We were taken by bus (Bulls Hire Coaches) on what
seemed a journey to nowhere, for after we passed Gepps Cross
there was nothing but paddocks until we reached the Hostel at
Smithfield. Our first impressions of Smithfield Hostel was that of
a displaced persons camp. Rows of Nissen huts, set in the middle
of nowhere, surrounded by a wire fence, it even had gates at the
entrance. Our first thoughts were “what have we come to?”
Mrs. D. Scales of Elizabeth West writes that:
We came over by air in 1965. It cost us 10 pound each, children free.
Most of the information we received was very misleading. My husband
and brother-in-law had the idea that they would be able to build housed
of wood which would be laying around. We expected to see wild animals
running around. All we saw were fields full of thistles. We came over to
Adelaide from Melbourne in a tiny old plane and were so disappointed
to see tin roofs. It was stinking hot. The Good Neighbour people met us
at Adelaide and welcomed us. There we were put on a bus bound for
Elizabeth. Half way here it broke down so we had to take all the cases
off and wait for a relief bus to be sent. More fields of thistles also some
dirty brown sheep. English sheep are white. We looked everywhere for
a tap to get a drink of water. It was 108 degrees in the shade and my
husband wanted to go home. He didn’t like the thistles. We were all
wearing our winter woollies. I didn’t think I’d be able to breathe.
When we reached the hostel it was evening. But we straight away
found a meal.