go to home page

... the most recent messages are on top !

Mary Previte mtprevite@aol.com [weihsien_camp]
Sun, 28 Sep 2014 at 19:14
[Attachment(s) from Mary Previte included below]
[weihsien_camp] What happened before we were shipped to Weihsien? [2 Attachments]

The day after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Japanese appeared at our Chefoo School. This was a boarding school established by my great grandfather, Hudson Taylor, to educate the children of Christian missionaries in China.

On that December morning, a Japanese Shinto priest conducted on the ball field and said everything now belonged to the great emperor of Japan. They stuck seals of paper with Japanese writing on furniture and equipment throughout the school. The seals said that this now belonged to the emperor.

Now, whenever we walked off the school campus, we had to wear white armbands with a big black letter designating our nationality -- B for British, A for American. American children turned the armbands upside down, chalked out the crossbar of the A to make the armband say V for victory.

James H Taylor, February 2009, wearing his armband from internment in Yantai, 1942.

Some time after this beginning, the Japanese guards at the school gate would suit up with padded armor on their bodies and a grill protecting their faces and -- in dueling pairs -- charged at each other in bayonet practices. They always screamed "YAH" when they charged each other, so we children called it "Yah practice." Today, I understand that they were practicing how to kill. I don't remember feeling afraid. It was a curiosity. I was nine years old.

In the last few years, one of our Chefoo School teacher revealed that one of the first demands of the Japanese was to use some of our teenage girls for "comfort women." I know nothing about this -- except THIS I DO KNOW: our teachers brought every single challenge like this to God in prayer and with faith in God's power. No Chefoo girl was ever used for a "comfort woman."

The school was strategically located right across "The Bund" from the beach.

Eventually the Japanese said they would turn this beautiful school into a Japanese naval base. That's when they marched the whole school -- students, teachers, retired missionaries -- across the city of Chefoo (Yantai) and squeezed us into three or four Western-stye residences in the Temple Hill section of the city. I think this march was intended as a public humiliation on streets crowded with curious Chinese watching -- making Caucasians who were used to the help of Chinese servants march down the streets carrying in their own hands whatever they could. I've read that similar humiliations in other Chinese cities. Orchestrated ignominy? Well… God bless our Chefoo School teachers. Lead our head master f up at the head of this snaking line, we children started singing from the Psalms: "God is our refuge and strength; therefore will we not fear…." Please, PLEASE remember as you read this account: Most of us children were separated from our missionary parents by hundreds of miles. Many of us would not see our parents for as many as five years -- some for more. So our teachers took the role of substitute parents. There in Chefoo's Temple Hill section, we children were crammed, crammed, crammed -- mattresses on the floor only inches apart. The crowding at Temple Hill was worse than anything we would later experience in Weihsien.

Behind the walls of this Temple Hill compound, there were no Chinese to help. School work that had continued inside our school campus ended abruptly. Teachers and able-bodied adults and older students found themselves -- by need -- cooking, cleaning, dish washing, laundering. Picture it. A whole school-ful of children without one servant to help -- without any of the help they had known before this latest upheaval.

If our Chefoo School teachers felt like giving up, it never showed -- no, not once.

Bless my soul! I remember our teacher Miss Evelyn Davey teaching us skills for Brownie Troop badges -- tying knots, ditting-and-dashing the Morse code and signaling with semaphore. I remember Mrs. Eileen Bazire organizing "sing-spirations." I remember morning devotions every morning, with children sitting on steamer trunks that lined both sides of the upstairs hallway. I remember our morning lineup outdoors to keep us fit doing the "Daily Dozen" exercises to the music played from a victrola. I have no idea where thre victrola came from. I can still do some of those exercises. Teachers had to get permission for us to do the "Daily Dozen." I'm guessing the Japanese were concerned about prisoners muscling up.

These days people gasp in astonishment when I tell them about Miss Davey's running a Brownie troop in a Japanese internment camp. Did you know -- a researcher found Miss Davey's Temple Hill and Weihsien Brownie troop diary in some kind of archive not far from Buckingham Palace in London? Yes, really.

Maybe we did have a tiny bit of schooling. I remember something about learning to create poems. When our former servants from the Chefoo School smuggled in a piglet -- which we fattened up with garbage -- someone created this poem:

"August was a pig we had.
Our garbage he did eat.
At Christmas time we all felt sad.
He was our Christmas treat."

