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60 years young and counting


Each of us have significant dates firmly embedded in our minds; days that bring back specific memories of events and people that trigger a wide range of emotions.

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For the Symonds family, January 9 is one such date. It was on this day 60 years ago that the whole family – Eileen, Neville and their eight children – aged 5 to 18 – stepped ashore at Outer Harbor from the MV Fairsky to start their new life in Australia. The family had left Ealing, West London, settling in Elizabeth Downs.

Sadly, both Neville and Eileen have since passed away but they left behind a legacy of service as they built their lives in their new country. The 50th anniversary celebration was covered by The Southern Cross 10 years ago and this year all eight siblings got together from as far afield as Thailand and New Zealand to celebrate their 60th anniversary.

“We acknowledged the qualities imparted by our parents; tolerance, service, love for others and care for people, which have enabled us all to have fulfilling lives in our adopted country,” eldest brother Mick said. “We expressed our thanks – and the miracle – that we had all survived to celebrate this amazing milestone and vowed that we will, if possible, come together again. In the meantime, social media will have to suffice.”

Each of the siblings has had a career serving the public and community in many different fields. “Careers,” Mick said, “underpinned by those values held and taught in the family.”

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