Cedar Vale man sends shout out to fellow Big Brother migrants

REUNION: John Harland and Stuart Geary reminisce about their formative years as new Australians. Photo: Supplied.
REUNION: John Harland and Stuart Geary reminisce about their formative years as new Australians. Photo: Supplied.

A Cedar Vale man has sent a shout-out for men who came to Australia under the Big Brother Movement to register for a reunion to be held on the Gold Coast.

The Big Brother Movement was an organisation that helped young British men, many of them just teenagers, emigrate to Australia between 1925 and 1982.

An article published in the Jimboomba Times resulted in a reunion between Stuart Geary from Cedar Vale and John Harland who lives in Munruben.

Mr Geary said he and Mr Harland had worked on the horse property of 1960 Olympic gold medallist Laurie Morgan in central NSW and they had been out of touch for 61 years.

"I ended up buying an ex-police bike and making my way to Queensland in search of a farming job and it turns out John ended up doing the exact same thing," he said.

"It was a great adventure for me but I know many of the boys who came over as "little brothers" found the living too harsh."

Stuart Geary was able to reconnect with two "little brothers" after an article appeared in the Jimboomba Times.

Stuart Geary was able to reconnect with two "little brothers" after an article appeared in the Jimboomba Times.

Mr Harland said homesickness had been an issue, especially since the average age of the young men was 16.

"The initial wrench of leaving family and friends behind was tough," he said.

"But a career had to be carved out of this new land so we just had to get on with it."

Mr Geary said he had also reconnected with another little brother living at Running Creek and he suspected there would be even more living within the Scenic Rim region.

He said he and Mr Harland would be attending the lunchtime reunion on August 27 at Kurrawa Surf Club in Broadbeach.

"We both look forward to the event and encourage all "little brothers" who emigrated from the UK during the 50s and 60s to register their contact details with the Big Brother Movement office in Sydney and we hope to share yarns with you over lunch at the reunion," he said.

Mr Geary said the Big Brother Movement had sponsored more than 12,000 young British men for settlement in Australia over the years and many of them were now searching for their shipboard companions.

"It is easy to register your details so you can stay in the loop and receive the newsletters," he said.

"Just contact the office on 02 9233 4005 or register online at bbm.asn.au/big-brother-movement/reunions."