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Weifang delegation

WEIFANG DELEGATION visits Assemblywoman Mary Previte at the New Jersey State Capitol, May 2005, to discuss plans for the celebration of 60th anniversary of the liberation of Weihsien Concentration Camp. From left: Sui Shude, Director of Department of Translation and Interpretation, Weifang Foreign Affairs Office; Li Yue Jin, Deputy Director Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of Weifang People’s Government; New Jersey Assemblywoman Mary T. Previte; Li Xiao Ming, Assistant to the Mayor of Weifang Municipal Government; Han Zi Fu, Shandong deputy to the National People's congress and Vice director of Weifang TV station.

Weihsien Exhibit Hall
COLLECTING MEMENTOS FOR THE WEIHSIEN EXHIBIT HALL: Deputy Director Li Yue Jin of Weifang Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office and Assemblywoman Mary Previte examine photographs and mementos from Mary’s collection. In visits across the United States and Canada in May, 2005, the Weifang delegation reproduced and collected hundreds of photographs and exhibits for the Weihsien Exhibit Hall and the memory book they presented to guests at the 60 anniversary celebration.

Warm Welcome
Approaching the opening ceremony, internees were welcomed by Grand March from Aida and with children waving red banners and tinseled pink and silver circles.

[click on the thumbnail]
Weihsien’s 60th Anniversary celebration;

Former internee, James H. Taylor of Hong Kong, greets Mr. Zang, son of one of the Chinese workers who smuggled messages and news into Weihsien Civilian Assembly Center when he entered the camp to empty the cesspools. go to Mr. Zhang's speech ---> - Photo -- 60 years old !

--- Weihsien’s 60 anniversary reunion was a time for tears and a time for joy. Former internee Mary Previte from USA weeps on the shoulder of her brother, Dr. James H. Taylor of Hong Kong.

- Survivors celebrate liberation --> - America has heroes

--- #37 Opening ceremonies:

Children opened the 60th Anniversary Celebration with song and dance. Block 23-front, center-featured prominently throughout the celebration.

--- #38 The Wall:

James Taylor and Mary Taylor Previte find their names engraved in marble on the monument wall.

--- #39 Weihsieners Arrive ;

Mary Previte, Estella Cliff Horne, Peter Bazire, Marian Bevan Lauchlan, and Douglas Sadler-all from the Chefoo School-are welcomed to Weifang.

--- # 40 Media Blitz:

Former internee, Peter Bazire from U.K., is interviewed after opening ceremonies. An estimated 100 representatives TV, radio, and print media covered the 60th anniversary celebration.

--- #41 Honoring Eric Liddell

Mary T. Previte and James H. Taylor stand at the new Eric Liddell monument. The monument is located in a spacious park behind the hospital.

--- #42 Stephen Metcalf speaks:

Stephen Metcalf speaks at the Eric Liddell monument with a call for reconciliation. Liddell was a mentor to Metcalf in the camp and taught Metcalf not to hate the Japanese. Shortly before he died, Liddell gave Metcalf his running shoes. Metcalf later dedicated his life to service as a missionary to Japan. Metcalf’s book on reconciliation has sold out in Japan.

--- #43 Lower School Dormitory (LSD):

Mary T. Previte visits her Lower School Dormitory that housed 13 young girls in the second floor of the hospital. From this room, on August 17, 1945, Mary saw American heroes parachuting from a low-flying B-24 bomber into gaoliang fields beyond the barrier wall. Mary says she saw no bedbugs or rats on this visit to her dormitory.

--- Weihsien church:

The church at Weishien’s Le Dao Yuan compound before Japanese forces turned it into an internment camp for Allied internees. Pulitzer prize-winning author, Pearl Buck, and American publishing magnate, Henry Luce, once lived on this Presbyterian missionary compound.

--- Block 23

Before World War II, Block 23 was a school building on the Presbyterian missionary compound called Le Dao Yuan, Courtyard of the Happy Way, in Weihsien.

--- Welcoming toast:

Former internee, Mary Previte, and Han Zi Fu offer toasts at the welcome banquet that launched the 60th anniversary celebration at Weifang. Mr. Han, a noted artist, was one of the co-ordiator of the event. He is Shangdong deputy to the National People’s Congress and Weifang vice director of the television station.

--- Monument to Heroes:

The front page of the Weifang Ribao, August 18, 2005, shows crowds swarming the monument to American liberators in the memorial park located near the hospital on the former concentration camp grounds. Names of 1, 500 former prisoners are engraved in marble at the base of this monument.


From the Philadelphia Inquirer [click here] --- SPEECH by Mary T. Previte
Weihsien Concentration Camp Liberation, 60th Anniversary Celebration
August 17, 2005
Office of Assemblywoman Mary T. Previte
Chair, Family, Women and Children's Services Committee
Sixth Legislative District
320 N. Haddon Avenue
Suite 4
Haddonfield, NJ 08033
Phone - 856.857.0777
Fax - 856.857.9887