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On board the Japanese steamer Kwanto Maru, which arrived at Melbourne recently from Talacahuano, Chili, are 220 Patagonian immigrants, whose ultimate destination is the Northern Territory. The people are under contract to the Commonwealth Government, and are made up of various nationalities, the numbers being :— British 28, Spaniards 113, Russian 45, Italian 30, Argentine 1, French 1, Servian 1, and Greek 1. All of the British immigrants are of Welsh descent, and comprise three families, the names being Davies, Williams, and Brunt. The Davies family is made up of Mr. J. R. Davies, his three sons and their wives and' children. The grandfather is the only one who can speak English, his descendants being able to converse only in Welsh and Spanish, the latter being the language of Patagonia. The reason for their corning to Australia is peculiar. Emigrating to Patagonia many years ago., Mr. Davies took up land in a portion of the country 800 miles from the nearest town. There he farmed and raised stock successfully, but could not find a market. The family lived a lonely, self-contained life. From their land and their stock they obtained plenty of food, but it was found impossible to secure the ordinary corrforts of civilisation. They received no money, for there was no one to whom they could sell their produce. Even the clothes had to be made by the womenfolk from homespun yarn. As the years went on and there was no prospect of matters improving, the family began to think of making achange. When the chance came of moving to Australia, it was eagerly seized upon, and arrangements were made to depart/ A long journey brought the family to the seaboard at a place called Port Matrin, from which a voyage of twelve days in a small Chilian vessel landed them at Talcahuano, in Chili, where they embarked on the Kwanto Maru. All the settlers are of a happy, cheerful disposition, and are possessed of inordinately large families — which should make them particularly welcome in the unpeopled north.

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Bibliographic details

Evening Post, Evening Post, Volume XC, Issue 27, 31 July 1915

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SETTLERS FROM PATAGONIA. Evening Post, Volume XC, Issue 27, 31 July 1915