As I live in Australia I ought to have something to say about boomerangs but I really don’t have much.
I know what a boomerang is of course. I have an old wooden one that belonged to David. It was designed to be decorative not to be thrown I think. I certainly don’t know how to throw a boomerang and have it return to me but then I am hopeless at anything like that. Totally uncoordinated. I’d be more likely to hit the dog or break a window.
Then I thought that Boomerang was the name of an Australian toy company but the one I was thinking of is actually Boomaroo. Bugger, I could have got a good post out of that.
Then there was that song sung by British comedian Charlie Drake. “My boomerang won’t come back”. Most of you probably don’t remember it. It was a silly novelty song.
Some of the British migrants who came to Australia in the 1950s and 60s were a bit like boomerangs. Many of them came to Australia as “Ten Pound Poms” but one or more family members didn’t like it here or were homesick and so they would go back to England. Once they were there they would often find that they missed the Australian way of life after all so back they came ready to make a real commitment the next time. I think some families did this two or three times before they decided where home was.
I’m not criticising those people, well maybe I am a bit. It’s hard to leave parents and other family members behind when you know you may not see them for many years, perhaps never. I think that large cities today are probably more alike than they are different but Australia in the 1950s was a very different experience from 1950s Britain. Some things they probably found better, the sunny weather perhaps, the lack of rationing which was still a fact of life in Britain until well into the 1950s. One the other hand, many found it isolated compared to their former neighbourhoods, distances were huge and if you lived outside of the bigger cities there would not have been the variety of entertainment. The migrant hostels must have seemed rather spartan and uncomfortable in summer. However, when I used to hear of these people who packed up and left after a few months in Australia I used to think that maybe they could have tried a bit harder. Australia is a very large country and if you don’t like one part of it maybe it would be better to try another one first.
It was probably easier for a child to adapt to a new place. My limited experience of life in England meant that apart from going to the seaside in the summer holidays there wasn’t really a lot that I missed. We did of course go to the beach in Australia and the beaches were not as crowded as Clacton on Sea in August but I missed the pier, the donkeys, especially the donkeys and the other typical British seaside amusements.
I have done my own boomerang journey from Australia to England and back again twice in about 55 years. I don’t think I have another throw in me.