Letter from Lindsay and Sylvia to friends Margaret and Isaac in Cape Town, dated 10 April 1992. They are replying to a letter sent over six months previously. It mentions friends having grandchildren, and Lindsay and Sylvia's dogs. Lindsay and Sylvia Motherwell always stayed in contact with their old friends from South Africa after they moved to Australia in 1970.

The letter is written in reply to a letter written 7 September 1991. Margaret's grandchildren are mentioned, and by comparison reference that Lindsay and Sylvia have two dogs, two cats and a canary. Isaac has retired, much has changed in South Africa, and there is mention of the South African cricket team visiting Australia. Lindsay's business in Asia is evidently going well, and he is overseas a great deal. Sylvia also states she is going with him for an annual business and holiday trip. Australia, and especially Victoria, are apparently in a very bad recession but it appears to be worse in South Africa. Sylvia is nearly 53 and Lindsay is now 65. Sylvia hopes they will be able to go on a trip to South Africa, and references television footage of mixed marriages. Apparently Lindsay believes it is more exciting to hide! Sylvia calls Trevor her 'brother' and says that more and more Capetonians are arriving in Melbourne.

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

Handwritten 2-page letter


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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