Rather than writing about some aspect of immigration law, I would like to take a break today to draw attention to my parents of whom I am most proud, and their websites. Just like me, they are immigrants to the United States, following me over in 1991. I sponsored them for permanent residence – they are the immediate relatives of a US citizen, me. They both developed an interest in the Internet in later life, and saw its potential as a method of disseminating information and connecting with others. My father first used the Internet to publish information about his hobby of model railways, particularly his love of the Great Western Railway in the period of his childhood, the 1930s. His website about one of his model railways, Hintock, is www.HintockBranch.com. The website format is that of a book, with posts describing the genesis of the railway, through the techniques for its construction, and the science of its operation. Of course, being a website about a model railway, it has a lot of pictures to illustrate every aspect.
My mother is not left out in all this Internet publishing. Before meeting my father she spent the happiest years of her childhood working as a Land Girl in the Woman’s Land Army. In fact, she was so enthusiastic to join up after the second world war started in 1939 that she claimed to be 18, the legal minimum for enrollment, when she was only 15 years old. My father took down my mother’s stories and wrote them up. After being published in book form, we converted the memoir into an online book, www.landgirls.me. The memoir covers the entire time, seven years, of my mother service, concluding with belated recognition for all land girls everywhere by the British government. In addition to being a wonderful oral history of what it was like to be a land girl, the memoir also captures what it was like to work on the farm in the Trough of Bowland.
Besides sharing his love of model railways, my father saw the potential for online publishing and converted his memoir of his time in the Royal Artillery as a gunner in the early 1950s in Hong Kong, a then British colony, into an online book, www.GunnerFlann.com. In his memoir, my father covers his great personal growth through the experience of enrolling in the military as a youth of 18 years old, and leaving as a seasoned young man having had incredible life experiences working in Hong Kong close to the Chinese border at a time of great political tension. Other national servicemen, former members of the Royal artillery, gunners, have found the website and shared their own memoirs of National Service. We hope to broaden the site to include some of these other memoirs.
I owe my parents a lot, and it is great to have this opportunity to thank them in a small way by drawing attention to their online memoirs and personal websites.