2: MY FAMILY TREE   8: MY FAMILY SURVIVORS in POLAND 12: ANCESTORS - Part 1 : Origin and Records    
4: MY FAMILY ANCESTRY in POLAND 13: Rymaszewskis in present-day POLAND
5: PINSK UNDER COMMUNIST TYRANNY 10: Descendants in AUSTRALIA - Part 1     14: Rymaszewskis  WORLD-WIDE (Part 1)
    MIETEK'S MEMOIRS OF GULAG       Descendants in AUSTRALIA - Part 2       Rymaszewskis in the USA (Part 2)
6: MY ESCAPE FROM STALIN       Descendants in AUSTRALIA - Part 3 15: EMAILS from Visitors



My travel to Australia in 1955 as a single migrant
sailing on s.s. NEW AUSTRALIA

from port Southhampton on 27th July 1955, arrived in Sydney on 28 August 1955



  • After Second World War, Australia took advantage of the instability and insecurity in Europe to encourage refugees and displaced persons to migrate to Australia. The Australian government looked at its crowded neighbours, felt vulnerable, and decided it had to "populate or perish". The government believed it could combine immigration with full employment. It funded a program that included assisted passages and special hostel accommodation for sponsored migrants.
  • This large-scale planned immigration program was designed to increase the population by 70 to 150 thousands a year, with two thirds being assisted migrants. Most migrants in this period were British, Italian, Greek, Polish, Yugoslav, Dutch and German.
  • In the quarter of a century since the end of war (1945-70), a million people migrated from Britain for a new life in Australia. I was one of them. Most people went as assisted migrants, paying only ten pounds for the journey. The British migrants under this assisted passage scheme were later nicknamed "ten pound poms".



  • Her previous name was Monarch of Bermuda, sailing between New York and Bermuda. Employed during the war as a troopship, she caught fire and burnt down to waterline.
  • Rebuilt in Southampton, she made her first voyage to Australia on 15 August 1950 carrying migrants under the name New Australia. She carried 1,600 passengers and a crew of 500.
  • The New Australia was a steam ship of 20,256 tons. Length 580 ft. Breadth 84 ft. Working speed 18.3 knots (over 20 miles per hour).

sailing on s.s. New Australia

Photo of s.s. New Australia taken in port Aden during my voyage
in 1955

British migrants on Boat deck of New Australia - 1955.
Franek Rymaszewski leaning against the balustrade on the right, watching people pass by.


New Australia arriving at port Fremantle, Western Australia

Early morning on Boat deck of New Australia


  • 3 days after leaving port Southampton in south England, the ship entered the Straits of Gibraltar. The Mediterranean Sea was traversed in 4 days and the vessel entered the Suez Canal at Port Said.
  • On leaving the canal at Port Suez, we set course for the 1,300 miles run across the Red Sea to Aden. On reaching port Aden in Arabia (now Yemen) we anchored and passengers could go ashore by motor-launch. The fare was 2 shillings and 4 pence return.
  • Leaving Aden on the 2,100 miles run to Colombo the ship entered the harbour in the beautiful tropical island of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Once again the motor launches took people to shore. The return fare being 3 shillings. The currency of Ceylon was the rupee, worth 1 shilling and sixpence. The launches landed visitors at the Passenger Jetty, adjoining the Colombo Fort shopping centre.
  • The city proper was a vast area of fine buildings and some not so fine side by side. The best way to get about was by rickshaw or by taxi.
  • Ceylon is noted for its carved elephants in ivory, ebony or rosewood and these may be had at prices from few shillings upwards. Higher prices must be paid for the world-famous Kandy silver-work, many fine examples of which were to be seen in the shops.
  • The only land to be seen in the week's voyage from Ceylon to Western Australia was the coral islands known as the Cocos or Keeling Islands, acquired by Australia in early 50's, where an important air base was being built by the Australian Commonwealth Government.

  • We landed in Fremantle on 21 August 1955. Fremantle is the port of Perth, the stately capital of Western Australia. The view from King's Park, overlooking the city is fantastic.

  • Leaving Fremantle, we entered the Southern Ocean (the home of the Albatross). And after crossing the Great Australian Bight, the ship entered Port Philip Bay in Melbourne, 1,650 miles from Fremantle. The date was 26 August 1955.

  • After an overnight stay in Melbourne the New Australia passed through Bass Straight and thus into Pacific Ocean, reaching Sydney after a further two days, where I disembarked on 28 August 1955.


Franek Rymaszewski on board of New Australia
passing the Mediterranean Sea

Franek Rymaszewski looking at a camel
on a street at Port Aden - 1955


Franek Rymaszewski in Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka)- 1955

Another photo in Colombo street- 1955


Australia : 1955 - 1959
  • I arrived in Sydney from London with only ten pounds in my pocket, traveling aboard an immigration ship converted from wartime troops-carrying ship and renamed  "New Australia". Then I moved to the place of my employment in Port Kembla near Wollongong. It was late August 1955. I was a single man aged 31.


  • At that time all immigrants arriving in Australia were called "New Australians". Initially it was expected that the immigrants would be assimilated, but years later the so called "multiculturalism" emerged.

1956 : Three single "New Australians". Franek Rymaszewski on the left (a Pole), Mike (a Yugoslav) and Valdis Smidlers (a Latvian). We are in Austinmer somewhere near the ocean, going to Headlands Hotel for a cold Fosters beer.


From 1955 to 1959, I was employed by the Australian Iron and Steel Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of BHP Ltd in Port Kembla, New South Wales, as a Design Draftsman in their Steelworks Engineering Department.

I lived nearby in the staff hostel "Karingal" in Cringila, near Wollongong.

In 1956, Television (Black & White) was introduced to Australia, mostly in hotel lounges.

Also in 1956, I flew to Melbourne and saw Olympics.

And returned by first run of Melbourne to Sydney daylight express train.

I visited Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Scheme during construction where 60,000 new migrants from 30 countries were employed.

The population of Australia was only 9 million people.

I visited Sydney Royal Easter Show in Randwick in 1955

1955 : Four single, newly arrived "New Australians" bush-walking in the Blue Mountains.  A Pole on the left (myself), a German in the centre (we met him in the mountains walking alone) and an Italian on the right (sun rays on his eyes), a colleague from work (Aldo Tafelli). A Latvian (Valdis Smidlers), another friend from work, took the photo ( he is on the photo above ^).



Franek Rymaszewski inside his room in "Karingal" Hostel in Cringila, nr Wollongong



"Karingal" Hostel in Cringila, nr Wollongong, Steelworks staff hostel. Franek Rymaszewski on the square lawn surrounded with hostel rooms on three sides. There were separate common areas with showers and toilets.


Franek Rymaszewski in Cooma, the Headquarters of the Snowy Mountains Authority at a "milestone" signpost to various places. Note the Hotel Kosciusko. Our tour bus is behind the tree.

Visit to Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Scheme. Myself in front of Jindabyne Hotel owned by Les A.Hore. The hotel is now at the bottom of the artificial Lake Jindabyne created for the Hydroelectric Scheme

Franek Rymaszewski (first on left) on temporary suspension bridge in Snowy Mountains construction area wearing safety gear.

Franek Rymaszewski in Melbourne during Olympic Games in 1956
(22 Nov - 8 Dec) on Princes Bridge in St.Kilda Road

aboard ss. Willem Ruys
via Panama Canal


Thanks to government policies regarding immigration and employment those were "boom" years in Australia. I saved enough money to pay for a round the globe trip to England where I studied again full time at my expense, and spent a year in Canada.

So in June 1959, I went back to London aboard a Dutch ship "Willem Ruys" via New Zealand and Panama canal.

On 25th of June 1959 we anchored at Pitcairn island where descendants of the mutineers from the vessel "Bounty" live. The islanders came in their boats and came on board



Pitcairn Island. It appeared like a lonely rock sticking out of the Ocean but it takes living shape when we came closer.

Pitcairn Island as seen from ss. Willem Ruys - 25.6.1959

Three long canoes from Pitcairn Island are coming to our boat.

The islanders arrived in three big canoes and boarded our boat, with postmaster among them and sellers of hand made souvenirs like seashell neclaces, etc.


Stamps bought in 1959 from the Pitcairn Island Postmaster himself who boarded our ship from his canoe.

He was barefooted, like all the islanders.



Franek Rymaszewski enjoying a drink on a balcony of a Bermuda restaurant

Franek Rymaszewski at the Bermuda bay near that restaurant


After visiting Bermuda island we sailed for New York where I went to UN building, Radio City and the tallest, at that time, Empire State building.

Franek Rymaszewski on top of Empire State building

Photo taken from top of Rockefeller Centre Building looking towards the towering Empire State Building. Rockefeller Centre contained the NBC TV and Radio Studios - date 1959.


Then we took a tour through the United Nations Building. The area is independent from the United States, just like the Vatican is independent from Italy.

I also visited Times Square, 42nd Street and a fashionable 5th Avenue. I had a beer at some narrow bar where on the "shelf" behind the counter about 6 standing in a row guys played jazz non stop.


Stamps bought in the United Nations Building (UN territory) and sent care of my brother's address where I was going



: Wife LENA, children: LUCIAN age 3 (birthday during the voyage), CELINA age 1 and half, JULIAN age 3 months.


I returned to Australia via Suez Canal on board s.s. Iberia


At a nearby Italian Cafe.
Note sign for English tourists: " Little bar for 150 lires bottle"


Lena with Lucian and Celina in Naples, Italy, en route to Australia - September 1966.
Two and a half months old Julian
was safely kept on board air-conditioned ship "Iberia".


Franek Rymaszewski and his son Lucian (not yet 3 years old)
on Iberia at Port Said in Egypt
and a view of town behind.


Lena with Lucian on the deck of Iberia anchored in Suez Canal in Port Said, Egypt.

British Colony on Arabian Peninsula

ADEN. Hotel Marina and shops

in 1966



Sports day for children on top deck of Iberia.




We disembarked in Sydney on 10 October 1966, but we went through Customs and Immigration in port Fremantle, Perth, Western Australia on 3 October 1966.

At that time in Sydney the building of Opera House was nearing completion (see picture >>>).

s.s. Iberia in Sydney Harbour

Photo of Opera House still under construction,
taken from Iberia on 10 October 1966


British currency

Also in 1966 Australia changed its currency from pounds, shillings and pennies to the decimal system of dollars and cents.

The rate of exchange was 2 dollars for 1 pound.

In 1966 the notes were: One dollar (picture >), Two dollars (picture >), and Five dollars.

And the coins were: 20 cents, 10 cents, 5 cents, 2 cents and 1 cent.

Later 50 cents silver round coin was introduced.


Family 66.123
66.123 w
  Eleanor (Lena) DUTHIE a.k.a. SMITH (wife)

Lena was born on Christmas Day, 25 December 1938 in Aberdeen, Scotland. She arrived in Sydney from London, England together with me and our three children on the ship "Iberia". We entered port Fremantle, Perth, Western Australia on 3 October 1966 and disembarked in Sydney a week later.

Lena (Eleanor Duthie) was born to a single mother. She was adopted at the age of 9 months by elderly, childless couple Mr and Mrs D.A. Smith of Arbroath, Scotland, re-named and brought up as Dorothy Smith.

At the age of 16, Dorothy discovered papers showing that her parents were not her real parents and that she was adopted. Brokenhearted she left home. She joined the Army Nursing Corps and was being trained as a nurse, but later resigned and went to work.

She met me in London. We were both alone, hardly had any family and were lonely. When I completed my studies, we went to Canada where we got married.

Lena proved to be good wife and mother. Twenty five years later, in 1987, when our children grew up in Australia, Lena decided to go back to Europe to search for her biological mother. She visited and searched her native Scotland. Her adopted parents were now deceased. Eventually she found out that her real mother, alas, has in the meantime also died. However Lena traced some relatives. She then obtained employment in London and became known as Lena Daniels. Lena returned to Australia in 2004.

Eleanor (Lena) Duthie - 1963



Lucian was born on 25 September 1963 in London,



7 September 1966

PHOTO: 2 years 11 months old Lucian just boarded a train in Waterloo station in London which will take him to port Southampton. From there he will sail for a month on a boat "Iberia" for Australia.

Lucian arrived in Australia at the age of 3 years exactly.



Celina was born on 11 February 1965 in London, England

7 September 1966

PHOTO: 1 year 6 months old Celina just boarded a train in Waterloo station in London which will take her to port Southampton. From there, she will sail for a month on a boat "Iberia" for Australia.

Celina arrived in Australia at the age of 1 year and 7 months.


  Julian Antony RYMASZEWSKI

Julian was born on 12 May 1966 in London, England


7 September 1966

PHOTO: Two and a half months old Julian had his sleep disturbed and is yawning. He was just carried to the train in Waterloo station in London which will take him to port Southampton. From there, he will sail for a month on a boat "Iberia" for Australia.

Julian arrived in Australia at the age of 3 and a half months.



possumIn Australia I was employed by the Commonwealth of Australia Department of Works and we lived in a bushland setting in the grounds of the Commonwealth Experimental Building Station in North Ryde, Sydney, next to CSIRO and Chanel 10 TV station.

We lived in a house prefabricated from steel framework with fibre board on inside and metal sheeting on outside, designed for quick assembly in wartime or natural disasters areas.


Christmas 1967 - a year after arrival in Australia.
Our nuclear family, all alone in Australia, with no relatives of any kind.

Lucian 4 years
Celina 2.5 years
Julian 1.5 years
Lena   29 years

Photo of Lena and the children dated Saturday, 16 August 1969.
Returning home from "Education week" visit to North Ryde Spiritus Sanctus School to see Lucian's work and classroom. Lucian holds a cup - his reward


The picture below shows how Lucian, Celina and Julian looked like at the moment of history, when the first man in Apollo 11 landed on the moon on 20 July 1969. In Sydney the date was 21 July 1969 (Eastern Standard Time).


Lucian is 5 years 10 months old.
Celina is 4 years 5 ½ months old.
Julian is 3 years 2 ½ months old.

Pilot Edwin Aldrin climbs down the ladder from lunar module to the Moon's surface.

Commander Neil Armstrong took this picture of Edwin Aldrin during their 2 and a half hour moonwlk.

The envelope is postmarked with stamp that has been taken to the Moon.

1972-1973 :
CHILDREN'S VOYAGE TO LONDON and Scotland aboard ss. Fairstar and ss. Australis

From August 1972 to March 1973 Lucian, Celina and Julian went with their mother on the round the world sea voyage to London via New Zealand and Panama Canal. Returning around South Africa because the Suez canal was then blockaded by Egypt.

They visited uncle Edward and grandmother Aleksandra in London, and while in London attended a private college "Silverdale" .


Leaving home 10 August 1972. Lucian: 8 years 10.5 months, Celina: 7 years 6 months, Julian: 6 years 3 months old

Lucek, Celinka and Julek under famous lion in London's Trafalgar Square. January ?(Winter) 1973.

From left: Celinka, Lucian, uncle Edi (Edward 66.121), auntie Marta (66.121w), Auntie Ewa (66.1241) and her baby daughter Vanessa. It is Lucian's birthday - 9 years old - 25 September 1972

Back home in North Ryde, Australia, 7 March 1973
Lucian: 9 years old, Celina: 8 years old, Julian: 6 years 9 months


Friday, 9 May 1975. The children accompanying me during my Master of Engineering Science graduation at the University of New South Wales.

