Starting a New Life


This photo reminds me of a little enclave that existed not far from our house. It was just north of Henley Beach Road between Tapley’s Hill Road and the “S bend”. On the “S bend” there was a cluster of rough letter boxes on posts and that was the only indication of the large number of homes up the dirt road. The homes in the enclave were made of asbestos and would have been considered shacks by established residents. I think the land was owned by the Ayton family and expect they collected rent for the land occupied.


I remember visiting the home of my friend, Anna, she was an only child but many families living in these little homes had several children. Anna’s father had been a dentist in their homeland but his qualifications weren’t recognised in Australia. He had set up an area with a curtain screen and behind that was his dentist chair. I presume he did some dental work for other residents but don’t really know.

During the 1950s many people left Europe and came to live in South Australia, the early arrivals wouldn’t have had support from the local community many of whom were suspicious of the allegiances the immigrants might have had during the war years. They had to work very hard to establish themselves. There were a large number of immigrants including Greeks, Italians, Bulgarians, Yugoslavians etc around Fulham Gardens where we lived.


Most of the newcomers we knew were Italian and got jobs as conductors on the Public Transport system or labouring. They worked, saved and eventually built family homes in the Fulham and Fulham Gardens area. Often when one home was built relatives would come out to Australia and share the house until they were able to build their own and move out.

Does this ring any bells with you?

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