(1/3) Both my parents worked in the same textile factory from the age of 13. Mum was a weaver, Dad worked with yarn. Our town in the North of Portugal survived entirely on the textile industry, but once companies started moving offshore for cheaper labour, everything started collapsing. Eventually, the factory stopped paying people on time, so my mum had to work extra jobs – she cleaned houses before her shift and did sewing work at home after her shift, working from 6 am to 11pm. And we still had to buy everything on credit and then pay our bills at the end of the month. That’s what everybody did to survive.
When I was 15 and my brother was 3, my parents decided it just wasn’t possible to continue in Portugal. They realised they couldn’t give us a future by staying, and that they would never be able to afford higher education for us, which was something they had always regretted not being able to have for themselves.
My parents didn’t know anyone in Australia, but they found a woman in the village who had a son here and asked if he would mind helping when we first arrived. She said yes, so when we arrived we had this lovely welcome from total strangers – Joao and Fatima, who picked us up from the airport, let us stay with them for about 3 weeks, and then helped us to do all our paperwork and to find a house to live in. They were wonderful, a tremendous help, and we’re still great friends, even after all these years.
I don’t think the gratitude ever really goes away, it’s immeasurable.
If you would like to support this project going, please visit: www.youcaring.com/newhumansofaustralia
#migrants #migration #Australia #Australianstory #Australianstories
Great story. Sounds like Portugal has similar problems with its manufacturing industries as has happened here with them being sent overseas as profit is king. For example, Bonds transferring their manufacturing to Fiji – great for Fijians but not so greatfor the workers who lost their jobs here.
Linnea Damber, this is the page I was telling you about. 🙂
Good on you Silvia.. That would have been a huge step for your family
Another great story about what migrants bring to this country. What a journey , Silvia.
Nice story! Great that you appreciate your parents struggles.
Loving the stories… Keep them coming.
Love this. Thank you
Another wonderful story. Each story always brings me a smile.
Love that smile!
Muito bom !!! Big LIKE!!????
My parents immigrated from Portugal in 1967… and the story you tell is so similar to their’s… I don’t know whether that’s a good or bad thing, but thx for sharing your story.
Ingrid Baker this lady reminds Leila and I of you!!
Way to go Silvia Renda xx