Generations of Australians: Catleys

George and Margaret Young were as patient as could be with the fiddly nature of ZOOM as it took almost 10 minutes before they were able to hear and talk to their English based granddaughter, Steph Catley.

You could be excused for the time it took to get the call up and running with the 97-year-old couple having the assistance of Catley’s mum, Lesley, to ensure that the audio and video was functioning properly.

Like many migrants, George and Margaret took the plunge when they made the decision to depart England in 1964 to go in search of a new life in Australia.

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However, their journey down under was not fondly remembered with the six week trip taking its toll on the couple and their young family.

“I was sick every day, I used to try and go down for a meal but I’d get to the top of the stairs where you would go down and I could smell the food and that was enough to send me back to the cabin,” Margaret remembered.

There was however something quite historically significant about that journey which saw the young family pass through the Suez Canal.

“The Suez Canal is really interesting because it was shut after that. So these two went through it while it was open so that is an interesting point, if I may speak,” Lesley added as she popped in on the video call.

The first port of call in Australia was Perth and it was the first time that Margaret and the family had the chance to stomach food on dry land.

“We got fish and chips and it was like nectar,” she exclaimed.

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The Young’s time in Australia proved to be short lived on the first time out with a potential new job sending the family back to England after only a few years down under.

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