Tag Archives: Singapore

For part 2 of this post...

http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2013/06/23/skyping-with-k123-from-canada-part-2-lily-to-may/

For Part 3 of this post...

 http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2013/06/23/skyping-with-k123-from-canada-part-3-linden-to-the-end/

At 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 19 I was waiting for a call on Skype. Mrs. Watson and her K/1/2/3 had planned a Skype session. For them, it was 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday. When the Skype call came, we started our question and answer session. Each student had the chance to ask questions about Australia.

I have broken this post into three parts because of the amount of its content.

Below is some of what was asked and answered...

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

To hear Australia's national anthem sung by  a school choir I have filmed, click the "Advanced Australia Fair" link below

Advanced Australia Fair

How long have I been in Australia?

I was born in Australia.

My first known relative on my father's side of the family arrived in Australia (the called New South Wales) as a convict in 1789. The first with my family name arrived around 1850 as a free settler from England. The first known relative on my mother's side of the family arrived from Scotland in 1847.

Do I have any pets?

I have had many pets over the years although I don't have one at this time. I have had one cat, many dogs, budgerigars (small parrots), a galah (large parrot) and once was looking after a young kangaroo for a week until I could take it to a zoo. It's mother had been killed by a car.

Below is an old photo taken around 1960 of the first dog I remember having as a pet. Her name was Topsy.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

What is my favourite place in town?

I am a movie fan. I like going to the cinema (movie theatre) and I enjoy filming and making DVDs for schools and community groups so, in the town itself, my favourite place is the cinema. The next nearest cinema is a twoto three hour drive north but we are a tourist town and are lucky to have one.

Near town, my favourite places are Bournda National Park, Bournda Nature Rerserve, Ben Boyd National Park, South East Forests National Park and Potoroo Palace Native Animal Educational Sanctuary. When not blogging, visiting schools, making DVDs, walking around town and going to the cinema, I like hiking in our national parks near my town.

I have loaded a short video clip showing my town and Merimbula Lake taken from a bridge in 2010. The quality of the video isn't high but it does show much of the town.

Schools and students have permission to use this video clip for non-commercial, educational purposes.

I live in the state of New South Wales. Is there an old South Wales?

The eastern half of Australia was named New South Wales by Captain James Cook in 1770. In his ship's log he recorded the name but didn't explain his choice. It's thought the coast might have reminded him of the southern coast of Wales in Great Britain. It was an interesting choice because I think part of Hudson Bay in Canada had been named New South Wales by the Welshman Thomas James on 20 August 1631 (according to Wikipedia).

In 2012, a replica of Captain James Cook's ship, Endeavour, visited Twofold Bay, Eden about 20km from my town. Below is a video clip I made of its departure.

Schools and students have permission to use this video clip for non-commercial, educational purposes.

If you want to see more of the Endeavour replica, there is a post on another of my blogs...

HMB Endeavour at Eden – May, 2012 – Cook and his Endeavour

Do we have tumbleweeds in Australia?

Tumbleweeds are really only the tops of plants dried, broken off and blown in the wind. While we can have this happen to our plants, we don't tend to call them tumbleweeds.

Being in a small school.

 K/1/2/3's school only has 41 students and two teachers. They normally talk to students from much larger schools. I shared a little about my first teaching position. In the two years I was there, I had from 12 to 20 students from surrounding sheep and cattle properties. The closest town was 100km distant. I was the only teacher with children from Kindergarten to Grade 6 in the room. My next school had over 800 students and was in Sydney. It was very different.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Do we have any geckos or lizards?

Being a much warmer climate than Canada, we have a large range of reptiles from skinks and geckos right through to crocodiles in the warmer north of the country. I'll share a few of my photos with you...

 Bearded Dragon

They are harmless although they can bite. They may be called dragon but they can't breathe fire.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Red Bellied Black Snake (poisonous)

Unlike the local brown and tiger poisonous snakes of our area, the black snake is a little shy and tries to keep away from humans.

red-bellied black snake

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Goanna (Lace Monitor)

Goannas are the largest of our lizards.

GoannaSchools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Blue-tongued lizard (skink)

I have found these in my garden. They like snails and slugs.

Blue-tongued lizard

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Olive python and handler

Being a python, these snakes aren't poisonous. Potoroo Palace volunteer is hold "Olive" the female olive python.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Snapping Turtle

There are a number of turtles and tortoises around Australia.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Black Headed Python (non-poisonous)

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Lizards 1

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Lizards 2

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.
Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Eastern Water Skink (?)

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

 

 Have I travelled to other places including Canada?

I have travelled to many places in Australia and have been to New Zealand several times. I've visited friends in Singapore and travelled on to Paris and United Kingdom. I've also been to Hawaii. Here are some photos from my travels overseas.

London

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Paris

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Singapore

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Kilauea volcano, Hawaii

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

York, England - York Minster Cathedral

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Edinburgh Castle

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Wellington, New Zealand - 1996

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

While I haven't yet been to Canada, I took a photo of a community play. The men were wearing a uniform but I'm not certain what type is was supposed to be. Do you know?

