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The Immigration Story of Christine Ramsdin (Scottish Immigrant)

The Museum reviews and accepts donated personal or family memories and histories into its collection. As a learning institution, the accounts help us understand how individuals recollect, interpret, or construct meaning from lived experiences. The stories are not modified by Museum staff. The point of view expressed is that of the author and not that of the Museum.

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Christine Sinclair Collins/Ramsdin

Personal Biography

It was 1951. My brothers were back home after serving in the British Air Force. I had just turned 19. After great discussion in the family, it was decided "The Boys" would immigrate to Canada and their families would follow. As a teenager I was having a good time, but my mother persuaded me that I would have a much better life in Canada.

I was accepted as an immigrant in the summer of 1952 and set sail from the Clyde River in Glasgow on October 26th, 1952 on a ship named the Lismoria.

My memory of saying goodbye to my mother and family, while painful, was very exciting as a young girl setting out on my own for the first time. I remember as we sailed down the Clyde my family had raced ahead by land to wave once more from Renfrew.

While on the Lismoria I met another young girl and we chummed up for the trip. As there were only 52 passengers on board, we were given royal treatment. After suffering through food deprivation during the war, we gorged ourselves on the beautiful food they served, only to suffer the next day when the ship finally hit the ocean. Man was I sick.

It was a wonderful trip.I met two other families on board and we became friends. In fact their daughter was to become my bridesmaid three years later when I was married. Also, my cousin Billy Patterson was the stoker on the ship for the trip. We were not allowed to associate with the crew so I would wave to him on the deck below from the passenger deck.

I was dreadfully sick on the second night out and took to my bunk for a day. But I soon got my sea legs and ahd a great trip from then on. I remember playing table tennis in the lounge and being declared the winner.

Landing in Montreal was quite an experience for someone not too savvy in the ways of the world. When the customs men decided that I should open up one of my suitcases for inspection, they discovered the lock had broken and wouldn't open. One of the friends I had met on board was trying to hold the bus to the station for me while another broke open my case. When they were finally satisfied I wasn't carrying anything other than shoes, they let me go. The language was also a barrier, as no one would speak english to me.

On the dock where I landed a representative from "The United Church of Canada" greeted me and, after giving her the address of where I would be staying, they promised to send my name on to the local church.

I then caught the train to Toronto and was met by family. They took me to Weston, Ontario, where I rented a room for $6.00 a week. I arrived on Saturday night and on Monday my brother drove me out to A.V. Roe in Malton where I was hired and started work as a typist on Thursday.

That first weekend "The Young Peoples" visited me from Weston United Church. Imagine my surpirse and pleasure when they invited me to join for worship and fun.

I would later meet my husband through this group.