Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I don't know why Doug came to talk to me, but I'm sure glad he did.
We got chatting pretty easily and I asked him where he lived before
Broome. He answered cheekily, 'My mother was a gypsy,' but went on to
tell me that he was adopted at about the age of four. He doesn't
know, but guesses that his family couldn't afford to keep him and that
his adopted parents only wanted him for labour on their farm (although
I have to wonder why they'd choose a four-year-old if this really were
the case).
He says he was well looked after, clothed and fed, but there wasn't a
lot of love in his life. He had many chores to do from the age of
four, and from school-age he was up at 5am to do his chores, before
walking some miles to get the train to school and didn't get home till
6 at night, when he had yet more chores to do.
At the age of ten Doug met a girl called June, who asked him why he
walked all that way to the train and didn't ride a bike. "I don't
have anywhere to leave my bike," he answered, to which June promptly
offered for him to leave it at her place, saying she'd ask her mum
first. Mum said yes, Doug started to do just that, and ten years
later Doug and June were married. In the 70s they came to Broome and
stayed. They had to move to Perth in the late 90s, because June had
been diagnosed with cancer and was receiving treatment. When June
passed away in 2001, Doug told his family, "If I'm going to be lonely,
I'm not going to be cold; I'm going back to Broome".

No comments: