by Rupert Hewison (guest author) on 30 May, 2011
Rupert Hewison a former Child Migrant from Britain shares the photographs he took as an eight-year-old at Fairbridge House, Tresca, Exeter, Tasmania.
I was in Tresca from October 1964 to October 1965.
As a farewell gift when leaving England in 1964 my second cousin Alan Hewison gave me a small camera. My mother paid for the film and developing and encouraged me to take photos. I was eight in November 1964 so these are an eight year old’s idea of what would make a good photo at the time. As a child I was known by my middle name, John. These days I use my first name, Rupert. My mother died peacefully in Canberra late last year aged 82. Thank you Jean for having the courage to leave behind all your family and friends to give us a better life in the Promised Land.
Rupert (John) Hewison, taken by Rick on the way to Exeter Area School.
Brian (left) and Kevin (right) in the back garden at Tresca summer of 1964 – 1965.
Paul in front of Tresca. Paul wanted me to take a good photo of him so he could give it to his girlfriend. Paul and his three brothers Guy, Ian and Mark were the first children to arrive at Tresca in January 1958. Sadly, Guy was conscripted in February 1967 and was killed in action in Vietnam during the Tet offensive at Long Dien, Phuoc Tuy, on February 8, 1968, aged 21.
Kevin with some of his toys in front of Tresca, summer 1964-65.
Girls playtime at Exeter Area School 1964 or 1965
Boys playtime at Exeter Area School 1964 or 1965. Note the toy handguns. Would they be accepted in the schoolyard today?
Kevin (left) and Brian (right) with Tresca in the background.
Gravelly Beach, Christmas Day 1964. l to r Rupert (John) Hewison, Jean Hewison and Brian. I think the photo was taken by Brian’s older brother whose first name I can’t remember.
14 Jean and Rupert (John) Hewison outside Tresca on Christmas Day 1964. This was our first ‘hot’ Christmas and it felt quite odd to us to have Christmas in the middle of Summer.
Kevin on the lawn outside Tresca.
Kevin O’Grady on the lawn outside Tresca.
The Duke of Gloucester has the pleasure of meeting me! The Duke of Gloucester was patron of the Fairbridge Society and on a visit to Launceston in 1965 all the children at Tresca were presented to the Duke at an afternoon tea reception at Launceston Town Hall. The Duke being a royal we had all been told we had to bow when he shook our hand. I think I overdid it a bit which seems to have amused the Duke. This picture was taken by a photographer from ‘The Examiner’ and appeared in the paper the day after the reception.