ROSALIE ANGELINE ENSTROM
The flight to freedom, unleashed her power. The reconciliations, the peace within, the lessons learned from a little bird of unmatched beauty, who unleashed her power as she conquered the perilous skies, has throughout my life been an inspiration. Queenie’s flight to freedom has enabled me to forge my own unique approach to life; a life lived on two continents and on a forty-foot yacht cruising the seas along the East Coast of Australia.
As a child and teenager, I led a very sheltered life with a mother who ruled with a rod of iron, and a father who, albeit a decorated World War II Veteran, was an abusive and violent alcoholic. I lived at a time when South Africa was governed by the Apartheid regime who would enforce the strongest laws of racial discrimination. The socialisation entrenched would forever have affected my mentality if I had not been able to set myself free and take control of my own life.
Involved in many challenges, I would take on the legal fraternity but would lose the fight to gain custody of a sister, incarcerated as a slave, in an institution which ran the infamous Magdalene laundries. During the 1960’s to the 1990’s it was juggling motherhood and family with career and taking on new interests with family members which included football, fishing, sailing, and greyhound racing. I packed up my four children and, together with my husband, migrated from South Africa to Australia. Probably the most notable challenge being the enrolment at the University of Queensland, St. Lucia at the age of forty-five and at fifty graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree which would ultimately affect my life’s trajectory. I now felt empowered.
It was in the early 1980’s when my husband and I started building a yacht which we planned on sailing around the world when we retired, however, due to his ill health this plan had to be aborted but it did not stop us from cruising the east coast of Australia.
During the five years in which we lived on board the forty-foot yacht, The Silent Knight, I became Chief Navigator, Ship’s Radio Operator, Entertainments Officer, Galley Maid, Steward, Cabin Steward and of course, the Captain’s First Mate. I became a proficient sailor as we cruised the deep and sometimes dangerous blue seas. The world circumnavigation which, we desperately wanted to do, now would remain only a dream. On reflection, I did have amazing tenacity which enabled me to cope with the complexities of raging and mountainous waves coupled with a sense of joie de vivre to celebrate a kinder nature, the absolute calm of the oceans and dolphins swimming along with us up and down the coast.
Life has never stood still, and at seventy-seven years of age, I commenced further studies for my Postgraduate Master of Arts – Writing, through Swinburne University of Technology. My passion now is to put pen to paper and, after having researched and written the exceptionally rich history of the family, Stockholm to Durban, (limited publication), The Osmers Family History (limited publication) I write my own autobiography.
The richly woven tapestry of my life became complete as the final curtain fell in June 2018, the loneliness and the solitude all reflected on.
Now, as those who have gone before, I tell my story.