Stories, thoughts, observations, rants and dribble. Just another of my attempts to keep the interested people informed ...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Remembrance on the radio

I'm not quite sure why I've started writing again when all I have to talk about is New Zealand-related stuff, but oh well.  Being patriotic's not necessarily a bad thing.

Anzac Day is coming up, and I'm registered for both the morning commemoration and the sausage sizzle in the afternoon.  It's probably the most expensive sausage sizzle I've ever been to, but oh well.  Both events are in collaboration with the Australians (wasn't really sure how to lump the Consul General's office with the Australian Chamber of Commerce, so I'll just call them 'them'), but hopefully it will still be fun anyway (I kid, I kid.  I get more schtick from New Zealanders for being an Aucklander than I do from Australians for being a Kiwi).  Not quite sure why I volunteered for another early morning, especially on a Saturday, but it's several hours after the dawn service they're doing in Beijing, so at least there's that.

Conveniently close to Anzac Day, Radio New Zealand National correspondent and fellow third generation Chinese New Zealander Jason Moon has done an interview with two of my relatives who served in the New Zealand military back in the late 1930s.  He spoke to my 94-year-old great-grand uncle Danny Lee, and my first cousin twice removed (my grandmother's first cousin), 76-year-old Ken Chan.  If you're interested in hearing about their experiences both as military conscriptees (is that a word?) and being Chinese in the times of the poll tax, or a little bit about Dan's older brother Willie Chan, who died flying Spitfires for the British Air Force, check out the Windows Media stream, or download the MP3.  Apparently my great-great-grandfather was well-schooled in martial arts, and would hand out regular ass-kickings to the local 'rascals' who gave him lip.  Nice one, GGGF.  It's also interesting to note that the war actually made it easier for Chinese refugees to enter New Zealand, as long as they already had relatives in the country.  Thanks, Japan*. 

Somewhat ironically, the cheap ingredients used in the trenches to make delicious Anzac biscuits are actually pretty expensive here.  Maybe I will have to make some kind of Azian biscuit instead. 

*This is only partially tongue-in-cheek.  My late maternal grandmother probably wouldn't have appreciated the sentiment, but it made it easier for her, and my father's family, to legally enter New Zealand.  It's funny how things work out.

1 comment:

Biscuits said...

Sausage sizzle? Sounds like fun