Bonegilla Reunion is here

People from far and wide will descend on Bonegilla today (November 2) and tomorrow (November) 3 to take in the rich culture and activities on offer at the Bonegilla Reunion.

Janine Arkinstall will travel from Mildura to attend the reunion and discover more about her late father (Milos Tvrznik) who arrived at the camp in 1950 and, ultimately, began a new life.

Mrs Arkinstall knows little about her father’s early life in Czechoslovakia or his time at Bonegilla.

She does know Milos put his date of birth up by two years so he could go into the adult camp.

He was 16 years old when he left home, telling his mum he was going fishing with a friend – he never got to see his family again.

Milos drifted for almost two years before getting on board the ship to Australia.

Following his death in 2004, due to his date of birth correction, Mrs Arkinstall discovered he has a third daughter who lives in Finley.

“Looking into my father’s journey to Australia has been an emotional experience for me,” Mrs Arkinstall said.

“Several years ago I started looking on the Bonegilla website to see where dad first arrived.

“I had been planning to visit Bonegilla on Father’s Day but I can’t get there then, so I am determined to attend the November reunion.”

Mrs Arkinstall ordered a plaque in memory of her father, which has been included among the names listed on The Arc memorial sculpture.

The Bonegilla Reunion on November 2 and 3 will celebrate 71 years since the Bonegilla Migrant Reception and Training Centre was established.

The reunion includes displays, exhibitions, a genealogy presentation, histrorian and author talks, bus tours, food and music.

Bookings for some events are necessary, phone the Bonegilla Migrant Experience on 6020 6912.