Ted finally returned to England to see his family in 1979 — 26 years after his voyage on the Mooltan.
It was the first time Tessie met his family, by then the couple had already celebrated their silver wedding anniversary.
“I went for eight or nine weeks, it was great,” he said, “Peter came with us – he was only 13 then.”
Now 29 years old, this time Ted’s sister Annie was old enough to understand the significance of the occasion.
“The next time I met him I was 29 when Bob and I went to Heathrow to meet Ted and Tess on his first visit back home,” she said.
“There have been a number of visits since then, the last one a few years ago when we took photos outside the houses he grew up in."
“We had a good trip up the ames, with Peter, and Tower Bridge opened in our honour!”
Ted was still working when he and Tessie first visited in 1979, and when he took
a redundancy in 1986 the pair saw an opportunity for another trip.
“Tessie and I thought about our next trip, which was in 1987,” he said, “we went for five months; and that was wonderful.”
“We travelled a fair bit – we had a month in Europe, a fortnight in Ireland, travelled right around the outskirts of England by car. It was Tessie’s second trip out of Australia."
“I went again in 1989 – it was my mother’s 80th birthday that year – I went just for a couple of months."
“In 1992 I went again, on my own. Tessie was having trouble walking, so she got herself a walker – they’d only just come into fashion then."
After several solo trips by Ted, Tessie decided she would join him on the next one.
“She’d made her mind up she was coming the next time I went, so I took her in 1995.”
Ted’s nephew Stephen recalled some memories from one of Ted’s later visits to his birth country.
“When Ted came to the UK in 2011 we took him to a country house at Audley End with Ann,’ he said.
“The grounds are beautiful but vast and we were not sure how Ted was going to get around, but they had a motorised scooter and Ted was soon racing away, with us hardly able to keep up.”
He continued: “when we went to ride the London Eye the queues were huge but Ted ‘sweet talked’ the lady in charge and suddenly we were whisked to the front of a 60 minute queue!”
Many of Ted’s English relatives have also made trips over to Australia to see his new life and home. His sister, Annie, commented how she was thankful to have travelled to see Ted and his family in Hobart.
“It was great to have made at least one trip to Tasmania and see where he lived,” she said.
“I know mum was glad to have done that too, many years earlier. She had always worn a brooche Ted had given her when he was in the Merchant Navy."
“I remember the first morning I was in Tasmania the local radio announced my visit! I had a lovely time and was really pleased to meet all the family.”
Between visits, and through all of his years living in Australia, Ted has kept in contact with his family through letters and the phone.
“I still keep in contact with the phone; because if I didn’t they wouldn’t!” He said.