Friday, 25 June 2010

Julia Gillard : the girl from the Welsh Valleys : news from Barry, Wales

Julia Gillard signs her commission
yesterday at Yarralumla (Government House)

Followiing this post on The Network yesterday, it seems that there is news from Barry.  I think Nessa and Smithy must have put a word in.  Because here is news of the response from Barry according to the Daily Mail.



The new Prime Minister of Australia's roots are thousands of miles away from TV's Neighbours - in the Gavin and Stacey seaside town of Barry.
Julia Gillard, 48, was a sickly five-year-old when her parents took her from Wales for the warmer climate Down Under.
Young Julia had suffered with pneumonia and doctors advised her family of the benefits of moving from damp and drizzly old South Wales to the sun of New South Wales.
Her former policemen father John and mum Moira decided to emigrate to Australia settling in Adelaide in 1966 with Julia and sister Alison, three years older.
The family were among thousands of £10 Poms - Brits who emigrated to Australia in the sixties paying just £10 for their boat fare.
But Barry's 47,000 residents woke up yesterday to discover that Julia has become Australia's first woman Prime Minister.
The family lived at number 84 Queen Street in a two-bedroomed terraced house - just like the modest home of Stacey from the popular BBC comedy.
Julia's former next-door Basil Davies said: 'She was a lovely young girl - I remember her playing with the local children in the street.
'She was very small when she left here and no one could imagine she would go on to become the most powerful person in Australia.'  
Julia returned to Barry when she was 16 to stay with Basil and his late wife Mabel when the family briefly returned to Wales for the first time since emigrating.
Retired coalman Basil, 91, said: 'It was a cold winter and I remember Julia saying it was the first time she had seen snow.
'Her family came back for a couple of weeks and checked into an hotel on the seafront.
'When they visited us and told us where they were staying I made them get their bags and come here.
'There was a lot of snow so they couldn't do all the visiting they planned but it was really nice to have them back.
'They were wonderful people - lovely neighbours and we missed them when they went to Australia.
'But they left Barry to better themselves and it has worked out for them - especially Julia.
'We are very proud of her - the whole town is.'  
The families have exchanged Christmas cards every years since 1966 and Basil would be kept up to date with Julia's progress.
Mr Baker was at a loss to explain where Labour leader Julia acquired her political drive.
But she lists Welsh founder of the NHS Nye Bevan as one of her heroes.
And she comes from a long line of Welsh Labour politicians including former 
Prime Minister David Lloyd George, and Labour leaders Neil Kinnock and Michael Foot.



MissEagle racism-free Photobucket

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