Story: The voyage out
Page 10 – Personal accounts: 1900–1959
Stories from the community
The women and children were separated from the men in different holds down in the depths of the ship. Everyone slept in bunks three high and 250 people in each hold. There were no facilities for babies and toddlers at all and every mother had to do her best to make sure her children did not fall out of their beds or even into the sea. – Louise Hansen-Leemans, of her journey in 1950.
The advent of steamships and the newly created Panama Canal reduced travel time and improved the quality of life on board. And, after the Second World War, air travel evolved as an even quicker means of transport. Nonetheless, making the journey during this period could still be gruelling.
We asked people around the country to send us stories in their own words of the journey they or their relatives made, to begin a new life in New Zealand. Here is a selection.