Someone to belong to
"My lasting thought of Great Britain was being herded like cattle to board the New Australia. The nuns told me my parents were dead and I had no brothers or sisters."
Yvonne Radzevicius (nee O’Donnell) only learned her real name when she was handed a suitcase inscribed ‘Y L O’Donnell’ before departing Glasgow in 1953. For 10 years the nuns at Nazareth House in the suburb of Cardonald had called her Marie.
Yvonne grew up in a highly disciplined atmosphere at Nazareth House in Geraldton, Western Australia. After completing her schooling she worked in the Nazareth kitchen, preparing three meals a day for 200 residents.
Yvonne returned to Scotland in 1979 and discovered her mother was alive. Feeling traumatised and betrayed she spent the next two years in psychiatric care.
A tiny piece of paper
Lent by Yvonne Radzevicius
In 1979 Yvonne visited Nazareth House in Glasgow to find out more about her early life. She was handed a tiny piece of paper with the briefest of details:
Mother Bridget O’Donnell
Born Glasgow 11th Oct 1942
Baptised St Paul’s Whiteinch