Ten-Pound Pop (Part Two)
by Dannielle Viera
Pop had remembered the second rule: he had to have a place to stay. But he didn’t know anyone in Australia. Right when it seemed as though his dream had turned to sausage meat, he had a clever idea. Maybe one of his friends knew someone who already lived there …
Six months later, Pop was at the airport. Just like when he was a little boy, he had brought one small suitcase with him – but this time he put a little more thought into his packing. As well as his clothes and toothbrush, he had $30 in Australian money plus a paper bag with two cheese sandwiches. He would have packed more food, but his journey to Australia was going to be much shorter than he originally expected.
The English people who paid to move to Australia were called Ten-Pound Poms. Most of them travelled by boat, and it took six weeks to get there. Pop was lucky. He was allowed to go on a plane – but it still took 36 hours, which is much longer than today’s flights from England. His plane stopped at lots of thrilling cities – including Frankfurt, Cairo, Calcutta and Denpasar – but he couldn’t explore any of them. He had to get to Australia.
Pop arrived in Sydney on Christmas Day, 1967. It was hhhottt! For an English man who was used to snow in December, the searing summer’s day was a shock to the system. He didn’t realise how quickly his skin would blister in the sun, so he got sunburnt on his first day in the country. It was not a good start to his dream life. But it got better.
Pop was allowed to come to Australia because his friend’s sister sponsored him – she said that he could stay with her until he found a job and a new place to live. As he had guessed, there were heaps of jobs in Sydney. He quickly found work at a butcher shop in Mascot, close to the airport.
After he had been in Australia for two years, he decided that he didn’t want to go back to dreary old England. Although he missed his family, he enjoyed the lifestyle and the fresh food and the adventures he could go on in Australia … and he fell in love with Nanna.
I’m proud of my Ten-Pound Pop for being brave enough to move to a new country all by himself. If he hadn’t come to Australia, he wouldn’t have married Nanna and had my mum, and I wouldn’t have been born – so I’m reeeaaalllyyy glad he read that book all those years ago.