The Anita Hutton Story
I was born at Simpson memorial hospital on 23rd October 1953 and given the name Anita Christine Hutton and was first daughter to my mother Kate Margot Rubas and my father Robert Baird Hutton. My mother was of German decent and my father was Scottish, both my parents served in the Second World War where they met while my father was stationed in Germany with the British army.
After the war they both returned to Scotland and got married on the 18th September 1948 shortly after my brother Albert Robert was born in 1949 and they all set up home on a council estate in Edinburgh.
A couple of years down the line my brother Ken was born 27th February1952.
Over the next three years we all lived as one big happy family and still have fond memories of those early days and I’ll always remember my birth mother dressing me in pretty clothes and putting ribbons in my hair. It was all so perfect, well that’s what it seemed to be from the outside looking in. Little did people know that the family was slowly disintegrating. Unfortunately for us my father was a heavy drinker, and to my knowledge unable to hold down any job for any length of time.
During 1955 and 1957 my mother walked out leaving the family three times each time it was said that she had gone with other men. Then finally on Wednesday the 20th February 1957 she left for the last time and was not seen or heard of for many years, it was very late that night when my father returned home to find the three of us all huddled together and alone, I was three years old. My father tried his best to take care of us with the help of our grandmother who came over from Germany to look after us but it was all too much for both of them. Finally there became no option but put us into care and our once happy home was to be a thing of the past.
On Monday11th March 1957 my brother Albert was sent to live with my grandmother, my fathers mother, whilst my brother ken and I were put into the care of Dr Barnardos Homes and admitted to Haldane House, Edinburgh, and was to stay there for the next four years. During all of that time our parents only came to visit us once. And by August 1958 our parents had disappeared of the face of the earth, and that was the last contact we were ever to have from them. .
During those four years Ken and I were boarded out many times, but we came as a package which made it harder to get us placed, and when we did each time told it would be the last, and introduced to our new parents to be, with my brother taking me by the hand hoping that these were the ones, But it wasn’t to be and after the third time thought we were going to be institutionalized forever.
Then in 1961 at the age of seven we were told once again we going to be boarded out, so hand in hand off we went again, but this time it was to be different, neither knowing that this was to be a turning point in our young lives and introduced to our prospected foster parents Mr/Mrs I’ Anson.
All was going well that was until our new parents decided in 1964 that they wanted emigrate to Australia. As they were not our legal guardians unfortunately we could not go with them ,but went ahead with the application. At the same time they approached Barnardos and asked if we could go with them to Australia, the letter arrived with the application being approved. Barnardos said they would try to send us with the next group of children being relocated to Australia; this meant we would have to go back into care for a short period of time.
The letter arrived giving the 3rd March 1965 as the departure date. So we were sent to live in London to the Dr Barnardo’s village home Barkingside. It was a sad time and at the back of my mind I wondered if we would see our new mum and dad again . I still remember saying our “goodbye’s” at the station with the tears rolling down mine and Ken’s faces as we got on the train to London.
There were nine children altogether, including Ken and myself, and we were all put into Ivy Cottage and we were to spend the next week there, during which we all had a great time together seeing the sight of London, a west end show, and the press all taking particular interest in our exploits. As we were the first group to go by air , all previous children had gone by sea , we all felt like celebrities, then came all the new cloths complete with new shiny suitcase to put them. This was all new for me as for most of our lives we’d had second hand clothes.
Finally the day of our departure arrived and I remember leaving the village like it was yesterday as we were all buzzing with excitement our destination was Heathrow airport.
After two days flying we eventually arrived in Sydney Australia on Friday 28th April 1965. Unfortunately as soon as we arrived the group was split up almost straight away. We didn’t even get to say our “goodbyes”, my brother and I were taken on arrival to meet up with our foster parents it was a happy moment for all of us .What happened to the rest of the party? Well we never knew where they went, none of us kept in touch and having only been together a short time strong friendships were never really made.
We were to settle in a place called Bradfield Park Hostel Sydney. It was where all the immigrants went so they could find their feet in the new land, i.e. be it a job or a home ,as it was not just blue sky’s and sandy beaches. You had to work hard to survive and many did not. Ken and I went to Chatswood High School and I was to stay there until I my schooling had at the age of fifteen.
All my youth I’d dreamt about going into the fashion business, so with a little luck and a lot determination, and not to mention charm and personality! I gained my first position with Grace Brothers in Sydney with a cadetship in store management in their fashion department. I was to stay there four years.
Shortly after my cadetship had ended I was head hunted. The glamour of the big city and young fashion took me to a major retailer called “Sports Girl” and after proving myself I was promoted to a buyers roll. I was 20 years old at the time. Life for me was as good as it gets, as few people get to do the job of their dreams and I was to travel all over Australia during those early years. I finally returned to Sydney to manage one of their stores.
By now I was 28years old, and it was then I meet and married my husband to be who lived in Newcastle NSW, so I left Sydney to be near him. During that period of my life I continued my carrier in “Johns of Newcastle“. But, loves young dream wasn’t to last so we both decided to call it a day. Shortly after the separation I took up a position with a company called “Country Road” which took me back to Sydney as a state retail coordinator. I was later promoted though the company and sent to New Zealand as general manager to open new outlets.
In 1994 I decided to change direction and found employment with a body care company called Trelivings Australia Pty Ltd and spent eleven years with the company as A Product Developer and International Sales and Event Coordinator.
I have got to travel all over the world during my career, whilst in America, with the help of my brother, caught up with my birth mother although strange at first we became very close and she was visit us twice in Australia first in 1993 then again in 1995 .Unfortunately in March 2000 at the age 70 my birth mother passed away suddenly. Just a week earlier I had spoken to her on the phone, and was to hear about her death while I was in Italy on business Also during my travels I met up with my long lost brother Albert and his family in London. It was nice to meet Albert’s son when they visited us last year and to all to be reunited once again.
In 2004 I started up my own consultancy business for the retail trade and called it Rubus Therapies after my birth mother’s maiden name. My partner Nathan and I live on the Queensland and have now been together for twelve years.
Have I any regrets ,none that I can think of , life’s been good to me. It was hard meeting my birth mother and brother after all these years apart, but when I first went into care I was three years old, so life in and out of care was normal for me, I only remember it as a fun time with more than my fair share of children to play with, At the age of seven my new foster parents came on the scene and became my mum and dad.
If I had to choose my own a family, I couldn’t have made a better choice myself, mum and dad are both in there eighties and in good health, my brother Ken has three grown up children one of whom lives just around the corner from me and I am now a great aunt to her son. I see the rest of the family on regular basis .
And me, I am what I am, what you see is what you get .I love to be surrounded by people and have been very fortunate in my life and bless the day my new Mum and Dad came into mine and Kens life I only wish our brother Albert could have shared it with us.
Thank you very much for sending me a copy of Pebble on The Beach. My Goodness, you have been through the mill! Well done for all of it and for managing to turn it into a very inspirational read.