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Allan Report 10 Jul 2013 22:15

yesterday we received our Gas bill: approximately $200.00 for 91 days supply.

Did the usual moaning and groaning: not much we can cut back on as we only use gas for cooking and water heating.

Then last night on the evening news there was an item about Syrian Refugees entering Jordan (the numbers were staggering). There was the usual footage of acres of tents/cabins forming a 'city'. Jordan is about to construct another camp.

My wife said "and we moan about the cost of gas!"

That got me thinking, so I went to my various utility bills and saw that our daily costs for gas, electricity and clean safe water is $5.16 per day (our bills give us the daily costs for each billing period).

For that we have running water and power at our fingertips. We also have deep sewer connected to the main sewerage line.

I'll bet those things are not provided in the camps on an individual basis.

I then thought about my attitudes to some of the so called boat people arriving in Australia :-(

So with all that buzzing around my head I made the not so quantum leap to my own wife's origins.

Her mother and father went to England at the end of WW2 as displaced persons (refugees). They only met in England but their stories were the same. When the Germans invaded the areas of Poland and the Ukraine where they lived they were both taken from their respective families and taken to Germany as, basically, slave labour. At the time my OH's father was married with 3 children. He never saw them again. OH's mother never saw her family either

OH's parents married in the UK and OH was born there. Until she was 5 and started school she could not speak English as Ukrainian was the language used at her home.

Apart from the colour of the skin, the same thing is still happening. We complain that refugees when released back into society won't speak English. My MIL could speak several languages but English was not one of them but she got by.

I'm now totally reassessing my previous attitudes to refugees


AnnCardiff Report 10 Jul 2013 22:19

I think we all should join you in that Allan


eRRolSheep Report 10 Jul 2013 22:19

I am in total agreement


AnnCardiff Report 10 Jul 2013 22:22

come to think of it, we had a Hungarian refugee in the mid fifties after the Russians invaded - she stayed with us for over a year


Allan Report 10 Jul 2013 22:37

At the time I first met my Oh she was living in a Terraced house with no bathroom and the outside toilet was used by ten other similar houses.

We sometimes tend to forget our own origins!


~`*`Jude`*`~ Report 10 Jul 2013 22:42 many ways l feel the same as you. My grandfather came to the UK from Ukraine as a small baby, most of the family sailed on to USA, but Issac and Anna Menushken (then changed to Meninsky) stayed in Liverpool and then l think to London and thats where my grandfather became an artist and eventually my father and his brother were born!

l often think of how lucky we are, but there are so many people in the UK that are desperate, really desperate and deserving, and living in horrendous (or homeless) conditions, but the NHS and/or housing etc etc are so full of refugees that they don't stand a chance. l also realise there are so many refugees living in just as horrendous conditions.....but l think its time we said NO....sorry:((
Maybe there is some way some of us can cut back
When we lived in Tangmere West Sussex there were fields dedicated to the Polish, l think they were called Nissan Huts.........l DON'T believe this but l have just googled Nissan Huts and here is an amazing link from TODAY!!!! These are similar but were used for Candian Soldiers. l may have some info wrong, l'm sure someone will correct me:)


l will get back to this thread, but l am off to bed now...nite nite.


Allan Report 10 Jul 2013 22:55


I have fond memories of Nissan Huts :-)

I was in the Army Reserve for 14 years in the late 1960's (!967 - 1981) and many of the camps that we attended in the early days had Nissan huts for sleeping and ablutions

They were in camps used by British forces during WW2


JoyBoroAngel Report 10 Jul 2013 23:03

i seen an advert offering for two pounds per month
you could give a whole village water for a month

so why is mine costing an arm and a leg :-D


SueMaid Report 10 Jul 2013 23:06

Allan - my older son works in a detention centre for refugees - the so called "boat people". He is taking care of a 12 y.o. boy (amongst others) who can't sleep at night because when he was travelling from his home country he often woke to find a knife at his throat and his meagre possessions stolen by adult men. He also suffered physical abuse. 12 year old. !!!!

My thoughts about asylum seekers has changed greatly listening to the stories my son tells.

By the way - he worked in Leonora for 10 weeks with families and enjoyed the change of scenery and the work he did.


Allan Report 10 Jul 2013 23:14

:-D :-D @ Joy

Possibly because your water and mine is supplied by companies wanting huge profits :-|

The Water Corp in WA wears two hats: it is a Government Dept but the State Government treats it as a private Company and expects it to make a profit. The sole shareholder is the State Government. :-|

Having said that, I still think that our water is reasonably priced for what we get


Allan Report 10 Jul 2013 23:16

Sue, I'll bet Leonora has changed from when I was there in the early 1980's :-D


SueMaid Report 10 Jul 2013 23:18

I don't know about that, Allan - never been there. The photos my son took shows a very small town but he said it came to life one weekend for a marathon that had a huge gathering and $50,000 in prize money. He rather liked it although he was glad to go home at the end of the 10 weeks. He saved a lot of money because he had nowhere to spend it :-D


~`*`Jude`*`~ Report 10 Jul 2013 23:21

Joy...€2 per month is basic, just water, we pay for do much more than that...sewage etc


Edit ... cant alter spelling , mistakes, its me touchpad grrr
Nite nite


Allan Report 10 Jul 2013 23:26

Nowhere to spend it Sue??

When I was there, there were two Pubs and the General Store plus the Roadhouse :-D :-D


SueMaid Report 10 Jul 2013 23:30

He only had one day a week off, Allan and they all had different days so I don't think he went to the pub often. Spoilt for choice though - two pubs!! He did go to Kalgoorlie for the day once but he wasn't too keen to go back.


Allan Report 10 Jul 2013 23:36

I don't blame him, Sue, unless the pubs have been redeveloped.

I was in Kalgoorlie very briefly last year when the train stopped there, but it was late at night. I'd like to go back and see how much it has changed.

We are going to Esperance next year with OH's choir, we may well go via Kalgoorlie and then return via Albany


SylviaInCanada Report 11 Jul 2013 00:50

Allan ...........

we also stopped in Kalgoorlie because the train stopped there ................... and had a tour of the town

even though it was after 11:00 pm

At midnight, we were peering down the "big hole" at the open cast mine trying to make out the dinky toy trucks working away at the bottom at the bottom :-D

The red light district did look fine in the dark, though :-D

That was in 2006 ........ and there had been some changes from our previous visits, twice in 3 weeks, back in 1975.

You'll have to take some photos of Esperance and Albany .............. we were last there in 1975.

Bet there have been some changes!!

That was when we drove across the still gravel Nullarbor in a little white VW Beetle, 1966 vintage.

oh for a return to those days :-D


SylviaInCanada Report 11 Jul 2013 00:52

Back to the thread topic .......................

you have some good ideas there.

Yes, we probably could all change some of our ideas, yet we have all felt overwhelmed when the refugees have arrived .......................

whether it was the "displaced persons" in the 1940s, the Ugandan Asians in the early 1970s, the "boat people", etc.

The cost of supplying them with what they need just seems overwhelming.

Until I was 11, I, like your wife, lived in a terraced house that had running water (hot by virtue of a boiler behind the front room fire), but no inside toilet or bath.

We did have our own toilet ......... at the end of the back yard, and flushed by water flowing into it from the kitchen sink. I remember Mum having to sometimes run the cold water for quite a long time in order to flush the toilet out.

Bath times ................ we had to go across the street to my grandparents house ........... he was a house builder and renovator who had installed a bathroom in his slightly larger house.

That childhood house is still there (as is grandparents' one)................. the one we moved to, which did have indoor bathroom and plumbing, was demolished in the mid-1970s.


Allan Report 11 Jul 2013 06:06

Ah Sylvia!

The old tippler toilet.

When I started out in my public (later, environmental) health career there were still hundred of those things in existence.

I did my training with the Middleton Borough Council where I met my OH. It was a typical mill town to the north of Manchester with the typical slum areas.

I'll get some photos of Esperance. I've never been there but OH has.

I have quite a few pics of Albany if you are interested. These are from about 1987 until last year when we were there with OH's choir. I do enjoy Albany, which is also the oldest town in WA having been established in 1828 (as Fredrick's Town) when there was no State of WA. It was regarded as part of NSW


SylviaInCanada Report 11 Jul 2013 08:51


I know Middleton!!

I grew up in Oldham ........ also a gritty mill town

Give me a chance to sort out what we took in Albany way back when, and then I'll let you know about more recent ones ........ ti would be good to see how things have changed.