Tag Archives: immigration

1419. Welcome!

The Innes Family of Stockton Street were excited. They were sponsoring a distant cousin from England. Tommy was eighteen years old, had no brothers and sisters, and his parents had passed on. Mr and Mrs Innes had met him (years ago) on their trip to the Old Country. How would he like to live with us and start a new life in New Zealand?

Tommy was more than capable. He organized everything possible from his end. Meanwhile, the Innes Family repainted the spare bedroom, made new curtains, and generally made his room as welcoming as possible.

Oh the excitement among the Innes children as the day drew near!

“We don’t want to rush things,” said Mrs Innes. “Just take things slowly. Tommy will need time to adjust to his new country.”

He arrived! It was as if he had been part of the family all his life! It was a perfect arrangement!

On the first Saturday (with grandma as well) they packed a picnic, crammed into the old car, and headed for the river.

“A picnic at the river, a swim, fresh air, will do us all good,” said Mr Innes.

And Tommy drowned.

1415. Humdrumery

Astra was born in Latvia and in her twenties had emigrated. She did it on her own. Her parents had passed on and her only sibling, a sister, had married rich and was living a life of luxury disinterested and somewhere else.

Changing countries for Astra was both a risk and an adventure. Who knew what was around the corner? Who knew what stranger might suddenly transform her life? The world was her oyster!

Astra quickly found a job. After all, she was fluent in a number of languages. Her job paid well. She lived comfortably.

She never met Mr Right. She lived on her own. She didn’t know how to make friends in a foreign country. She thought the locals weren’t too keen to hang out with foreigners.

When she died in early old age a couple of people came to her funeral. None of them were sad. They knew her vaguely from work.

Her lively adventure had in fact been ho-hum, humdrum, mediocre, you know, sort of neither here nor there.

847. Family from China


When the church parish sponsored a new immigrant family about once a year, Nancy Delaney often came to the rescue. She would have the family stay a few weeks while they adjusted to their new country and culture.

This year, it was a family from China. Actually, it was a mother and son from China. The son was twelve years old. The mother was a qualified doctor.

Nancy welcomed them into her home. They spoke halting English. And what could be more welcoming, more culturally sensitive, than to get “Chinese” for the first evening meal? Nancy purchased several different dishes, with lots of rice.

The visiting mother and son did their best to eat it. They could merely nibble and try not to look disgusted.

Over the next few weeks, the doctor taught Nancy how to cook proper Chinese, and Nancy taught her how to cook European. What a revelation for both! What a great friendship forged! The learning process is never one way.

To listen to the story being read click HERE!

798. Choices…


Finlay and Nora decided to emigrate from England. They had six kids. Oklahoma seems to be a good spot…

In 1889, President Benjamin Harrison signed legislation which opened up the two million acres of the Unassigned Lands for settlement. Some of the settlers were called “Sooners” because they had already staked their land claims before the land was officially opened for settlement. Finlay and Nora were among them.

Their six kids all survived and prospered. Finlay and Nora had twenty-two grandchildren. Those twenty-two produced another eighty-seven. One of them became the President of the United States. She was regarded as one of the greatest Presidents in the history of the United States. In fact, they added her face to Mount Rushmore…

“Nah,” said Nora looking at the tourist brochure back in the 1880s, “let’s go to Australia instead.”

And they did.

To listen to the story being read click HERE!