Royal Visit 2014
With the Royal visit scheduled to start at 11 am 23rd April 2014 in Adelaide with the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine Elizabeth Middleton with their arrival at the Edinburgh Air Base in Elizabeth South Australia. Elizabeth was first established in 1955 by the then South Australian Premier Playford under the guidance of the Housing Trust.
When we look up the official website of The British Monarchy we find Australia is listed as a Commonwealth Realm along with another 14 other countries that have the Queen as it’s Monarch. The well-known 10 pounds paid by most UK migrants to emigrate to Elizabeth was specific to the UK, other Commonwealth Realms residents and non-Realm residents had to pay full fare, which was of the order of 150 pounds from Europe. So there is an actual monetary benefit of 140 pounds, if we approximate a 5 percent interest rate per year from 1955 to 2014 it would grow to 2490 pounds or at today’s exchange rate a sum of $4488 Australian dollars, and multiply that by number of UK immigrants. This benefit does not seem like much on an individual level, but what the South Australian Government did at the time was to reduce the risk for UK migrants to come to Elizabeth, South Australia.
At one point after the Second World War some munitions factories in the UK were converted to producing houses. These were wooden flat pack houses that were sent via boat and assembled here in Adelaide after the war by local carpenters. South Australia was to provide both housing and work for the new immigrants form the UK as part of South Australian Premier Playford’s plan which at the same time provided a source of labour for industry in Elizabeth.
Playford’s attempt to keep wages low resulted in maintaining the Housing Trusts role in building the suburb of Elizabeth in 1955 with some new brick housing. New UK immigrants would qualify for a Housing Trust home; some residents are still in their original homes. The skilled trades immigrants like Fitters and Turners would turn up with their box of tools and be allocated work in the factories straight away, others with good English language skills and office skills would be allocated office jobs and so on. With all these opportunities so easily obtained it is no wonder the resident’s of Elizabeth feel a connection to the Monarchy.
So with Holden’s factory in Elizabeth due to close in 2017 the flow on effects of it’s closure on the 17% employed in manufacturing (source: 2011 ABS) and on the 13% employed in the retail trade (2011 ABS) will only add to the future unemployment rate, and distress of resident’s of Elizabeth.
So today the residents of Elizabeth have not been forgotten by the Monarchy, with Prince William and Catherine visiting and talking with the young people of Elizabeth who trying out new ways to form a career, some in the music industry.
Reference material has been sourced from first hand accounts from migrants and from Wikipedia and ABS.