FLOWERS FOR LOUISE
Our own Uncle Erwin had arrived in Australia in 1939 with his first wife and small son as Jewish refugees fleeing from the Nazis of WW2. For Uncle Erwin his sanctuary in Australia was bitter sweet; his parents perished in the concentration camps. His sister survived and was repatriated to Sweden where eventually the Red Cross found her, and brother and sister were reunited.
He fastidiously records his everyday expenses … 1st return rail fare Melbourne 6 pence…30 Captain cigarettes 1 shilling and 9 pence…matches 1 penny…two newspapers, the Argus and the Herald 2 pence each… and each day lunch at the Le Meilleur Restaurant in trendy Collins Street 1 shilling and 9 pence. (I discover later that the Le Meilleur Restaurant regularly exhibited the work of Melbourne’s artists of the time and was a favourite eating place for the arts world.)
Interspersed through the weeks is a frequent 6 pence spent on a registered letter to New Zealand. Why registered mail and why to NZ? His identity and their surname remain unknown.