Forgotten Australians, music

Give it Up

by Christine Harms (guest author) on 3 November, 2011

Christine Harms is performing at the National Museum of Australia as part of Music to Remember, 16 November, 2011. This concert starts at 11am and has been scheduled to acknowledge the second anniversary of the National Apology to Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants.

Hear her latest recording of her original song Give it Up, dedicated to Al ‘Crow’ Fletcher, the author of Brutal: Surviving Westbrook Boys Home by Al Fletcher as told to Cheryl Jorgensen.

Play Christine’s recording of: Give it up

Child Migrants, Forgotten Australians, memories, music, Stolen Generations

Strawberry Fields Forever

by Adele Chynoweth on 24 October, 2011

‘Living is easy with eyes closed’, so wrote John Lennon in the song ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’, of his childhood experiences playing in the grounds of the Strawberry Field Salvation Army Children’s Home, Liverpool.

As a result of his parents’ break-up, Lennon was cared for by his Aunt Mimi and Uncle George. The Strawberry Field Salvation Army Children’s Home backed onto Mimi and George’s home.

Lennon, as a child, frequently jumped the fence and played in the grounds of Strawberry Field. Apparently, Lennon knew, due to Aunt Mimi’s kindness, that he narrowly missed being sent to the Home, hence Lennon’s affinity with the children from the Home.

It is believed that Mimi didn’t approve of Lennon playing in Strawberry Field and threatened that she would ‘hang him’ if she caught him playing there. In the song, Strawberry Fields Forever Lennon answers back with the line that the Home and the children are ‘nothing to get hung about’.

Child Migrants, Forgotten Australians, music, Stolen Generations

‘A Call for Justice’

Michelle Greaves shares  ‘A Call for Justice’, a song recorded by her twin brother, Mark  Torr. It’s dedicated to all those who spent time in Children’s Homes and Institutions. Michelle and Mark were sent to Darling Babies Home, Victoria, at the age of two and then, three years later, to Nunawading Cottage, St John’s Home for Boys and Girls.

Mark talks about ‘A Call for Justice’:

This song is a dedication to all that have endured loneliness and hardship throughout their journey from the innocence of childhood to becoming an adult.

It is a call for justice for those that suffered abuse at the hands of the very people that were charged to protect them.

This song represents a collective call for justice for one and all.

It is a recognition that many came from all walks of life, Orphanages, Foster Care, Child Migrants, and from within Church and Government institutions.

It is also dedicated to all those that have fallen along the way and no longer walk amongst us.

Stand Proud Stand Tall
Your brother your friend Mark …

Forgotten Australians, music

On eagle’s wings

by Christine Harms (guest author) on 7 June, 2011

Singer/songwriter Christine Harms was admitted to Nazareth House, Wynnum, Queensland at the age of three and left when she was 13.  Her original song On Eagle’s Wings, recorded in Nashville, Tennessee, USA, is a reflection on her experiences in the Home.

[2020 note: audio file no longer available]

See another of Christine’s tracks, Street Angel, on YouTube

events, Forgotten Australians, memories, music, photos

Memorial song

by Adele Chynoweth on 3 June, 2011

Alan Bowles, who grew up in a Salvation Army Home, shares ‘Forgotten’, the song he wrote and performed at the unveiling of the Victorian memorial to Forgotten Australians, in Melbourne on 25 October 2010.

Attendees of the apology by the Salvation Army to former residents of children homes, Old Parliament House, Canberra.

[2020 note: audio file no longer available]

Hear more of Alan’s music on the Australian Johnny Cash & June Carter Show MySpace website

Forgotten Australians, music

Dreary old world

by Buddy Williams (guest author) on 6 April, 2011

Australian country singer, Harold “Buddy” Williams (1918 – 1986) was born in Sydney and was placed in Glebe Point Orphanage. He tried to escape many times and was eventually fostered out to a farming family in Dorrigo, NSW. It soon became apparent to him that the foster care arrangement was a means for the family to secure his unpaid labour. At the age of 15, Buddy ran away from his foster family and took up a series of jobs including busking along the north coast of NSW. When he later arrived in Sydney, he successfully auditioned for EMI and secured a recording contract.

You can access his recording of Dreary Old World here at YouTube.

And the joy of this world, when you sum it all up, is found in the making of friends.