Boy’s initiative


A thick file dating back to February last year, and labelled “Woodrow-Norwich” has personal interest for the State Migration Officer (Mr David Longland).

In February, 1946, Stafford Woodrow, 13, eldest son of a fatherless family of four children wrote this letter to “Any Farmer, Brisbane, Queensland.”

Sought pen friends

“Dear Farmer: My name is Stafford, and my sister and brothers and myself want to come to Australia when we grow up.

“Do you think you could find us pen friends, so that we shall know something of the country by the time we are able to come?”

“Our ages are, sister 13 1/2, brother 10 1/2, and youngest brother six. Our father was killed during the war, so that we only have Mummie and so, you see, she will have to come, too.”

Made big move

The Post Office delivered the letter to the Africulture Department, which forwarded it to Mr. Longland.

He answered the letter personally, and outlined the steps to be taken for the family to come to Australia.

Finally it was decided that the Woodrows should leave Norwich for Australia. In January this year, Mr Longland approached the Queensland Women’s Association, which agreed to nominate Mrs Kathleen Woodrow as a hosted matron.

Yesterday, one year and eight months after Stafford’s first letter the Woodrows attended a New Settlers’ League reception at Y.

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Travel journalist interested in world politics with particular reference to linguistics & ethnic variations. Humanist.

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