CREATION #4: Moving Stories


Montreal, QC Canada

Anne Emigrates to Canada

After completing high school at 15 years old, I started thinking about possibly emigrating to Canada as job opportunities in Glasgow at that time were not very promising. My sister Mary and her husband had emigrated to Canada about four years earlier…Mary agreed to sponsor me if I could raise the travel expenses.

During the following year I worked in a tailor shop that hand-made men's suits and I was able to find a second job working in a cafe from 5:30 until 11pm. One salary went to my parents for room and board and the other towards my "emigrating expenses."

So on April 20th, 1968, at the age of 16, I said goodbye to my parents, and a boyfriend, who had driven me to Prestwick Airport, and left for Montreal, Canada with 16 dollars in my pocket. I can still remember standing by myself and looking out the huge windows at the stationary airplanes and wondering what exactly I was doing. Was I doing the right thing? I tried not to over think it too much. To me this was just an adventure.

On the plane I met a girl who lived in Montreal and whose parents were Scottish. I think Marjorie sort of felt she had to look after me during the flight and we remained friends for many years.

My brother James had emigrated earlier the same year and he, Mary, and Danny, her husband, met me at the Montreal Airport. I stayed with Mary and Danny and babysat for a couple of months until I found employment with Prudential of England Assurance.

I recall people commenting on how brave I was to leave my home at the young age of 16 and travel to a new country, thousands of miles away, but I remember laughingly responding that it wasn't a big deal…that this was an adventure.

I was fortunate in finding employment with a good company where I made many friends, who taught me a lot about my new adopted country. Three years later I met my husband, Rene, and together we had three beautiful children. Today after 45 years married we have been blessed with wonderful daughters and son-in-laws and four gifts-from-heaven grandchildren.

I have returned to Scotland on numerous occasions and while my heart will always be Scottish, my home is in Canada now with my family in Canada. No regrets only rewards.