Friday, August 19, 2016

Out to Jondaryan

We visited the small church and cemetery in Jondaryan again and more fully explored the graves. It was a windy day with lots of sunshine. Birds were scarce although we did see a few hunting lunch one the open fields.

We found the Catholic section and there were several interesting markers. This one has the ivy embedded in as part of the design on the stone.

Down the road a few kilometers are endless fields. The one above is representative. Out in the field are a few hills or copses surrounding houses. Other than these few elevated places, it is simply an empty field as far as the eye can see.

Forty years ago I was impressed with the vast fields in Indiana. This expanse blows that out of the water. And this is only about an hour west of Toowoomba. I expect that as we go further afield, we find spaces that stretch the imagination. What a land of contrasts.

After WWII, the Australian government initiated what is called the Ten Pounds Pom program. People in Britain were charged ten pounds (children free) for passage to Australia for the opportunity to start a new life with better job prospects. The government was interested in finding workers for the growing industries. Later there were schemes to subsidize the immigration of those from Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, and Turkey. This is no doubt why there are pockets of people of various ethnicities found scattered around southern Queensland. We have Turkish bread at the grocery and German sausages at the butcher shop. There are Lutheran sections of many cemeteries filled with Germans.

It is easy to imagine that people in countries that had been destroyed in war might be willing to take the leap and try their hand in a new world and a new life, one that seemed it had to be better than the one left behind.

These willing immigrants, along with the unwilling population transported here have built an amazing country. It is impressive what a people can do given the opportunity.