Ages of children:

Lucek : 11 ½ yrs, Celinka : 10 yrs, Julek : 9 yrs

1975 - Lena and myself celebrating at the Music Hall Theatre Restaurant in Neutral Bay, Sydney, where the play "The Sins of Society" was performed.


after cyclone "Tracy"

In 1975, after cyclone "Tracy", Lucian and Julian, and later Celina, flew alone from Sydney, unaccompanied to visit me in cyclone devastated Darwin in Northern Territory, where I was working as an engineer on the reconstruction of town. (Darwin after the cyclone >)

11 year old Lucian and 9 year old Julian in Darwin.
Waiting for ferry for a trip to Mandorah island.

With her broken arm in plaster, 10 year old Celina was very brave to travel to Darwin alone to meet me. Photo after her return home, with Lucian and myself.


aboard ss. Fairstar


In 1976, Lucian, Celina and Julian went with Lena, their mother on the Sitmar Cruise of South Pacific islands on TSS Fairstar while I was working in Darwin.


Lucian (on the left) and Celinka (next to him in front) during fancy dress parade, watching entertainment on the Fairstar.

10 year old Julek in sailor hat takes steering wheel control of the whole, huge, ocean ship Fairstar !

Capital of Australia


In 1977 our family moved to the capital Canberra where I was transfered on promotion.

I was now working in the Overseas Works Branch of the Australian Commonwealth Department of Construction engaged on design and construction of Australian embassies overseas.


Photo of our house in Canberra :
no.11, Street Place, Watson (dated - winter 1979)


Celinka, Lucek and Julek on the site of future parliament in Canberra, acting as a statue.

Julek, Lena, Celinka and Lucek in front of Brassey House, a private hotel for public servants, where we stayed in Canberra before buying our own house.




Lucian, 7 year old, and his 5 year old sister Celina, after Lucian's First Communion in Church at Cox's Rd, North Ryde, 9th May 1971.

11 year old Lucian on top of Australia Sq. tower, the tallest building at that time in Sydney, overlooking the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House - October 1974.

Lucian, just 6 year old, and his 6 year old partner, at the first school ball and presentation. Sydney, year 1969.

Lucian, 13 year old, in the Polish Saturday School play in Canberra, as a Prince in the play "Kopciuszek" fitting the shoe to Cinderella's foot - 1976.




Celinka, only 5 years 7½ months old, is presented at the School Debutantes Ball, Sydney, 30th September 1970.

8 year old Celinka at the reception after the First Communion in North Ryde, Sydney - November 1973.


Celinka, a member of the Polish folk dancing group in Canberra, in one of many Polish regional costumes.

Celinka wearing another Polish folk costume, in front of our house in Watson, a suburb of Canberra - winter 1978.


Celina, Julian and mother in Solidarity tee-shirts, supporting Solidarity movement in Poland, 1980 - 1981.

Celinka, a member of the Polish folk dancing group in Canberra, wearing costume from Kraków (Cracow) regarded as Polish national costume.


Celina also went with her Braddon College students, as a part of French language and culture curriculum, on an "excursion" by sea voyage to Noumea, New Caledonia, an island in French
Polynesia on Pacific Ocean.




  Julian Antony RYMASZEWSKI

5 years old Julek ("I am a little gentleman"), goes to his first school ball and presentation in Sydney, on 19th August 1971.

Julian (front row, second from the left, kneeling) at the Polish Scouts Camp near Adelaide, South Australia - summer, December 1980.

Polish Scouting Cross

Julek, a member of the Polish folk dancing group in Canberra, in the Polish national costume from Kraków (Cracow) - 1979.

Julian (Julek), a member of the Polish Scouts in Canberra - 1980.
(Awarded Scouting Cross - see above)


Julian (Julek), first on the left, in the "krakowiak" costume (costume from Kraków or Cracow), with the Polish folk dancing group in Canberra - May 1979.



Julian (Julek), a pupil of the Polish Saturday School in Canberra, in the role of a Polish nobleman (szlachcic) in the presentation of a play commemorating the anniversary of the May 3, 1791 Polish Constitution, the most democratic in Europe. May 1980.



