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More Info →Eunice Rodsjo

One of the images in the photographic exhibition "Belonging [Hononga] [Pertencimento]".

"My name was Eunice McLean when I arrived in New Zealand on the SS Rimutaka in November 1949, two days before my 8th birthday. My older sister and I were in a group of child migrants who came to New Zealand as part of the British Government’s Child Immigration scheme. This was a very controversial scheme as the children were separated from their parents under some very harsh circumstances. We were told that we were going away for a lovely holiday, but we were never told that we would not be going home again.

However my sister and I were lucky and were sent to a family in Hawkes Bay - our foster parents were in late middle age and severe but kind in their attitude to us. It took a while to settle down to life in the small town - especially as people had trouble understanding our broad Scottish accent and kept telling us to speak English! We lost all contact with our family in Glasgow, Scotland, but gradually adjusted to life in New Zealand.

I had a good education and went on to achieve my childhood dream of being a schoolteacher, and after several years of teaching in New Zealand, Australia and Scotland eventually returned to settle back in New Zealand. I have three amazing children and nine beautiful grandchildren, and feel forever thankful that I migrated to this country so many years ago - but part of my heart is still in Scotland."

The exhibition reflects on the personal experience of the photographer, Aline Frey, as a migrant woman who chose Palmerston North as a new home for her family and herself.

"Belonging" is a series of 10 portraits celebrating migrant women who made Palmy their new home. By allowing characters to share their narratives as they open their hearts to spectators, the exhibition focuses on a multiplicity of ethnicities and biographies. It follows migrant stories while giving a nuanced portrayal of the city's ethnic and cultural diversity. Above all, the exhibition aims to give visibility to migrants' diverse roles in PN society, as attendees can learn and better understand the challenges and achievements of each person's journey. Attendees are also invited to reflect back on their own whakapapa and family memories while making connections and recognising the city’s multicultural formation.

The exhibition was organised by Palmeirinhos – Brazilian Heritage Group. All events organised by Palmeirinhos are open to the general public and have been attended by many members of different communities, as well as local kiwis. These Palmeirinhos events have been giving Brazilian children a sense of belonging to the new land that their parents chose to call home. Those children are learning to be proud of who they are and at the same time learning to respect and accept the cultural differences of this very diverse city.

Identification

Object type
Image
Digitisation ID
2022BD_2022-5_038701
Title
Eunice Rodsjo
Format
Born Digital
Held In
IMCA Digital Archive
License
cc-by

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Creation

Created By
Date
December 2021

Object rights

Credit Line
Ian Matheson City Archives

Taxonomy

Community Tags

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Related items

Jaspreet Kaur
Poto Fa’aiuaso
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Dr. Doris Adeyinka
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Scandinavian wall hanging in the Library
Marolyn Krasner

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