Sod Springwells, I’ll live in Hawaii

It takes a brave man to have a vision and carry it through. Looks like this is a story, that did pay off not only for this person, but for their entire family too!

In December 1947, tired of post wartime Europe recovery hardships, Blantyre man effectively said “Sod Springwells, I’ll live in Hawaii”. And he did just that!

So in December 1947, Richard Houldsworth gave up his job as fireman Blantyre colliery and emigrated to Honolulu. By June of 1948, he was employed as a mason’s helper at £12 to £18 a Week. He also put on pounds in weight, because, he says, ” the food is perfect.”

Hawaii old photo 40's 1He saved up to repay the passage money advanced to him by relatives in Honolulu. He got a cottage, which he prepared for his wife and 15 year-old son, Tom. The wife and son left 70 Glasgow Road Blantyre in July 1948 to join him. Writing home, Mr Houldsworth said ” Words fail me when I try to describe this heaven of an island. There’s everything here.  So wonderful is the climate that I feel I could live to be 100. It’s not too hot, and grand to work in.” Mr Houldsworth  initially stayed with relatives, who had given him the use of a cottage behind their home. In the street, palm trees lined the sidewalks, dates, figs, oranges, and bananas grow abundantly everywhere. Five minutes from the house is a palm-fringed beach. It is a million miles from the home in Springwells. Every morning Mr Houldsworth goes for a dip before starting work. Occasionally in the evening he takes a turn down to the beach to watch the hulu-hulu dancers in their grass skirts, and listen to the Hawaiian guitars. Mrs Houldsworth and her son sailed to New York. From there, they traveled by rail across the breadth of Amercia to the Pacific coast, then by plane to Hawaii. Just getting there must have been some adventure.

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