Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Welcome to Brisbane

Welcome to our blog, Genzanoit story
and this post, welcome to Brisbane
Welcome to Brisbane

Brisbane city Hall in George Square with its clock that chimes every quarter of an hour, one could say that this is the Big Ben of Brisbane city. There is also the Story Bridge and many other things to see in Brisbane as well.

Welcome to Brisbane

Dear readers, this post is the continuation of our last post, next stop Sydney, and then we went to disembark in Brisbane. So, what we are going to write here next is about the first impression that I had about Brisbane city, when I disembarked in 1961, and the views that I found interesting, as seen through the eyes of an emigrant arriving in Brisbane by boat in the early sixties and other things about Brisbane city as well; we are also describing how I was welcomed to Brisbane by my relatives and friends.

Dear readers as we have said in our last hub, in this hub we are going to tell you about my first impression of Brisbane city, which are those impressions that we keep with us our entire life; so let us start from the docks where I have just arrived and disembarked; as soon as I disembarked in Brisbane I met with my brother and other friends, so, I let them guide me what to do next, after all they were here before me and they knew what we had to do and where we had to go, as we know all newcomers arriving from a foreign country have to go through custom to check all their belongings out, so, we did that and then we were free to go to our own destination, in Brisbane or any other place in Queensland, since this was the last stop that the ship made in Australia, so all the new comers coming to Australia disembarked 

Anyhow after the customs cleared us, we left the port in a car and they took me to one of our friends house not far from the port, here the lady of the house had prepared something to eat for everybody and while we were eating and everybody was trying to make me feel welcome, we were also talking about my native town Genzano di Lucania and the people that I had left behind in that town; you see all those relative or friends that came to pick me up, they were from the same town, and I had brought presents and news from their families. I should say here that in those times when transport and news travelled much slower that today, anybody that arrived from overseas and from where one had come from was very welcome, especially if one brought presents and news from their relative and friends, I thought it was a good thing and it also helped us new comers, because one did not feel that complete detachment from your country of origin that we had left behind, in my case a month earlier.

Here we guess that everybody that has migrated or moved away from home for a long period of time knows what being home sick is; therefore, this finding that there is a group of people from your own town and they are staying in touch with each other is helpful wherever one goes, because they make the new comer feel welcome. So, I was welcomed from this group of relative and friends, who soon made me understand among other things that I was welcomed to Brisbane the land of the kangaroos and this is how my relative and friends made me understand we would be labelled from now on. Anyhow it was a welcome in the best possible way that one could expect.

Now, I have to say that at first sights Brisbane did not look as good as Sydney, the port of Brisbane where I disembarked was an old timber dock, and we went through customs in an old and large timber building, but I thought anyhow Brisbane is still a city and our friends live here; so, we went to one of our fried home, it was a unit in a brick building, so that was not bad, after all one has to accept whatever there is available when one goes to a different place. But little did I know that I was going to have a surprise soon, because I was going to see that in Brisbane most houses were made of timber.

Later on, after having eaten and talked for a couple of hours with our friends, and given them those presents that I had brought, I was driven to my final destination a few kilometres away, where we had to go was on the other side of the river, we went across the Brisbane River on a bridge called the Story Bridge, which is a very important bridge in Brisbane, but perhaps not as important as Sydney Harbor Bridge. So, Brisbane has also its own unique land marks the Story Bridge and City Hall are the most important, there is also Parliament House and the city centre with tall modern tall buildings, these were the things that gave us migrants some hope, because to us migrants it meant that Brisbane city was a growing prosperous city.

My final destination

Reaching my final destination
My final destination, was at my uncle home, where my brother and a few other friends and relatives were also staying. My uncle had been in Australia by now 9 years already and somehow very recently had been able to save enough money to put down a deposit to buy a house; the house was a large wooden house typical of the houses in Brisbane of those times. I will come back to talk about these wooden houses later.
Now, for us that were coming from a country where almost everything was masonry or built with bricks and mortar and cement, these houses in Brisbane city make us feel a bit strange at first; but, they were still houses and they still provided a roof on our heads; therefore, even knowing that they were made of timber, I was pleased to have been offered that accommodation. My brother knowing that I was coming had already bought a bed for me, so, I was already set up very well. You know it is a great help when you go to a new country and find that somebody has already prepared everything for you. I believe that for this reason I have been lucky and I have escaped some very real hardship. Otherwise it could have been a lot harder to start a new way of life away from your original home.
Let us just imagine you reach your destination, as I did when I reached Brisbane city. Now let us say that you don’t have much money to pay for accommodation, you don’t know where to go or what to do next; you don’t know even how to speak the local language, you might end up in deep trouble you know. Therefore, I think that I have been lucky somehow when I found that I was welcomed. I believe that when we see some new arrivals we should try to understand that they have left their own country in the hope of finding a better way of living, or perhaps they were forced to leave their country for safety reasons. So, I suppose that if we could make feel welcome, it is a good humanitarian gesture.  
Anyhow, above I have pasted some links about Brisbane and Australia, if you are interested to view them.
I believe that I have said enough in this post, so, see you in my next post called, at my new Brisbane address.
See you soon.
Genzano it story
Welcome to Brisbane
Next time with, my Brisbane address

Some other useful links