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Mini Biographies of Scots and Scots Descendants (W)
Jeanette Wright


Dear Alastair, my name is Jeanette I emigrated to Canada in 1958.my family and I resided in Edinburgh Scotland until Oct,1958 my 2 older brothers were supposed to go to the Army thats when you were called up at 18 years old. It so happened  that one of there friends came to Canada to visit his sister and liked it so he decided he was going to Emigrate here. That is what started the ball rolling for my brothers to emigrate to Canada.

    I always remember my father and mother talking about going to Australia and somehow that changed. My father served in The Kings Own Scottish Borderers for 30 years so when he came out of the army he was already 50 years old. My two brothers came to Canada and managed to get jobs at Canada Packers, they were here for 6 months then they brought father over. It was very hard for my father to get a job in his field (he was an army chef an cooked for the royal family) So he had a very hard time finding a job but after a few years he finally found a steady job.

   Now comes the rest of the family I forgot to mention that there were 12 of us in our family, when my older brothers and my father left, that left my mom with 9 of us to look after for nine months then we started our journey to Canada. I must say I did not want to leave Scotland but, I was still 15 and had one month to go before I was 16 otherwise i think I would have stayed in Scotland. That is where my heart has always been. With my mother bringing 8 children and herself to Canada we were in all of the newspapers and on the t.v. We were coming by boat the R.M.S. Sylvania Which was supposed to take us 5 days to get to Montreal but ended up taking 8 days. The voyage was terrible the stewards and some of the crew treated us like dirt [I guess because we were a big family ]and my mom was to shy to complain about the service we received. It was some of the other passengers that complained about this treatment  to the Captain and he corrected the situation, Alas we set on our voyage and 8 of us ended up by being sea sick that was one terrible ordeal. All I can remember is my little brother laying on the floor he couldn't get up he was so sick. The stewardess would come and get us to try and go up to the top deck for fresh air but it only made us worse.

    After 5 days of this we started to feel better when we arrived in Montreal it was midnight my younger brothers and sisters were all crying my poor mom was fit to be tied. Then all of a sudden I looked up and there was my older Brother George coming aboard to meet us I cant tell you what that meant to my mother and all of us. My other Brother Stan had to stay at the dock as they would not allow the two of them on board.

        Once we were off the ship we boarded trains to take us to Toronto where we were going to live. I could not believe all the snow and how cold it was in Canada I definitely did not want to stay. Once we arrived in Toronto and saw the big house my brothers and father had rented it was kind of thrilling We had a big refrigerator something we never saw before a washing machine too. Where we lived in Toronto was mostly an Italian community I thought we had come to the wrong Country at first. You have to understand that we were all young and naive and not seen any other nationality other than Scots so it was all rather strange. I have to say being an immigrant then and being one now is very different. It was very hard leaving your native land to come to a totally different world.

My older sister Margaret and I would now have to start looking for jobs in this strange land an did we have a hard time doing that. Margater was very small and short [4ft 8ins tall and weighed about 65lbs] I was not much bigger nobody wanted to hire us as they thought we were to small but when we did get hired they found out that we were very good strong workers. Here I am nearly 63 yrs old and still working. I have three children and 4 grand children. I love Canada but Scotland will always be home to me.

       I hope this story is not to long for you Alastair there is much more to say lots of good experiences and bad ones this is my story an I am proud of it.


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