Challenging Lives

Challenging Lives
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Pam has another book about to be launched in Wauchope, then Goulburn and finally at the War Vets in Narrabeen in early 2011. The book is called Challenging Lives - the memoirs of Paula and Julien Vanslambrouck. In this book Pam has intertwined the life stories of both Paula and Julien to make for a very interesting read. Paula was one of nine in the depression years and her story tells of the struggle to survive with her father out of work. Her two great grandmothers were the among the first pioneers of the Wauchope district and now their progeny still live in the area. The two women became firm friends. One was an Irish orphan from the workhouse and the other an English migrant and when one dies young the other takes on the responsibility of rearing the ten children which are shared among the family.

Julien is a Belgium migrant who endured Nazi occupation during the war and came to Australia as a 22 year old. Julien and Paula meet in New Guinea and fall in love and we share their adventures in this interesting country and also South Africa where Julien is sent after joining the Kellogg's company. In retirement they settle on a farm out of Goulburn and rear angora goats giving Julien time to help others in the many organisations he joins for which he is awarded the Premier's Medal in 2001. They now live in the War Vets in Narrabeen and Paula, an accomplished pianist plays for the singalongs. They indeed have lived challenging and interesting lives.

Paula has now passed away but she would be happy that so many people have said they enjoyed this story. Julian is now in a care home and well into his nineties and he too wanted to share his life story with his wife and I interviewed them separately so there would be no arguments. I found them to be two wonderful people and I enjoyed my time writing their story.

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