Our teachers were always creating poems and songs to keep us children singing. I can sing them still. Here's one:

"We might have been shipped to Timbuctoo.
We might have been shipped to Kalamazoo.
It's not repatriation
Nor is it yet stagnation.
It's only concentration in Chefoo."

We had a wonderful Japanese in charge of the camp in Temple Hill. We children loved Kosaka.

Our world change dramatically when the Japanese consolidated these small internment enclaves in North China by moving internees into Weihsien.. From Yantai, we were shipped out to Tsingtao in what must have been the tail end of a typhoon. I was seasick most of the time. And I remember then being trucked into Weihsien like animals.

In 2005 when the city of Weifang welcomed us back for a 60th anniversary reunion -- serenading us with bands playing, children waving banners, and children dancing, a Chinese photographer sent a photo around the world of me weeping on the shoulder of my big brother Jamie -- remembering the day in 1943 when we were herded like animals -- trucked into that very place. A place called Weihsien.

Mary Taylor Previte

Terri Stewart tksweaver@verizon.net [weihsien_camp]
Sun, 28 Sep 2014 at 03:00
Re: [weihsien_camp] Another Weihsiren documerntary in the wortks.

Hi Mary,

Although I personally have nothing to do with the camp and the events leading up to internment, I would find it interesting to hear more stories, voices as it were, on the weeks or even days that lead up to being transported to the camps. I have some of my great-aunt's letters (Ruth Kunkel) and she spoke of how the times before the camps as being more difficult as the Japanese continued to invade China. Resources became more scarce, shopping for neccessaties more difficult and dangerous. Curfews, bribes, etc. Then soldiers showing up on her doorstep ordering her and her friend Alice to pack up their things and be escorted to a train to be sent to Weihsien. What is unknown is what happened to their housekeeper & cook, and many of the locals who became friends. Has anyone been able to be in contact with their Chinese friends since being liberated from the camps?

Terri Stewart

On Saturday, September 27, 2014 9:52 AM, "Mary Previte mtprevite@aol.com [weihsien_camp]" wrote:

Officials in Weifang yesterday held a press conference with a media producer, Elayne Yao from HongKong, spotlighting another plan to produce an "international drama film" about Weihsien targeted for release next year to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Weihsien.

Elayne Yao and my big brother, James Hudson Taylor, were dear friends for the years he lived in HongKong. She calls Jamie "my mentor." She interviewed me in Hongkong when I was there with Jamie during his final illness.

Here's what Ms. Yao told me yesterday:
"The government officials of Weifang are very supportive of this project as this international drama film and documentary are joint venture of 3 big film production companies as well as a potential one from Hollywood.

The government officials of Weifang co-organized the press conference and give us all kinds of supports in filming.

They told us there are 9 former Weihsien internees on their list and will be invited to the big celebration in Aug.2015. I am waiting for the list from them and am sure you are one of them. Can you give a guess who they will be as you are still keeping in touch with the other members?

It would be good if I can go to visit them directly to do the interview to avoid miscommunication which happened before."

I have no idea who is on this list. But I have asked Elayne Yao to let appropriate Weifang officials know there are more than 9 former Weihsien internees still alive -- and interested in more information about the proposed 2015 reunion.

Two other Chinese production companies have contacted me about producing Weihsien documentaries. Weifang is giving enthusiastic support to all of these efforts. All say that officials at Weifang are giving strong support to their efforts.

Elayne asked me yesterday: "If there is anything you think i should know or include in the documentary, please feel free to let me know."

What do you think this documentary should include?

Mary Taylor Previte

leopoldpander@yahoo.com [weihsien_camp]
Sat, 27 Sep 2014 at 16:58
[weihsien_camp] Re: First message ...

Dear Ray,

I checked ... and all seems to work perfectly out here.

... all the best,

De : L PR
Envoyé : vendredi 26 septembre 2014 10:12
À : Mary Previte
Cc : Janette & home
Objet : Re: Mary's Weihsien '15 invitation list

Dear Mary,

The "introduction" is from Greg Leck's book. I am no longer competent to write such good "English" as my everyday language is French !!

I have just given "moderator rights" to you for the Weihsien_camp_group. As you can see, you can now invite new members to join ... if you wish to do so. You will also get messages from Yahoo to approve or to disapprove incoming messages. (This is to avoid "spam"). I should get the same messages, ... so we will be two for the job !

As for the "new members" There is -- so far -- only one Chinese member. You should be able to send invitations to our Weifang friends ?

Hope you manage,

PS ... Greg Leck must be abroad because he is not yet on the list !

