This is a true story that almost wasn’t going to be told. The author had always hesitated in telling his story, concerned that it would dredge up the past and possibly hurt people’s feelings. But when he discovered that he had been erased from his family history, he felt it was time for the truth to come out. Few people would have endured such betrayal without suffering some sort of phycological damage, but not this lad. He had grown into the kind of bloke who would just shake his head and say, “Fair dinkum. You wouldn’t think that anyone would do that to you.”
Born in 1930, at the beginning of the Great Depression, Barry Evans quickly developed a strong sense of duty and religious belief through his association with his grandparents. By age ten, he had matured rapidly into a young man, propelled into the adult world by events brought about by World War II. He overcame the challenges he faced, all the while being alienated by those who had saddled him with adult responsibilities. He had always harboured a desire to go to sea, so, as soon as he was old enough, he enlisted in the Royal Australian Navy. He excelled in Visual Signals, which included Fleet Manoeuvres, and went to sea in a destroyer. However, here too he met inconsistency and flawed authority.
Sir Winston Churchill once said, “Solitary trees, if they grow at all, grow big and strong.” This story tells of a boy who, despite adversity, grew up to be a strong, ‘fair dinkum’ sort of bloke.