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  • kitkatbkitkatb Member Posts: 442
    @Annie C and @arpie enjoy your adventure.  Hope the weather has laid it on nice for you and not too windy this time of year.  Great Pic's both of you. Keep them coming including the Barra.  Hope you enjoyed Mindle Markets. 
    @Afraser  great photos of your trip.  xo
  • ZoffielZoffiel Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 3,308
    edited July 2019
    @Annie C my father was the chief engineer on the Koolinda. He was up there during the war, merchant navy . From the Koolinda  he went to the hospital ship Wanganella which brought the Changi survivors home. He'd have been 113 this year. Horrible man, but he lived in interesting times.
  • Annie CAnnie C Member Posts: 786
    edited July 2019
    My mother often talked of her evacuation trip from Darwin to Perth. Of the forcible evacuation of the women and children, no choice, of not really knowing where they were going.

    Of not being able to say goodbye to their menfolk, or not being able to leave notes for their men, in case the Japanese invaded. It took my father 5 months to find my mother and baby sister.

    She talked  of 8 women and children being crammed in 4 berth cabins. Of waiting on the Darwin Wharf, in the December wet season heat and humidity from 7:00am to 4:00pm to board the Koolinda.

    My mother mentioned that the Koolinda was accompanied from Darwin to Carnavon by a minesweeper, and she spoke of how the women slept on deck at night wearing lifejackets.

    The most memorable event she often mentioned was how seasick she was. She said that she was so seasick she could cheerfully have pushed my 3 week old sister through the port hole whenever she cried! I have this vision of my older sister dressed in a nappy and singlet being bundled through the port hole of the cabin.

    I do think that it was these experiences that made my mother the hard tough unemotional woman that she was.

    It is indeed a small world. Your father an engineer on the Koolinda, @arpie father an army dentist in Darwin during those times and my father working for the Public Works Department building the airstrips along the Stuart Highway. 

  • ZoffielZoffiel Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 3,308
    It's untold history @Annie C . A little like what happened up there in 74. Not a secret, as such, just under reported because they were military, or national safety, operations.
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,956
    Not as interesting but my Dad served his war up in Darwin.  I imagine it wasn't great as he never talked about it.
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,884
    One group of WW2 servicemen who didn’t like where they were stationed occasioned the poem Bloody Orkneys. Much as I enjoyed the Hebrides recently, I can comprehend their opinion. Easy to google, it was set to music too. 
  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 6,121
    edited July 2019
    Woohoo! Managed to get online, but can’t load pics as I’ve run out of data!  Grrr what normally I go thru in a month, I’ve done in under a week!  :( Seems you have more time to play with at home than when away.  

    We all visited the Crocosaurus today (where idiots get into a see thru plastic tank with a 5.1m croc swimming around, that weighs half a tonne!  (Not my idea of fun!) Then I shot thru to the Berry Springs Barra Farm that allows you to cast and retrieve for Barramundi ... there were about 10 or more of us trying ... and I was the only one to hook and land a Barra!!  Then had a big swirl when one ‘missed’ and 2small ones hooked ....  one got off in the air and the other one fell off trying to pull it up a small cliff!  All good fun!  Woohoo!  Biggest was about 70cm (pics to come, probably on @Annie Cs post! ) Then everyone had a go using pellets instead of lures and we all got one then.

    Off to see the WW2 museum tomorrow with Ian and Annie C and also Cyclone Tracey Museum.  I’ve found a bit of wire and will have a go at getting that crab out if his hole, too!  ;) 

    Hope everyone has had a great weekend, if somewhat cold .... except for us!  ;) A very pleasant 30+

  • Annie CAnnie C Member Posts: 786
    How close our backgrounds are. We share something, not only BC.
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,974
    @Zoffiel I had dinner with a chap who was in the Army and one of the first in Darwin after the cyclone. He told us several stories that were never reported in the press, and was adamant that there was a huge cover up.
  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 6,121
    It is indeed amazing how many of us have such strong connections to Darwin thru WW2.

    Apparently my brother donated some pics of our Dad In Darwin during the war (including a pic of him operating a foot controlled drill as he worked on a soldier - SHUDDER) so hope to see it tomorrow.  

    Dad was actually injured during the bombing of Darwin that contributed to his early death. He had regular medical episodes from age 40 til his death 51 years ago, at age 51.  :( 
  • Brenda5Brenda5 Burrum Heads, QldMember Posts: 2,409
    My first employment was with a dentist. He and his family survived cyclone Tracey and never returned to Darwin. He lost everything. Only the heavy fridge remained of his house. He carried scars on his back from debris.
  • ZoffielZoffiel Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 3,308
    That evening cruise is the obsolute bomb @anniec ! Definitely the highlight of my last trip up there and well worth the money. We got lucky and were fed 'leftovers' from a group that had paid for catering--most unexpected and satisfactory--never knock back a free prawn :)

  • ZoffielZoffiel Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 3,308
    Yep @kmakm , my half brother was up there living in a caravan, got pished and missed all the alerts. First he knew about it was when the caravan exploded--he thought someone had driven a truck through it.

    Some of the stories about the subsequent evacuation and  clean up were definitely suppressed. There was some fairly vigorous persuasive tactics employed on anyone who didn't do what they were told without argument. He ended up in the slammer--not for the first or last time--but it was a bit of a worry when we couldn't find out where he was for weeks.
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