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George Palmer, English Migrant, 1947

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Source: Museum Victoria

George Palmer was an actuary, born in England in 1904. In 1947 George was living at 27 Furham Field, Hatch End, Greater Middlesex, England, with his wife, Gertrude, and their two daughters, Shirley (born 1934) and Lesley (born 1938). The Palmer family migrated to Australia on the RMS Orion in March 1947 after George applied successfully for a position in Melbourne in the Industrial Department at the Colonial Mutual Life Insurance Society.

Upon arrival they lived in a boarding house in Pickton Court, South Yarra. Sadly, about four months after arriving, Gertie died. Her daughters believe that she contracted blood poisoning, perhaps from a bite from an insect picked up during the voyage and received whilst unpacking the furniture. She passed away in the Alfred Hospital having probably had an allergic reaction to penicillin. The family had also brought out their dog Robbie, but he too died soon after arrival.

After living in the boarding house, they moved to a company flat, also in South Yarra where they remained for five to six years. The family then moved to their home in Margaret Street, Brighton. George remarried but never stopped mourning for Gertie. He was an early member of the Actuarial Society of Australasia and also an accomplished pianist, having brought his piano with him to Australia. He died on 9 May, 1992.

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