[nggallery id=32]

After leaving the National Computer Center (NCC), Linda joined the Orient Airlines Association (OAA), and attended a number of conferences around the world. At one of these she met Mike Penfold and he asked whether she would like to come to Australia and join Qantas.

At the time Red was under house arrest following another coup plot, and it seemed a good idea for Linda and the children to migrate, with Red to follow when possible. So Linda accepted the job with Qantas.

“Our family was quite harassed under those circumstances,” she said in an interview in 2006 with Emman Cena of the Philippines Inquirer . “I didn’t want to leave but after many hours of iyakan, we agreed to leave the country and ‘regroup’ later. Red was to join us in Australia when he was free to do so, or we would return if things got better.” The move was not intended as a permanent solution.

They arrived in 1988 and, with the help of Cosme and Evelyn Purugganan, set up home near them in a rented villa in Auburn. There followed a whirlwind shopping spree for beds, whitegoods and everything else needed to make themselves reasonably comfortable in a new country.

Khristinn was 15 and Kriscia was 11. They had left behind all their family and friends, moved to a new country that was supposed to speak English, and had started at a new school.

Linda was too busy to feel any homesickness or doubt. Kriscia settled in almost immediately, but Khristinn took about six months to settle down.

Many things about the Australian way of life impressed them, and helped to make them feel at home:

  • Public systems worked.
  • People were essentially honest.
  • You could assume everyone would do the right thing.
  • Weekends were sacred time for families.

In 1991 they became naturalised Australian citizens.

Around 1992 they acquired a dog without realising that the rules of the townhouse prohibited pets. They did not want to give up the dog, so moved to a rented house in Lidcombe.

In 1993 Linda and Red were divorced.

In time Linda decided to buy a home of her own,  and found a townhouse in Berala. It had a small yard for the dog, was walking distance to the railway station and reasonably close to Mascot, where Linda worked. It was a bit of a stretch financially, but she took the plunge and in 1996 they moved in.

Leave a Reply