All systems go for ex-Hartlepool mayor and family to emigrate as Australia opens its borders
Former Hartlepool mayor Stuart Drummond says it is all systems go for him and his family to emigrate to Australia after a near three-year wait.
Stuart, his wife and three children were granted visas to move Down Under more than a year ago.
But covid restrictions meant that they could not make the journey.
Now the family have been informed that they will be allowed to officially enter the country from December 1 with the relaxing of travel restrictions.
It comes as a raffle for the chance to win the family’s 4x4 car for just £2 ends on Saturday, November 27.
Stuart, 47, said: “It’s the news we’ve been waiting for. It is the culmination of three years of angst and trying to be patient.
"We have been waiting 13 months for this news on top of 18 months waiting for the visas to be granted.
"Now we’re desperate to really start planning so it’s full steam ahead.”
The family’s visas were time limited and were their only hope of emigrating, added Stuart.
He, wife Rebecca, and children Spencer, 21, Harriet, 15, and 13-year-old Rosemary are expecting to start their new life in the spring.
They are trying to raffle of their two-litre diesel Land Rover Discovery Sport, valued at around £25,000, to help with the cost of the move.
It is dependant on selling enough tickets but if it does not reach its target then the first prize will be 75% of the ticket sales.
Stuart, manager of Hartlepool NDC Trust, which delivers community regeneration projects, added: “The draw will go ahead regardless and someone will win 75% of what’s in the pot which will be a good amount in time for Christmas.”
It is likely they will make their new home in Adelaide with Stuart, who became Mayor of Hartlepool in 2002 after memorably campaigning as football mascot H’Angus the Monkey, hoping to work in the voluntary community sector.
Rebecca has been offered a job with an organisation that supports people with learning difficulties and autism.
Explaining their reasons for emigrating Stuart said: “We visited nearly three years ago and loved the place.
"It’s about giving our children some different opportunities and new experiences.”
To enter the raffle visit https://raffall.com/242744/enter-raffle-to-win-dream-discovery-hosted-by-dream-discovery