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

 

This was a very early blog comment post on another blog. It has been transferred to this blog.

I thought this might be too long to include as a comment on your blog so I have decided to set up a blog page as a comment. From your writings, I can see you have been learning about World War II and how it effected people’s lives. As well as the home front, Allied forces were scattered around the world. British forces were fighting in North Africa, Burma and Singapore. I have some photos to share you might find interesting. All were taken when I visited Singapore in 2010. They show The Battle Box in Fort Canning, the Allied Forces HQ , during the Japanese attack on Singapore and its surrender in 1942. One of the troops in Singapore at that time was my father. He was with the Australian forces and ended up a POW until the end of the war in 1945.

Picture 1:

The main entrance to the underground shelter known as “The Battle Box”

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: The Battle Box, Fort Canning, Singapore

 

Picture 2:

This is a guiding diagram for The Battle Box

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: The Battle Box, Fort Canning, Singapore

 

Picture 3:

I chose to explore The Battle Box by myself. All I met were the mannequin soldiers in the darkened rooms. Considering the heat and humidity of Singapore, The Battle Box has a pleasant coolness unlikely to have existed when full of soldiers.

 Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: The Battle Box, Fort Canning, Singapore

Picture 4:

Lt. General Arthur Percival commanded the Allied Forces. You can see his likeness behind the desk. His decisions guided the Allied defences.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: The Battle Box, Fort Canning, Singapore

Picture 5:

Operations kept track of Allied and Japanese forces during the Battle for Singapore

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: The Battle Box, Fort Canning, Singapore

 

Picture 6:

With munitions running low, the last defence line broken, anti-aircraft guns unable to fire, and growing losses to civilians in Singapore, Lt. General Percival felt compelled to discuss the surrender option.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: The Battle Box, Fort Canning, Singapore

 

Picture 7:

On 15 February, 1942, Lt. General Percival surrendered to the Japanese. Over 80,000 Allied troops fell into Japanese hands. It was the largest surrender of British-led forces in history. Many died during their years of captivity with large numbers going to work on the Burma Railway never to return. Some were also sent to Japan as POWs.

 With the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima in August, Japan official surrendered to Allied forces. The photo below was on display. It showed the Japanese commander surrendering to Lord Mountbatten on 12 September, 1945.

 

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: The Battle Box, Fort Canning, Singapore

Now for something a little different.

Read this letter from a Prisoner-Of-War (P.O.W.) held by the Japanese at Changi P.O.W. camp in Singapore during World War II. This was the first letter he sent to his mother after being freed at the end of the war.

 

Changi 6-Sept-45
Dearest Mum,
Free at long last. At last I am able to write to you after three and a half years of silence. It has been a long wait, but all good things come to those who wait.
At present I am in fairly good health. Of course I have had my share of sickness since I have been a prisoner of war. My weight is now about eleven stone so you see I could be a great deal worse than I am. The sicknesses that I have sustained are such that will be quickly dispelled with proper medical treatment and a good diet so you need not worry about it in the least.
There is no need to tell you just how happy I was when I heard the news of imminent release. I can just imagine the excitement at home when the wonderful news was released.
There is really not much I can tell you about my life as a P.O.W. as censorship is very strict but I will try and give you some idea of what I have been doing since release. One of the first things that happened in the camp was the installation of a short- wave radio and hence we have been able to hear the news from the outside world (officially and first hand). Red Cross supplies have been coming into the camp since the news became official, so that rations have been getting better every day and we are told that we will soon be on full European diet. It is a great thing to have plenty of cigarettes again.
It was not long before swimming parades were arranged. Today I went on an organised tour just outside the camp. Two of my mates and myself managed to buy a duck, some eggs and a large papaya (paw-paw) and of course we had the best meal we have had in three and a half years. Well I will have to cut it short here as space is short.
Please give my love to all at home (I can’t mention all).

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

As you can see by the date, the letter was written before the official surrender of the Japanese but Allied forces already controlled Singapore. Here are some questions you might consider if interested...

1. How do you think the soldier felt during his time as a prisoner?

2. Was he well looked after by his Japanese captors?

3. Do you think he was lonely or worried being far from home and not able to write to his family?

4. How do you think his family felt while he couldn’t write?

5. How do you think they felt when they got this letter after so long?

 

Picture 8:

There are still many buildings in Singapore that stood during the war but Changi, where so many were held, has changed. As then, it is a prison and has been renovated but the old Changi chapel was moved and incorporated into a memorial chapel and museum. Visitors can sit in the chapel or walk around inside the attached museum.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Changi, Singapore

 

Perhaps some of you have relatives who served in Singapore during World War II. I can't imagine you would be able to have a field trip to Singapore to see Fort Canning and The Battle Box so I hope my post has shown you something from WWII's history very far from your home.