Sunday, October 15, 2017

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Post 1616. Sunday October 15


Between 1788 and 1868, approximately 162,000 convicts were transported from England to Australia by the British government. Many were deported for petty crimes; others were political prisoners. Most stayed in Australia with some rising to prominent positions in Australian society. Approximately twenty percent of modern Australians are descended from transported convicts.


It is the fifteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord eighteen seventeen. I am shackled below deck, just one of two hundred and eighty other pitiful souls. Through a gap in a hatch, I gaze at billowing sails as the wind of change transports me to a new life.  I see black clouds change to white; they no longer threaten me. My wretched existence thus far lays dead in the water. I am hungry for a future where the sins and wicked deeds of my past are left behind. A convict, yes, but a spirit freed.

Regrets? Yes. But I will never forget, for my memories will serve as a constant reminder of what is important to me in the years to come. 

A new day, a new life, a new me.



As you may have observed I have wound back the clock on this week's photo prompt at Sunday Photo Fiction!

26 comments:

  1. And it was such a great idea, they later sent children to Australia - Oranges and Sunshine.

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    1. It certainly was. Thanks Denise

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    2. Denise, Britain not only sent children to Australia but also to Canada. My grandmother was one of them. She had been in an orphanage since about age 11 or 12 and when she turned 16, she was sent to Canada as an indentured servant. She was one of the older one; many were as young as 3 or 4 years old. There were many charities in the 1800 and 1900s that did this.

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    3. Wow, "charities". Nice(!). With them, charity defintely did not begin at home.

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  2. Let's hope he's one of the few who manage to achieve prominent positions. A land of opportunity, after all.

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    1. Many did, and he was pretty determined. Thank you Sandra

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  3. Not the finest hour for Britain. At least some, like him, were able to see the opportunity it presented.

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    1. He did see it as an oporunity first and punishment second. Cheers Iain

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  4. Interesting view of exile, Keith. Just one of many atrocities perpetrated under the auspices of the Butcher's Apron.

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    1. The union flag certainly did drip with blood in times gone by. Thanks CE

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  5. Hi Keith - none of the shippings down under were very kind - but I suspect future generations are quite appreciative!! This chap was obviously without cares or worries and could only see opportunity -even in an unknown land ... cheers Hilary

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    1. He was minded to derive something positive from his punishment as many did. Thanks Hilary.

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  6. I read something about being isolated and ill-treated on an island. This guy is one of the few lucky ones ...

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    1. They say you make your own luck and I saw him as one that would go on to great things. Thanks Reena

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  7. Nice take on the prompt. I got a very "old world" feel from your writing.

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    1. Thank you. I enjoy the challenge of matching my writing style to the subject or period. Sometimes it works, sometimes not!

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  8. What's interesting is that the ones who escaped being sent to Australia came to the American colonies! At least, many of them did.

    It can be very freeing to get a new start with a clean slate.

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    1. They did indeed. Thanks so much for your thoughts mimi.

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  9. and his great grandson came to be known as Don Bradman who exacted revenge on the British on his ancestor's behalf :D Nice writing, Keith.

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  10. I'm surprised the percentage isn't higher.

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  11. Many Indians of all ages were sent to various countries as indentured labourers. Many perished on the way while others survived and their future generation visit their land of ancestors. Not all stories are pleasant.A great story, Keith.

    https://ideasolsi65.blogspot.in/2017/10/journey_18.html

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    1. Thanks for that Kalpana. Judging by the number of Indian labourers I see when I visit Dubai I sometimes think nt a lot has changed.

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  12. As he was one who seemed to regret his past life, he loos like one who could begin anew and make something positive of his life. Good story Keith.

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    1. The power of positive thought. Thanks so much SF.

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