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> Issue 62 > Page 85 - Fr. Charles Murphy and Hong Kong

Page 85 - Fr. Charles Murphy and Hong Kong

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1993/1/1 (205 reads)

any obstacles, unremitting at their work. They are the model for your lives as offi? cers of the Republic.' ("And Fr. Sharkey tells a story of Rev. Charles Murphy, a native of Sydney, Nova Scotia. 'We went to Hong Kong shortly af? ter the outbreak of the Far East War to study the Chinese dialect. Then came the fateful day when Hong Kong was under siege. For days Fr. Murphy drove a broken- down truck, loaded with rice, through the enemy lines--food for thousands of starv? ing refugees isolated at one spot on the island....'" (In this article, they speak of you driv? ing the truck loaded with rice right through the enemy lines.) Yes, I did. ("Food for thousands of starving Chinese refugees isolated at one spot on the is? land. The Japanese dive bombers flew low and strafed and bombed the roadway. Ma? chine-gun bullets went right through the truck, and it swayed crazily between the yawning craters on the road.") It's true. ("On one occasion another truck loaded with supplies and food, and driven by a Christian brother, received a direct hit, and blew up....") Fr. Murphy: That was a brother from Austalia--Brother Hawkey--he was an Irishman. But he was with the Christian Brothers. I was friendly with him. And he was a source of strength for me, to keep on doing what I was doing. (So actually, all the time that you were there, in one sense you were defying the captors, the Japanese.) Oh, yes. (To get food.) Oh, we knew that they had to have food, and we'd do anything to get it. ("Bishop O'Gara, Fi :. Charles Murphy, and 38 other priests were taken and thrown into a one-car garage that for ventilation had but one tiny window." And they kept you there for over four days?) Four or five days. (Did they feed you ?) No. We asked them for water. And they gave us water, but that's all. No food. We were just languishing there in the garage. (And all this time, your hands were tied behind your back.) They had our hands tied behind our back, yeah. All our group did. We were just foreign? ers. They didn't know who we were--priests. No. they didn't know anything. Didn't make any difference. We were foreigners to them, interfering with their way of life.... The following appeared in the newspaper three years after the war. It was from an inter? view with Fr. Murphy: "I was asked by the Di? rector of Medical Ser? vices of the Colony to look after refugees and open a distribution food centre at Stanley. I began immediately and was feeding 2000 people
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