I was an immigrant child
in the 1950s and 60s
There have always been families with children migrating from their country of birth to a new place that is considered better to live in. A small trickle of Danish families immigrated to New Zealand in the 50s and 60s. The children that came are now senior members of The Danish Society.
Our storytellers write and speaks of what they remember of New Zealand in the 1950s, well over 60 years ago. They are all personal impression of a country that was uncomplicated, welcoming to others and particularly interested in European customs and food.
At that stage New Zealand’s schools had little experience of dealing with children whose first language was not English. Somehow, these young immigrants absorbed the English language, sometimes with the support of the teachers other times in spite of them. What is important is that all of our story tellers, worked hard at school to overcome any language or cultural disadvantages and subsequently took advantage of the opportunities at school and later in career options.
Today they have all grown up in New Zealand, the country their parents chose to live in and made good of their lives through the opportunities offered.
Each person have strong ties with Denmark but as young adults made the decision to continue living in New Zealand, where they have contributed to the community through career and social activities.
To each story teller, Visse Hopley, Randi Knights and Torben Sørensen thank you for being willing to share both in print and in film.
To Brigitte Lauper our film maker whose Danish mother gave her a love of things Danish in her native Switzerland where she grew up. Brigitte now lives in Auckland and holds three cultures dear.
Thanks must go to our script editors Pam Logan and Visse Hopley . I could not do without them .
Our webmaster Saj Choudhary who puts it all together and makes it happen.