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The Immigration Story of Marjorie Drinnan (Welsh 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.

Category: 
Culture : 
Language: 
English
Creative Commons: 
CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
Accession Number: 
S2012.999.1

Story Text: 

How the Moon Came from Wales to Canada

It was our last night in our home in the mountains of North Wales. The children were tucked into their beds, (the only furniture left in the house). The suitcases were standing in the hall packed with the things we would need on our boat journey to Canada, I switched out the light and stood for a few moments in the empty room torn between two conflicting emotions; sadness at leaving the home where my four children had been born and happiness at the thought of joining my husband who had gone ahead to Canada into his new job and prepare a place for us.

Going as quietly as I could up the uncarpeted stairs I gently pushed open the door of the children's bedroom and was surprised to see, not in bed as I had left them, but standing in a row, looking out of the window, three small boys in striped pajamas. The tallest of the three had our forth and youngest child, a two-year old girl, in front of him standing on the window-sill. I crossed the room putting my arms out to embrace them from behind I asked what they were looking at. The middle boy Gareth, turned a sad face to me and said,'we're saying goodbye to the moon'.

'We're not leaving the moon', I said,'It will still be there when we get to Canada.''Mam', came the reply,'have you ever been to Canada?''Well, no', I said,'but the moon WILL be there.' Before I could say any more they were climbing back into bed with a disbelieving look on each of their faces.

As I kissed each one of them goodnight and climbed into bed beside my small daughter my mind skittered backwards over the events of the past weeks and for the first time I had a glimpse of what these four children had been going through. I had been so busy sorting, packing, giving away or selling. I had come up with all the reasons why we couldn't take Lulu, the canary, a bunch or caterpillars in a jar, two kittens and even daddy's much admired, hand carved, six-foot long African club to Canada. All the things we could take, apart from a few things we could have with us on the boat, had been crated and picked up by the shipping company. And they would all be there! In this mysterious place Canada! INCLUDING THE MOON?

As I drifted into an uneasy sleep the glimmers of an idea came to me and by the time the children were dressed and having breakfast I was ready for them.'We are', I informed them,'going to tie the moon to the back of the boat and take it with us to Canada.' And so we did. And every night, crossing the ocean, we went up on deck to make sure that the moon was still with us. So enthusiastic were the children about that that by the time we reached Halifax I had almost begun to believe it myself.

Through hugs, kisses, tears and laughter the children pulled pushed and pleaded with daddy not to let the boat turn around and sail off again with their precious cargo. We managed to assure them that the moon was already on its way to the airport and would fly with us to Prince Edward Island.

We arrived at our new home late that night and stepped out of the car. Shining down on four, very tired, but very contented faces was the moon and to my amazement it just happened to be a full moon. I looked at the faces of my children then up at the sky and said a silent'thank youy.'

A couple of years later we were all sitting around the television watching the first men ever to step onto the moon. My husband looked across the room and said'just think, if it hadn't been for you and the children those two Americans would never have had a moon to stand on.'