Benalla Migrant Camp 1949-1967

Jokabs and Zenija Kulbars

KULBARS Jokabs and Zenija

Latvia 1949

Kulbars Story

From notes written by Zigie to Sabine in 2012

As a 16 year old, Zigie and his parents, brother and sister lived in Hut 43 at the Migrant Centre in Benalla. It was their first home in Australia. The family migrated from Latvia in 1949 and arrived in Benalla via Cowra in NSW. The Kulbars family stayed in the camp until 1960. Zigie worked in the Camp Stores from 1955 to 1957 and his father was employed as a patrol man for the Immigration Department.

Zigie always believed that the migrant camp site has special significance for Benalla and should be preserved.

There is a media release with a photo of Zigie and detailing his failed appeal to save the camp, published around the time of the camp being dismantled/demolished in the 1990s.

Zigie who arrived at the camp in 1949 told me when he visited the exhibition in March 2014:

“There was a dance every fortnight, and a ball with a proper band once a month. The Migrant Camp hall was a fabulous venue. The band that came to the balls was the German Camp Band from Bonegilla. They played waltzes, tangos, even 'oompa' music."

Jokabs and Zenija KULBARS
Jokabs and Zenija Kulbars - Latvia

Benalla Migrant Camp School Pupil Register

Name Date of Birth Parent Camp Date
Irena Kulbars Monday 9th December 1935 Zenja 16/11/1949
Ivars Kulbars Tuesday 6th October 1942 Zenija 28/11/1949

Records in Benalla Cemetery for KULBARS

Please note that the records retrieved from Benalla Cemetery do not mean that the individual listed was a camp resident, they merely share the surname.
They are presented in that they may be of assistance for genealogical purposes.

Name Died Age Burial Location
Jekabs KULBARS 1978 LAWN External Link

Other families from Latvia

Bruns, Gravitis, Klopsteins, Meiers, Sleinis, Taurins.