A large number of people attended the official opening of the exhibition at the Historical Society on the 23rd of April 2009. Again it was former residents who spoke – Seda Douglas, Manuel Napoleon and Evelyn Eadiewho at the last moment was unable to attend and sent the following message:
I have been very pleased to have been associated with this occasion, I have felt since coming to Australia what a unique story there was to be told of experiences by some of us. My small family were amongst the first arrivals at ENTERPRISE at lunchtime, Christmas Eve 1970 from the Migrant Hostel at Holmesglen in Warrigal Road. There were about fifty of us and what a wonderful place we were brought to. Everything was new and the staff welcoming.
When talking to other people at the Migrant Museum in Melbourne, it was good to recall memories but it is the boat people and people who were detained to whom my heart goes out to - I was pleased to meet some of them. They too have their wonderful memories as well and it was wonderful to hear their stories and feel an affinity with them. I am sorry due to ill health not to be amongst you but I do hope you enjoy the occasion, and perhaps in the future we will have a re-union some time.
To all the people who put the exhibition together - many thanks - you did an exceptional job and I'm sure gave a lot of pleasure to us folk from across the water in recalling memories and rekindling friendships.
The Exhibition at the Springvale Historical Society
A number of schools brought students to visit the exhibition to give them some understanding of the history of the community in which they lived. Many were able to identify parents and grandparents in the many photos in the exhibition. Lessons were developed for use of the teachers if they chose to do so.