Other South American Stories

From Sue Calvert (Chandlers Ford and Monks Brook U3As)

Many years ago I wrote my Doctoral thesis on Argentina (and met my late husband Peter Calvert, University of Southampton, in the process as he was my Supervisor).  I have no ancestors to add to your data base, and the Anglo-Argentine friends whose families settled there in the late 19th Century are gone, though I can report some stories.   

My first introduction to the Anglo-Argentine community was in 1980 when the guy on Reception at the Club Ingles in Buenos Aires assumed from my accent I belonged upstairs at a meeting of the RBL (BsAs).  There I met a bunch of mainly elderly women who promptly took me under their collective wing, subsequently introduced me to husbands, families and friends.  Over the years they wrote to me, accommodated me and my husband, stayed with us etc.  There were people who prospected for bones for the tallow and made a fortune (and introduced us to Rummikub), people who provided rudimentary healthcare to the poor residents of the Tigre Delta (and introduced us to Malbec), three sisters who recalled a raid by Indios in their childhood, stories of their ancestors travelling from BsAs to Trelew by bullock cart and who watched the strafing of the Casa Rosada from their wonderful Belle Epoque apartment in San Telmo when Peron went into exile in 1955.  The late Andrew Graham-Yooll did his courting in another friend’s garden in the Delta and Peter knew him in London in his exile.  (Sadly after Peter’s death I parted with the copy of The Forgotten Colony to Oxfam along with hundreds of other books about Argentina.)