-----Original Message-----

From: Mary Previte
Sent: Thursday, September 25, 2014 6:18 PM
To: Leopold Pander
Subject: Mary's Weihsien '15 invitation list


Here's a list I've been compiling for Weifang -- to help -- should they move ahead with an August '15 70th anniversary reunion.

Since many of these are not from our Chefoo group, you may find new Weihsien-ers to contact.

You've created a wonderfully-attractive introduction, Leopold.


De : L PR
Envoyé : vendredi 26 septembre 2014 09:57
À : Mary Previte
Objet : Re: Leopold,

Dear Mary,

Yes, I got Natasha's complete list. I am sending it to you as an attachment. Two times, I invited everybody to join the group. Some didn't answer or simply are not "computer-wise".

... have a nice day,

-----Original Message-----

From: Mary Previte
Sent: Thursday, September 25, 2014 6:06 PM
To: L PR
Subject: Re: Leopold,

Excellent start, Leopold.

I'll nudge A few of the Çhefoo School group again. Mary Broughton from Australia, wrote to me asking about it -- so I'm sure she's interested. I told her to join.

Did you get Natasha's whole list?


De : L PR
Envoyé : jeudi 25 septembre 2014 16:54
À : Mary Previte
Cc : Janette & home
Objet : Re: Leopold,

Dear Mary,

(see attachment), ...

this is what we have so far ... (not many folks from Weifang though !!)

... and also, waiting for your first message ...
... all the best,

-----Original Message-----

From: Mary Previte
Sent: Thursday, September 25, 2014 3:23 PM
To: tapol_(Skynet)
Subject: Re: Leopold,


I sent a note to a whole group of Chefoo School students who were in Weihsien, urging them to join your new Weihsien network. I hope you get good results.


On Sep 25, 2014, at 4:09 AM, "tapol_\(Skynet\)" wrote:

> Dear Mary,

> This is the listing ... as it is today,
> https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/weihsien_camp/members/all
> have a nice day,
> leopold

> > -----Original Message----- From: Mary Previte

> Sent: Tuesday, September 23, 2014 3:22 PM
> To: Leopold Pander
Subject: Leopold,

Good for you! You've started a new Weihsien group!
> I'll send you e-mail addresses of a group of Chefoo School students who
> were interned in Weihsien so you can invite them.
> Dd I get admitted? I'm hopeless when it comes to the computer.
> Be sure to invite Pamela Masters-Flynn: pamela@herdersonhouse.com.
> Mary


De : L PR
Envoyé : jeudi 25 septembre 2014 09:35
À : John Hoyte
Objet : Re: Weihsien_camp

Dear John,

Easiest way is to send a “blank” message to:

Best regards,

From: John Hoyte
Sent: Thursday, September 25, 2014 12:39 AM
To: tapol@skynet.be
Subject: Weihsien_camp

Dear Leopold:

As an ex- Weihsiener I would like to join your group.

With many thanks, John Hoyte
1200 37th St. Bellingham WA 98229 360-318-3743

De : L PR
Envoyé : mercredi 24 septembre 2014 17:29
À : Fern Nordmo
Objet : Re: Yes, I want to join your group

Dear Audrey,

You have certainly received an invitation to join the chat list. It looks like this: (see attachment)

Click on: “Join the group” and follow the instructions.
Much easier ... You can also send a blank message to:
hope you manage,

From: Fern Nordmo
Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2014 4:41 PM
To: tapol@skynet.be
Subject: Yes, I want to join your group

What caused the Topica site to close down—what a shock.

thank you for all of your work you have done and continue to do.

I am trying to get the obituaries of Miss Evelyn Davey, later Huebner and also of Enid Graham Fischer. to add to your collections.
God Bless you for all of your work.

My e-mail is raks732@gmail.com
or will their be another e-mail to connect to your group.

Audrey Nordmo Horton

De : L PR
Envoyé : mardi 16 septembre 2014 12:32
À : Estelle Horne
Objet : Re: yahoo

Yes, you can.

I have several e-mail addresses and they all arrive at the same place.

Now we have to write something to the “group” .... just to see if it works OK !!

So far, there is only one message : the first one I sent when I opened the group.
Natasha sent to me her listings, and I “invited” everybody, but so far, only 15 members. (!)

... all the best,

From: Estelle Horne
Sent: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 11:08 AM
To: L PR
Subject: Re: Fw: yahoo

Thank you Leopold

I have 4 messages this morning, so all is OK.
Have you left skynet? Do I use the above address to reach you personally? E.g. when I'm not writing to the members.


