimer and Chas Rose, Robert Dalgliesh, I have just found this story while browsing through on the internet and felt compelled to write it would be good if somebody from the past contacted me especially pat banche who i worked with at Gunnersons, I have been to aussie twice to see my family but won't be going back there again.

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