Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Possibly The Best Day Ever...Part 3

After a l-o-n-g hot walk I finally arrived at The Sydney Fishmarket.

It was like seafood porn.

 There were loads of fresh seafood platters on offer but unfortunately they were all a bit big for une so I instead settled on a self selected platter of Japanese seafood dishes.

Soft Shell Crab
Octopus Balls
King Prawn Tempura
Prawn Dumplings

Needless to say I was rather stuffed!

So the next most logical activity in my day - Only a Shark: Predator or Prey exhibition at The Maritime Museum!

Another hot long walk later I dove into this terrific exhibition, I have a morbid fascination with sharks and love learning about them....from a safe, dry distance.

It was brilliant, throughly informative and full of facts to show that sharks are much more at risk from us then we are from them.

Why does Sea World have a seafood restaurant?? I'm halfway through my fish burger and I realize, Oh my God....I could be eating a slow learner.”
- Lynda Montgomery

From this exhibition I went to the British Child Migrant exhibition in the same museum which was utterly heartbreaking. I never knew that from the 1860's til 1967 orphaned and abandoned children were shipped from from Britain's orphanages/work houses to work the land in Canada and Australia.

Children as young as 5 were told that they were being adopted in Australia/Canada only to arrive and find they were being put to work, manual labour, to build the new Commonwealth's buildings, farms etc. 

From the 1860s, more than 100,000 children were sent from Britain to Canada, Australia and other Commonwealth countries through child migration schemes. They were sent by charitable and religious organisations, with government support, in the belief that their lives would improve, and that they would provide much-needed labour and increase the population.
Few were orphans; many came from families who were unable to care for them. The lives of these children changed dramatically and fortunes varied. Some succeeded in creating new futures. Others suffered lonely, brutal childhoods. All experienced disruption and separation from family and homeland.
Child migration schemes received criticism from the outset, yet continued until the 1960s. Formal apologies were made by the Australian Government in 2009 and the British Government in 2010 but many former child migrants and their families are still coming to terms with their experiences.
- Maritime Museum website

Years later many would find that despite being told otherwise, they in fact had family alive and at home in a Britain they had long since lost a connection with. There were so many accounts that I could not read for fear of bursting into tears.

"Too young to cross the road, we were deported to the other side of the world to cold, cruel institutions. We were robbed of our identities, our dignity and our families. Our parents lost their children." International Association of Former Child Migrants and Their Families.

You can find out more about the child migrant scheme here.

"A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots."
- Marcus Garvey

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