De : L PR
Envoyé : mardi 16 septembre 2014 08:30
À : Estelle Horne
Objet : Re: yahoo

Dear Estelle,

Try sending a blank message to:
weihsien_camp-subscribe@yahoogroups.com ...
and wait for an answer by return mail ...

Tell me what happens ?
Hope it works ...
... all the best,

De : Estelle Horne
Envoyé : lundi 15 septembre 2014 19:00
À : tapol_(Skynet)
Objet : Re: yahoo

Dear Leopold

I found the icon and then the connection for joining, but when I clicked it nothing happened, so I have copied the address onto an email to send.

Alternately I saw at the top of the page an icon saying + Join Group. If I open that, they ask me to open a Yahoo account. Do I have to do that to join?


On 11 September 2014 14:08, tapol_(Skynet) wrote:

Dear Estelle,

Thanks for your message. I had to check TOPICA on the internet to get it. Dixit Natasha, and dixit Topica-lists ... they have finished with the topica-chats since july 29 !? ! I can send but not receive anything in my mail-box. Mary can’t send nor receive any messages. Natasha tried to fix it but to no avail. The whole thing is jammed !

I suggested we go on Yahoo where there is a successful chat-list going on for the Stanley-camp-Hong-Kong.
Nicky's computer is not connected to Yahoo, and this is how I did it :

Go to our website http://www.weihsien-paintings.org and approx. in the middle of the home page, you will see two Yahoo logos. One for Stanley and the left side one is for Weihsien. Just click on that.

Scroll down, and click on:
and send a “blank” message.
What happens next?:

I get your message and I have to approve it (providing I am at home then)
Then, you get a return mail with a bit of bla bla and a long URL. You click on that (the URL) and that is all you have to do.

Easy, isn’t it?

Hope you manage,

De : L PR
Envoyé : dimanche 7 septembre 2014 14:11
À : Sancton
Objet : Re: Wehsien

Dear Christine,

The easiest way, I think, is to open the home page:
and click on the “subscribe” line:

Normally you should be able to follow all the messages via your ordinary mail-box. Hope it works !

bien amicalement,

De : Sancton Envoyé : dimanche 7 septembre 2014 13:10 À : L PR Objet : Re: Wehsien Dear Leopold: thank you so much for setting the yahoo chat group up. Can I ask Gay and Peter to join or does it have to go through you? Happy Sunday! Love Christine

De : L PR
Envoyé : dimanche 7 septembre 2014 11:12
À : Teddy Pearson
Objet : Fw: [weihsien_camp] First message ...

Hi Ted,

I just started a new discussion group at Yahoo ...

The listings Natasha sent to me are with your “old” address, so I am sending you this one with your new address !
All this is entirely new for me and I hope that I will not make a big jam out of it ... Ha! Ha!

Don’t forget to visit the new group and subscribe ....

Bien amicalement,

From: mailto:weihsien_camp@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Sunday, September 07, 2014 10:32 AM
To: WeiHsien-YAHOO
Subject: [weihsien_camp] First message ...

Hi !

If you click on:
... you will find out that our once-was-marvelous “topica-chat-list” is finished since July 29 !!!!!!

I presume that ... if we want to continue “chatting” we will have to create a new list somewhere else.
Stanley Camp – Hong-Kong has a chat going on at:

... and is quite successful.

Natasha sent me the listings she had and everybody has got an invitation to joint the Yahoo group. I am discovering this just as you are !
Hope it’ll work !

Best regards,

De : Yahoo! Groups Invitation
Envoyé : dimanche 7 septembre 2014 10:09
À : tapol@skynet.be
Objet : leopoldpander has invited you to join weihsien_camp

This invitation expires in 30 days. October 7, 2014 1:09:59 AM PDT

You have been invited to join weihsien_camp group!

De : Yahoo Groups
Envoyé : dimanche 7 septembre 2014 10:04
À : leopoldpander@yahoo.com
Objet : Yahoo! Groups: Congratulations! You created weihsien_camp.

Your weihsien_camp group at Yahoo Groups is good to go.

Here are the details on weihsien_camp:
Group home page: https://groups.yahoo.com/group/weihsien_camp
Group email address: weihsien_camp@yahoogroups.com

Ready to start?
Get the ball rolling by posting the very first group message. Then add photos, create an event, or whatever. In short, make yourself at home in your new group.

Simply drop by the weihsien_camp homepage now. To keep the online conversation moving, be sure to invite friends, family, and others who share your passion.

