Letter of recommendation written by J.D. Thomson, the General Secretary of the Professional Musicians' Union of Australia on 15 December 1966. It states that Lindsay Motherwell had been part of the Musicians' Union of Australia for 20 years and had played in Australia, as well as with Thomson himself. He recommends Lindsay for any musical employment. This was supplied as part of his application for permanent residency in South Africa. This item is one of seven documents relating to Lindsay's permanent residency (HT 56326 HT 56363 HT 56365 HT 56366 HT 56367 HT 56368). Lindsay Motherwell was a drummer who travelled through Africa playing music, and settled in South Africa from 1967-1969, before returning to Australia via London.

Sylvia Boyes (a South African-born orphan) and Lindsay Motherwell (a Melbourne-born drummer) met in Cape Town, South Africa in 1967 through their theatre connections. They fell in love but due to apartheid laws were forced to leave South Africa to marry in London. They subsequently relocated permanently to Melbourne in 1970.

Physical Description

Letter signed by J.D. Thomson.


Statement of Historical Significance:
This collection provides a significant opportunity to represent political and personal freedom as a motivation for migrating to Australia within the international context of both apartheid in South Africa and the end of the White Australia policy in Australia. The personal narrative is well documented and the objects provide a material way to follow the lives of both Lindsay and Sylvia, both separately and where they coincide in South Africa and onwards together to Melbourne. While this is ultimately a love story, it plays out through the collection against the backdrop of apartheid South Africa, sixties London and an increasingly multicultural Australia.

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