Her family broken apart and her identity taken away, she had to forget her past in order to face her future. But forgetting isn’t forever.
Taken from their mother’s care and deported from England to the colonies, ten-year-old Marjorie Arnison and her nine-year-old brother, Kenny, were sent to the Prince of Wales Fairbridge Farm School on Vancouver Island in September 1937. Their eight-year-old sister, Audrey, followed the next August.
Marjorie's new home was on an isolated farm — a cottage she shared with at least ten other girls and a “cottage mother” at the head, who had complete control over her “children.”
Survival required sticking to bare essentials. Marjorie had to accept a loss, which was difficult to forgive. Turning inward, she would find strength to pull her through, but she had to lock away her memories in order to endure her new life.
Marjorie was well into her senior years before those memories resurfaced.
Patricia Skidmore is the daughter of a British child migrant. She lives on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia.
Marjorie’s memoir is important in helping us all to remember a time not too long ago when the ties which bind us became lost to Governments. This is a powerful reminder of the consequences of child migration.
A testament to the human spirit, to resilience and reconciliation.
An important book because it exposes the dark side of “civilized” society, as it reveals the strength of the human heart to rise above that darkness.