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Geoffrey & Hazel Tirchett, British Migrants, 1954

Ship's Pass - R.M.S Otranto, Fremantle

Image: Ship's Pass - R.M.S Otranto, Fremantle

Source: Museum Victoria

Geoffrey and Hazel Tirchett (nee Morland) migrated from England to Australia in 1954. They had married on 19 December 1953 but their post-war prospects were bleak and they decided to immigrate in search of better opportunities.

. On 3rd June 1954 they departed for Melbourne, migrating via the ten pound assistance scheme offered to entice migrants from the United Kingdom. They became known as 'Ten Pound Tourists'. Three of Geoffrey's brothers were already living in Australia, two in Melbourne, and one in Fremantle, who been sent to one of the boys' homes at the age of 10.

Geoffrey and Hazel fondly remember the journey, recalling the fun, novelty and excitement of shipboard life. They particularly enjoyed the food which seemed bountiful coming from 'rationed' England. Hazel had never left England before and so found the ports of call along the Suez Canal particularly exciting. For Geoffrey who had been in the Navy, these stops weren't as novel. They had little money but did buy a porcupine quill-covered box and six ornamental elephants in Colombo as souvenirs during their voyage.

When Geoffrey and Hazel arrived in Melbourne they were met by Geoffrey's brothers, and driven to their home in Brunswick, where they stayed for a short while until they bought their own house in Pascoe Vale. Geoffrey had been a 'warehouse boy' and Hazel a 'typist' in England and they continued those lines of work in Melbourne.

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