You can also check out Moderator Central to get the latest news, information, and services for moderators:

Yahoo Groups

Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://info.yahoo.com/legal/us/yahoo/utos/terms/

De : np57@cox.net
Envoyé : dimanche 7 septembre 2014 00:59
À : tapol@skynet.be
Objet : list

Dear Leopold,

My son helped with this. The list was sent as an attachment. Let me know. There should be sixty odd emails. Not all are from Weihsien.


De : np57@cox.net
Envoyé : samedi 6 septembre 2014 20:34
À : tapol@skynet.be
Objet : list


I have the first page of the list in front of me on the computer, but I have no idea how to send it to you. I have tried several ways, but it is not correct. I will have to wait until my son helps me. I need the list to be an attachment, but again alas, I do not know how. I will be in touch.


De : L PR
Envoyé : samedi 6 septembre 2014 17:11
À : np57@cox.net
Cc : Janette & home
Subject : Re: Weihsien

Dear Natasha,

Send me your listing ...

I shall try with Yahoo ... seems to function OK with the Stanley folks ...
we've got nothing to loose ... it is worth while trying !

All the best and an excellent week-end to you

-----Original Message-----

From: np57@cox.net
Sent: Saturday, September 06, 2014 3:13 PM
To: tapol@skynet.be
Subject: Weihsien

Dear Leopold,

Have you heard from Topica? Would you be willing to take over our listing? You will need to set up a website with Goole or another

....... and then I can try to send you the listing. I am not sure how this is done, but I am willing to try.


De : L PR
Envoyé : samedi 6 septembre 2014 17:06
À : Janette & home
Objet : Fw: weihsien chat list

From: Mary Previte
Sent: Saturday, September 06, 2014 2:11 PM
To: tapol_ (Skynet)
Subject: Re: weihsien chat list

Good for you, Leopold, for following through with this. Please take whatever action is needed to launch another chat list. This is so important with the likelihood of a 70th anniversary reunion coming up in August, 2015

I'll be away from home for the next two week.


On Sep 6, 2014, at 4:30 AM, tapol_(Skynet) wrote:

In a message to TOPICA:

Subject: Re: weihsien chat list

Dear Sir, Madam,

I am connected to the topica chat list : weihsien@topica.com

It is not working correctly for several months already and now, you let us know that you are closed down: (!!!?)

... and the answer from TOPICA:

"Thank you! You have been with us since the beginning. Your loyalty has been instrumental to our own success, and we are proud to have played a part in the way you share ideas and information.Certainly, there are many businesses you could have chosen to meet your needs and we appreciate that you have allowed us to our very best for you.Now, our best is getting better!Sadly, all good things must come to an end, The Topica Discussion List Product will be shut down on July 29th, 2014. We advise that you export your subscriber list prior to this date. If you are having issues with your account please email cs@get.topica.comThe final shut-down of the Discussion Lists will coincide with several new product releases. We are confident that our improved technology will allow us to provide you with the most effective & innovative services.We will continue to post updates and dates, but feel free to send any questions to cs@get.topica.com."

Must I understand that you have definitively “closed down” or that we can open a new chat list at “TOPICA” in the near future?
... or must WE open a new chat list elsewhere ... on Yahoo or Google for example ?

I would very much appreciate reading your answer asap

Best regards,
Leopold Pander (Belgium)

P.S. ... we never got an answer ...

De : np57@cox.net
Envoyé : samedi 6 septembre 2014 15:13
À : tapol@skynet.be
Objet : Weihsien

Dear Leopold,

Have you heard from Topica? Would you be willing to take over our listing? You will need to set up a website with Goole or another ....... and then I can try to send you the listing. I am not sure how this is done, but I am willing to try.


De : Duncan Hamilton
Envoyé : jeudi 4 septembre 2014 11:43
À : tapol@skynet.be
Objet : China

Dear Mr Pander,

Apologies for this cold call. My name Duncan Hamilton and I am journalist who primarily writes books about sport. I am currently working on a biography of Eric Liddell and I was wondering whether I could call you at some stage for a chat. I have found your site on Weihsien so useful. My wife and I went to the camp in April - the Weifang government and the British Embassy in China were incredibly helpful - and we've only recently returned from Canada, where Eric's daughters looked after us royally.

I say all this simply so you know I am not a time-waster; and that the book isn't a cut and paste thing (well, at least I hope not!).

Any help would be gratefully accepted

My best wishes and kindest regards

[updated Nov-29-2020]