Maria migrated to Australia from Holland after WWII. She did not come by choice. It was her husband’s decision due to the downturn in business in the family butcher shop in the post war years when most people in Amsterdam could not afford to eat meat.
She came by ship with their eight children aged 13 years to 11 months and forged a life in outback Victoria. At their home in Amsterdam they had public transport nearby, electricity, hot and cold running water and sewerage. The children walked to school and her parents and four married sisters each lived within walking distance. None of this was available in their new home. They came from a European winter to a very hot Australian summer and spoke no English. Although her husband was a butcher she had never seen a cow at close quarters and was very frightened of the ones she could see just the other side of the flimsy back fence. Nesting magpies swooped on her and the children when they made their way, often through mud in winter, to the outdoor toilet situated at quite some distance from the house.
Her Christian faith sustained her as did the faithfulness of her husband and the love of her children. She died in Melbourne aged 91 years.
Honored by Pauline Smit - WDP Australia, Pacific Region