Alastair with his brothers Michael and William with their red Vauxhall Velox in Aukland, 1960.
Alastair with his brothers Michael and William with their red Vauxhall Velox in Aukland, 1960.

You can’t have too many passports. It’s like driving licences, you can’t have too many driving licences.

1943 Moving to New Zealand

1943-50. Alastair Caldwell is born in England and at the age of seven moves with his family to New Zealand.

I was born in 1943 in England. I’m a Yorkshire lad, my father was Scottish, my mother is English. He was a vet before volunteering for the army and joined as an officer. When Sheffield, our hometown, was bombed my father decided to join the War. After the war was over, he spent two years running Hamburg with the army of occupation; getting all the systems going and holding local elections to restore the Government and establish a democracy. When he returned to England he discovered the conditions were worse than they were in Hamburg.

My father became disillusioned with England and its progress, so he decided to emmigrate. He looked for places where vets were needed; vets were heavily in demand back in those days. He could have gone anywhere, but fortunately for us he chose New Zealand for various reasons (one of those was trout fishing because he loved to trout fish). We went to New Zealand by boat and I had my seventh birthday on the crossing.

I was brought up in New Zealand and have a New Zealand passport so I considered myself a New Zealander. Having more than one passport is very handy when travelling all over the world because there are some countries that don’t like the English and love New Zealanders, and vice versa. You can get round VISA problems by using the alternative passport in some countries. You can’t have too many passports. It’s like driving licences, you can’t have too many driving licences…or too much money…but you CAN be too thin.

next story | back to timeline