Hear Macarthur author talk at Camden Library about being an ‘unwanted’ child

As a boy, John Bicknell was unwanted and “volunteered” to migrate to Australia from the United Kingdom.

Now the Bargo author wants to share his childhood story with others.

Mr Bicknell will talk about his book, Twelve Year in “Care” at Camden Library on Wednesday, January 24 from 6pm.

The book recounts Mr Bicknell’s journey from being removed from his mother’s care to his rehoming at a Barnardo’s training school at Mowbray Park Farm.

As a child, Mr Bicknell was trained as a labourer and after leaving care he eventually owned his own orchard farm in Lakesland for 55 years.

He married his wife Eileen and has four children and 12 grandchildren.

Mr Bicknell said being removed from care was “historically significant”.

“No other country exported their children,” he said.

“We were commodities, not human beings who were spread across the British Empire.”

Mr Bicknell wants to share his traumatic childhood with others.

“It is absolutely necessary for me to make sure this part of history is known by Australians,” he said.

“That is why I speak to so many groups of people at libraries, so I can get the message out there so this history never happens again.”

Mr Bicknell is encouraging locals to attend the book talk.

He has also spoken at Campbelltown, Picton and Berrima libraries.

A copy of the book can be purchased at the library talk or can be purchased through the author’s website.

The book is $30 and $2 of every copy sold is being donated to CANASSIST.

Three hundred copies of the book have already been sold and he has 500 more to sell.

Mr Bicknell also has a new venture and passion – writing poetry. 

He has written 30 poems about Australian birds.

The poems will be illustrated by artist Sobrane Simcock who has painted murals internationally and has several galleries across Australia including one in Bowral.

“The poems are off beat, humourous and informative,” Mr Bicknell said.

“Ms Simcock will illustrate the poems and we will turn them into a book.”

Mr Bicknell said he was still in the early stages of his poetry venture but looked forward to seeing his poems illustrated.

For more information, visit: johnrbicknell.com

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