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> Issue 62 > Page 79 - Fr. Charles Murphy and Hong Kong

Page 79 - Fr. Charles Murphy and Hong Kong

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1993/1/1 (246 reads)

On a Harley-Davldson And they were fir- soldiers . And they crapped all over the place. Take our books and pooped into our boxes. However, we said nothing about that. I didn't say anything. I said, "They'll get theirs yet." And they did.... We came downstairs. I slept up in my room, and there were two other priests with me, a Jesuit and a Pas- sionist. And they were all twittering, they were nervous as any? thing. I said, "Aw, go to sleep." And I was sleeping on the floor, no mattress or anything ing up at the Stanley Village, at the fort. The Japanese were firing at them all night. All you could see would be the tracer bul? lets going up to the mountain. (Is that where the Canadians were...?) Billeted. Yeah. (They put up quite a fight.) Oh, they did. They were good. And during that time, we had to get out of our house and go out on--Japanese, they were awful. We had about 60 people to a bathroom. And they wouldn't let them go at all. This was when they first captured us. Well, it became our prison camp, the whole (place)--it was a group of buildings that were made for the men that looked after the prison in Hong Kong. We wanted them to put us in the prison because they had everything in the prison. They had a hos? pital , and everything that we could cook and look after ourselves. But they wouldn't hear of that at all. We had to do our own cooking and our own scrounging around for everything. I wanted to forget all about those things. (I know you want to forget about them. But isn't that a big part of the story of your life?) It is So they put us in these houses that were built for the (prison) guards, the British in Shanghai guards, and their families--they (had) lived in these houses. They were modern houses, they were very, very nicely built. And the grounds over all of them. So the first night we were there, we were all on the lawn. And I said, "Is there a piano around?" They said, "Yeah, we can get one...." So I started playing the piano, and getting the people singing. And it gave them life. They knew that they were in prison. But to be able to sing the old songs again--jazz songs and popular songs. I had one then, "Did Your Mother Come from Ireland?" and "My Wild Irish Rose," and they just lapped them right up, the people. (Were these all religious people?) No. They were British, Dutch, and German, and Canadians and Americans. They had been soldiers or families. But the Maryknoll VOLUME ONE BOOKSTORE Bag No. 200 Port Hawkesbury Centre Port Hawkesbury, N. S. BOE 2V0 Phone (902) 625-1514 Phoebe Timmons Res.: 863-1825 Wilson Timmons Res.: 345-2387 133 Church St. Antigonish Shopping Centre Antigonish, N. S. B2G 2E3 Phone (902) 863-4112 VOLUME TWO BOOKSTORE Funeral Home (In Business Since 1908) Three Generations of Service J. Michael Curry - Mgr. 140 Main Street - Glace Bay Phone 849-7617 AMBULANCE SERVICE 849-2222
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