Just what are the scars of 170 years of colonialization?

The weekend newspaper here in Wellington profiled a refugee from each of the 7 countries currently subject to Donald Trump’s travel ban. Each of the 7 found paradise in New Zealand.

These 7 refugees were relatively young and grew up in a chaotic war-torn home country. They spent considerable time in refugee camps under dire conditions. All they needed to make good was to move to a free country.

An old mate of mine at University was a son of the Ukrainian war refugee. His dad was rounded up by the Nazis during the Second World War to be a factory slave. He came to Australia because that was the first country that would accept him and his Dutch wife.

My old mate’s dad did not want to go back to the Ukraine because it was now Russian rather than Polish territory. All his sons graduated in economics. His daughter is a senator. He worked in a factory in Bernie.

Through the Canberra chess club, I got to know a few Second World War refugees. They all found paradise in Australia.

People recover surprisingly quickly from setbacks if they are in a free country. The story of refugees confirms that again and again.

My great grandparents fled the Irish potato famine. I do not feel that is holding me back in the 21st century. Likewise, my dad was raised to Protestants and a Catholic- Protestant marriage was not so popular back then.