Aerogram, double-sided letter written by Gerry Kirkham to Lindsay and Sylvia Motherwell, 19 January 1975. It discusses the South African music scene and also the political and economic situation in South Africa generally. The letter also describes in detail the various people going to visit Lindsay and Sylvia in Australia. Lindsay and Sylvia Motherwell always stayed in contact with their old friends from South Africa after they moved to Australia.

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

Double-sided letter typed on a typewriter on blue paper, which is a sort of letter-envelope in one. It is sent to Mr. & Mrs. Lindsay Motherwell at 42 Vale St, St Kilda. It is a general chatty letter about mutual friends, musicians, gigs, travel, possibly visiting Australia, pets, his show and the children on it. It is signed 'Fat Uncle Gerry' and the return address is 11 "Chamonix", Friars Road, Sea Point, Cape Town, South Africa.


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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