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Simply Whitstable - Natives Abroad
Emigration to NZ as a "20 Pom"
by Bob Court

Right Choice... Wrong Reasoning!


In 1963 I had an argument with my then girlfriend (no names given). I thought I had been caught out "two timing" and, so out of frustration, I told her I was going to join my brother and emigrate to New Zealand. She said, "Well go!". That is not what I wanted to hear! 

Anyway, I carried out my threat and applied for New Zealand as a tobacco picker in a place called Motuaka in the South Island and I was accepted. After a few medical examinations, things went quiet. I got over my girlfriend and started courting a new girl. Then, would you believe it, my sailing orders came through. I was to report to Southampton within two weeks to catch the Southern Cross cruise liner. 

Straightaway, I said to dad, " I'm not going". He said I was. I said, "I can't go because I haven't paid the twenty pound fare". (In those days, it was 10 pounds to Australia and 20 pounds to New Zealand). He said it was too late because he had already gone to Canterbury and paid it! I was scared and thought my dad wanted rid off me even though it was the last time I saw him.

The journey involved six weeks at sea. I adopted two elderly sisters on board who one I called Mum and the other Auntie. Mum would wash my clothes and Auntie  ironed, I had it made :-)


Bob on a New Zealand Beach


Looking back, it was one of the best things my  had done for me. The funny thing was I went back to England a couple of years ago and met up with my old girlfriend and found out I had NOT been caught two timing. The reason she had broken up with me was because I kept going on about New Zealand and she thought she was holding me back. So, for 40 years, I have had guilty thoughts!

I must admit, leaving home with no telephone, internet or emails in those days was pretty lonely for the first six months but I got through it and thank my dad for his future plans for me.


Bob Court

Note: Bob met his wife Pam in New Zealand and, after a few holidays on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland (Australia), the family relocated to Oz... by buying a home in the attractive resort of Mooloolaba. Bob features Mooloolaba in our "Home in Australia" section... Click Here.

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