Two Londoners, Pam and Doug Cherriman, ex-Grenadier Guards and Parachute Regiment, tell their story
As Ten Pound Poms,’ (Prisoner of Mother England) they landed in Freemantle in 1967. They emigrated from England as part of the Australian governments scheme to encourage people to move to the continent.
Pam video tells her story of how they worked hard to make their move successful.
Sailing onboard the Italian cruise liner Fairsky, Doug and Pam returned to Freemantle docks in 2015 to be interviewed. What were their motives and reasons for leaving London? As newly arrived immigrants how did they find life in Western Australia? Was emigrating successful and how did their children fair?
The emerging issues and key factors of this narrative can be contrasted against the backdrop of today’s daily front-page news about migrants desperately seeking new lives in distant lands.
Today, we are living in a very different world from the last century. Not so long ago countries were desperately seeking migrants to power their economies.
Now, new emerging pressures and trends make immigration a hot issue for any nation. Yet the story of mass migration is the story of mankind’s history. There has always been geographic and economic movement. People have always sought new opportunities to better themselves in foreign lands.
King's Park Perth
Pam’s personal insights are directly related to her strong family values. These may be generalized across communities and countries. Although being Anglo-centric, her believes and views may be universal. It is not difficult seeing her believes being shared with mothers around the world.
A strong message from the video is the necessity to work very hard to survive as a migrant. To succeed means having commitment, drive, determination and energy.
After working in varied jobs in their new country, the Cherriman’s decided to start their own business. Risking their small hard earned capital of $3,000 in the spirit of free enterprise, they established a new contract flooring business. It was the vehicle for success as Pom migrants in Perth.
Overcoming setbacks and having resilience was an essential necessity. In the early days of trading, Doug lost $30,000 when a major client declared himself bankrupt and did not clear his account.
St. George's Terrace Perth
As astute, intelligent business people the worked even harder to make up the loss. The foreclosure may have destroyed their livelihoods.
By thoroughly researching and carefully reviewing the market place they recovered. With keenly priced, very competitive tenders pitched slightly below the going rate they won lots of work.
Doug doing the laboring and installation himself guaranteed the quality and success of the contracting work. It also ensured that he continually updated his expertise as a competitive businessman. It meant travelling huge distances and walking the talk in hostile environments.
Pam ran the office. Doug delivered the services. A lean and mean, self contained business model helped keep costs down. By taking on a wide variety of work it helped facilitate business development and extend personal skills. This was instrumental in Doug becoming an expert in his field.
Successful emigration is also about support from a close, extended family. Pam’s mother, father and sisters family followed them to settle in Perth.
History has been kind to the Cherriman’s generation. They have benefited from the spectacular economic growth of the late twentieth century. In the low growth of the twenty-first century, young people and a new generation may have more restricted opportunities.
Darling Hills WA
Check out Pam and Doug's son, Simon Cherriman, the eminent Australian conservationist and wedge-tail eagle expert: