An Ocean Away

As a child, to have your world turned upside down at a day’s notice is a catastrophe. Everything comfortable and normal was swept away on that day and a new life begun.

William lived in mid-nineteenth century rural Northern Ireland, never straying far from home or family. Always poor, always struggling, and always normal. His father, worried that he might settle down and continue in poverty as generations before, decides his son must take advantage of worldwide change and pursue a life outside the valley. He puts his son on a cart that leaves the valley for Belfast…

What follows is a life of change and challenge.

Swept along by chance, William determines he will follow the gold rush to Australia. He finds his way onto a steam/sailing ship, threatened by bullies and the elements, we follow his steps as fate guides him in pursuit of his new life.

One more waif in a world of many, following life where it sees fit to take him. William is only one of many who found the courage, the patience and the willingness, and this is his story.

Never easy, sometimes funny, and often dangerous. We peek into the lives of people at the time and through him, see how they lived on the docks and on the ship.

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Peter Clarke is only one of many Australians who are intrigued by the stories of those immigrants who helped create a nation. Where did they come from? Why did they come? Why did they stay?

Born in Mudgee and raised in the Blue Mountains, Peter is familiar with the challenges of drought and fire, but these challenges are nothing compared to those faced by the early pioneers.

A working life in the computer industry has not in any way prepared Peter to write about the pioneers. However, a lively interest in early Australia and an adequate Irish heritage has contributed to a curiosity that has only been in part satisfied by several trips to Ireland, but also by an ability to use the new technology to surf world history and events and create a story of one man’s journey to reflect the difficulties of the time.