DURING Peter Howell’s childhood in England he dreamed of working on a farm in Australia.
After being helped by the Big Brother Movement to move to the land down under at the tender age of 16, the now South Perth resident set about realising his dream.
The first ever WA reunion for people involved in the initiative, known as little brothers, was held at the Victoria Park RSL on Sunday.
“The basic premise of it was to help people like myself to have better opportunities in life in Australia,” he said.
“Everyone was given a choice or either working on the land or in the city, I grew up in Norfolk and I wanted to work on a farm but unless your family had one, there was no chance to work on the land.
“I worked on a few different farms in New South Wales and Queensland before moving to WA in 1982.
“When I moved here, I wanted to be an Australian and not just a POM living in Australia so I picked up the lingo.”
Mr Howell said the idea of the reunion was a desire to meet others who came from a similar background.
“When I moved here I didn’t stay in touch with the other guys, there was about 15 or 16 other guys on the ship,” he said.
“I got in touch with the Big Brother Movement, which is now the called BBM Youth Support, and they told me the next reunion would in October next year in Sydney.
“I feel like the reunion went really well, some of the guys’ stories were similar but some were different.
“The feedback I’ve received has been positive and I’d like to host more reunions in the future so I’d like to find more little brothers.”
The Big Brother Movement was founded in 1925 by Sir Richard Linton to facilitate migration of young men to Australia from the UK.
Between 1925 and 1983, the initiative sponsored more than 12,000 boys to settle in Australia.
For more information about reunions, contact Peter through firstname.lastname@example.org or the BBM Youth Support through email@example.com.