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40 X 40 : 1 – Canada 1972

Well – I’ve turned 40 this week (!!), and as part of an (ambitious) goal, I’m looking at the 40 X 40 blog post I set for myself – and thought I’d start off ‘at the beginning’.

Close friends might know, but I was actually born in CANADA – April 18, 1972.

Of course, I don’t actually remember this, but there’s a bunch of information that I know – or that I’ve been told by my parents – so here goes.

Hamilton, Ontario

My Dad was a University junkie – not a druggie – but an education addict (12 years of study – AFTER high school). 

He finished off an initial Business degree – and then Diploma of Education – and began working as a high school teacher.

The next step (a few years later), was a Ph.D.  For this, he and his wife (my Mum) moved to Canada – where he studied at McMaster University.

His Ph.D was a few years in duration (I guess) – and I was born while they were living there – 1972 – and then my sister Kath was also born – 1974.

Having kids of my own, I now have a greater appreciation of what they would have done and “been through” – especially on a University student ‘wage’ – and for Mum, struggling with a different location – and no friends or family around to assist.

It must have been challenging – but there are some great photos of a young happy family – Dad with big sideburns, and the family “VW Beetle” car – it was the 70’s after all…

Towards the end of 1974, the family (now 4 of us) left Canada – and returned to Melbourne – via England (!)

My Mum’s family were in London, and so she wanted to visit her parents and brother – and introduce ME and my sister – to the new Grandparents.

Can you imagine taking a 2 y/o and 6 month old from Canada – to London ?    In 1974, the transport time and travel experience must have been very tough.

And – when we arrived there (from what I’m told), my Grandparents were ‘friendly enough’, but not exactly doting grandparents – and almost resentful that my Mum had moved to Australia, while her brother had stayed home & lived closer to the family – they gave her a bit of a tough time – it was very hard for her.

Again, this is all “what I’ve heard” – so don’t know the full details – I was only 2 – but it was the only time I met my mother’s parents – so those Grandparents are a mystery to me.

Move back to Australia

The next destination was Melbourne – where we stayed with my father’s Dad – my Granddad – in Carnegie (Dandenong Rd).  

Again – only photo memories – but a few nice ones of me sitting on GrandDad’s knee, listening to a story – aged 2.5.

My Granddad died when I was about 3 or 4 years old – and Grandma died long before I was born – so I don’t really have ANY memories of Grandparents as such – which makes it even more special for MY kids – and for me – to see my parents, with my children.

Granddad (my father) especially has an amazing relationship with his grandkids – they just adore him – he’s such a big friendly giant of a man.

After a few months with Granddad – awaiting trunks & boxes of belongings to be shipped from Canada – my parents bought a house in Notting Hill – also known as North Clayton – a small suburb not far from Mulgrave and Glen Waverley.

Mum & Dad had bought a block of land in Emerald (in the Dandenong Ranges) before they went to Canada – apparently they only saw it by the light of the car headlights.

While they were in Canada, land prices had gone up, and they were able to sell the block of land – and buy the house in Notting Hill – for $28,000 – in 1975.

Dad began working at Monash University as a lecturer, and eventually a professor – and then senior professor – before moving to Melbourne University (25 years later !)

33 Samada St would be our home for the next 10 years, in which I would see kindergarten days, primary school – and early high school.

—————-

So – YES – I was born in Canada !

But – I moved to Australia in 1974/75 – when I was only TWO years old – and have called Australia home since then.

I had a Canadian passport for a while – and travelled to America using that passport – but it’s since expired now.

One day, I could get a “green card” to live/work in America – maybe one day – I certainly feel a desire to travel to Canada and have a look around – I’ve never been back there.

For now – that’s enough about Canada – next chapter will be about “Samada St”.

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