Thursday, October 22, 2009

Friday Shoot out: Airport and Fokker Friendship






October 23 - Classics of Childhood - by Ellisa
"What are your childhood memories made of? A game? A park? A special place you used to visit? OR Look around you. Watch for places and things you'd like your children to remember. Or maybe you see children creating memories as we speak. What will be the thing they remember as classic?" Ellisa

http://mytownshootout.blogspot.com/

This is a sweet story dear to my heart and my siblings' hearts. It has a special meaning to us.

During the Second World War aka as the Japanese War in Asia, the Japanese soldiers conscripted all able bodied men to break rocks and build the road leading to the Sibu airport. My Grand dad was old, and it was back breaking work for him. The Japanese were cruel and would beat the labourers at the drop of the hat. My dad knew my grandpa would not survive this cruel treatment and volunteered to take his place. Fortunately my dad who was in his late teens had studied his high school, and the Japanese relieved him of this hard work and gave him a clerical work going to the fields to assess the produce of farmers.

After the war, Dad and Granddad were proud that through their blood and sweat, they had built this road. When we were little, Dad would take us his his little Fiat and drive to the airport and watch the Fokker Friendship take off. He would say," I built this road."

These days, Fokker Friendships are not the only planes that fly from this airport. But for reminscience, my brother Henry took his kids in a Fokker Friendship. He told them great grandpa and Grandpa's story and also by flying a Fokker Friendship, you get to feel how it is like to embark and disembark a plane.

Sam and I flew this Fokker Friendship to the Mulu Caves and he got to know a bit of his roots.

15 comments:

Barry said...

What a powerful story Ann. Very moving account of a terrible time. I'm glad your grandfather and greatgrandfather survived to tell about it.

Queenmothermamaw said...

Oh Ann what a powerful and wonderful story. I think it is of utmost importance to pass those family stories along.
QMM

Bagman and Butler said...

Yes...your tale left me breathless. You have done a remarkable job of keeping important family history alive. I have huge respect for your dad and granddad. This is one of those posts that should be in the blogger hall of fame.

M.Kate said...

It's been a long time since I sat a Fokker..meanwhile, I started my training to go to Mulu...though that may take forever. Happy weekend Ann.

Jama said...

It's important for the young to know about the effect of wars on the ordinary people and to remember the history that goes with it.

NanU said...

Great post, Ann. I love the story.

Linda said...

What makes this story so incredible is that everyone survived and now 60 years later, the story is passed between the generations as it should. I'm glad you have actual pictures and accounts to back up the words. Reliving the memories, helps them stay real. This is truly a hall of fame classic. Brilliant post, Ann!

Carrie said...

What a sweet dad you have, taking the place of his father like that! Thanks for sharing this story.

Denise said...

I'm so glad your grandfather and greatgrandfather survived. what a story. thanks for sharing it.

GingerV said...

really wonderful story. I loved reading it. I can remember being taken up in a small plane when about 10 (a penny a pound and cost my dad a dollar!) really great childhood memories...

word verf.... Motion!

Chef E said...

What a cool and unique post Ann! Hubby took me to an airplane museum in the PNW, where the Spruce Goose is held, and they had war planes from all times...my own grandfather being an aviator pioneer showed me just how much courage you have to have to fly in the first place...great memories to share...

Jen said...

What an amazing story behind these photos!

Kerry said...

Thank you Ann, for sharing this important piece of history. Your dad had a right to be proud, and so do you.

A Scattering said...

Ann, thanks for sharing your family story with all of us. Sometimes it's simply amazing what turns us into the people we are. Obviously your Dad and Grandad were wonderful men.

Anonymous said...

The plane in the pic is not Fokker Friendship. It is an ATR-72.

Shall be missing those Fokkers as they will be slowly phasing it out for newer ATR