Ramblings of a much published New Zealand author

11 February 2012

Our 1960 Journey to A New Life in New Zealand. 1.

 This is a diary from 1960. The actual entries are in typewriter font. Added comments are in red. The photographs are from that date, some in colour (expensive in those days).

Don (that's me) and Pat Donovan, aged 26 and 25, emigrated from England to New Zealand on 
12 January 1960. I made daily notes of the voyage. Reading them in 2012, after 52 years, they are clumsy and naive. I have left them virtually unedited. But I’ve taken the liberty of adding comments (in red) with the wisdom of hindsight. The photographs, a few in colour, date from 1960: please excuse their technical shortcomings.

A large family contingent including Pat’s mother, Paddy; step-sisters, Shirley, Valerie and Christine Istance; half sister, Barbara Istance, and friends saw us off from Waterloo Station for the train journey to Southampton. My parents, Fred and Ruby Donovan, both aged 53, travelled with us and came aboard the ship for a last farewell...

[Fred and Ruby Donovan with Pat on Johan van Oldenbarnevelt ]

12th January 1960

Sailed from Southampton 1605 down the Solent in darkness, watched shore lights go by and flames of Fawley Refinery. Turned in at 2215. Golf clubs missing! We have a peculiar light-headed feeling, not yet used to the motion of the boat.

[The ship was the m.s. Johan van Oldenbarnevelt of the 
Nederland Line, Royal Dutch Mail.]


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By Don Donovan