In ’56, when the Laganbank
berthed at Williamstown on the Yarra to discharge bulk sulphur, I received a request from home to visit an emigrant female relative based in Melbourne. In those days a phone number was rarely given out, you just showed up. I can’t recall the suburb only that it took a train ride to get there.
It was dark in a poorly lit neighbourhood by the time I got there. I had an awkward time trying to convince a suspicious and fairly deaf elderly lady, unseen in the gloom through a screen door, that I was the great grandson of her McKenzie relative from Applecross in Wester Ross. Eventually, she relented and invited me in, explaining that her caution was due to the fact her locality was troubled by the hostility between rival gangs of Greeks and Italians.
What? Surely not!