Julian (Julek), third on the left, performing during PolArt Festival in Adelaide , December 1980.



Julek (under letter "N", top right), with the Polish Scouts in Canberra, on stage at the commemoration of the Katyn massacre anniversary - December 1980


We are, in the year 2000, the only Rymaszewski family in the whole of Australia.
The family that originates from Pinsk, Poland and arrived in 1955 - 1966.



However, on 16 February 1950 a group of war displaced persons arrived in port Fremantle, Perth, Western Australia, from the Polish war orphans and widows camps in East Africa, aboard a United States Army transport carrier the USAT "W.C. Langfitt". The list of passengers contains the names of :

Stanislawa Rymaszewska (Ms)
Wanda Rymaszewska (Ms)

They came from Tengeru camp in Tanganyika, Africa. There were no other personal details on the list.
They were among the 1 500 000 Poles who in 1940 were deported by the Soviet KGB from Eastern Poland to the USSR to work in remote labour camps. In 1942-1943 some surviving orphans, widows and invalids managed to get evacuated from the Soviet Union together with the gen. Anders Polish Army
(see Chapter 6), and were placed in camps in Persia (Iran), India and British East Africa.

Who were Stanislawa and Wanda Rymaszewska ?

In all likelihood a widow and her daughter, or maybe two sisters - orphans. One thing is known. They were Rymaszewski victims that survived the Communist tyranny, the most evil ideological system humanity has ever known. They came from eastern Poland where the Rymaszewski clan lived. And like me, they suffered deportation and repression in Stalinist Russia.

In 2007 I have found more information on the Internet about Stanislawa and Wanda Rymaszewska. It comes from a list of Polish war exiles in East Africa and Rhodesia. This confirmed my first assumptions.

Antoni Rymaszewski, born in 1900, the son of Jozef, was deported on 10 February 1940 at the age of 39, with his wife and daughter from Eastern Poland, Baranowicze district to a labour camp (gulag) in Sukhoye, Arkhangelsk area near Arctic Circle (arriving there on 26 February 1940). His wife was Stanislawa, born in 1910, age 29, the daughter of Antoni, and his daughter was Wanda Rymaszewska, born in 1929, age 10. After the so called "amnesty" they made their way in search of the Polish Army in the Asian south of USSR and managed to leave the Soviet Union with gen. Anders Army. From Teheran in Persia they were moved to Polish refugees and orphans camp in East Africa. The mother Stanislawa is very likely now deceased in Australia. Wanda is now 78 and should still be living in Australia.

In January 2008 I had a surprise email and photos from Andrzej Rymaszewski from Wroclaw, Poland, who discovered my website. The email was regarding the fate and background of Stanislawa and Wanda Rymaszewska. Andrzej Rymaszewski is related to them. Wanda's and her mother's details are now included under "Western Australia" in Chapter 14 .
Andrzej's Family Tree, photos and family details are presented under "Wroclaw" in Chapter 13.

The true stories of hardships and survival of some other arrivals of the "Gen. Langfitt Group" were recounted years later in a book "The General Langfitt Story" by Maryon Allbrook and Helen Cattalini, published by AGPS (1995), ISBN 0 644 35781 9.

Full text of the book can be found and printed free
from the Australian Department of Immigration Website:



2: MY FAMILY TREE   8: MY FAMILY SURVIVORS in POLAND 12: ANCESTORS - Part 1 : Origin and Records    
4: MY FAMILY ANCESTRY in POLAND 13: Rymaszewskis in present-day POLAND
5: PINSK UNDER COMMUNIST TYRANNY 10: Descendants in AUSTRALIA - Part 1     14: Rymaszewskis  WORLD-WIDE (Part 1)
    MIETEK'S MEMOIRS OF GULAG       Descendants in AUSTRALIA - Part 2       Rymaszewskis in the USA (Part 2)
6: MY ESCAPE FROM STALIN       Descendants in AUSTRALIA - Part 3 15: EMAILS from Visitors