For more than 100 years, child migration schemes removed children from their families and friends and the places they knew. The children were sent to Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Rhodesia. Supposedly to give children with poor lives a better chance, it was also a means of increasing the population of these still new countries. At least three of the children were Emptages.
Ann Phoebe Hopkins was brought up in Canterbury, inland from the Kent coast. So the life she experienced in Margate after she married Alfred Burnett Emptage, a mariner and lifeboat man, was quite different from anything she had experienced previously or could even have imagined.
The spelling of the surname indicates that the Emtages of New Zealand had their origins in Barbados where several of the branches of the Emptage family dropped the ‘p’ from their name. But who was the first Emtage to arrive in New Zealand and set up home? And when did he do so?
The full album of Gathering photographs, taken by Andrew Emptage. Enjoy!
People came from near and far, by plane, train and car, for the first Emptage / Emtage Gathering. They came in good humour, with the intention of enjoying themselves and contributing to the success.
It was a truly uplifting experience.
There was no set programme on the Sunday but a number of suggestions for people to visit depending on the time they had available before leaving to make their way home. These included the Viking Ship, St John’s Church and Margate Museum.