Thursday, April 08, 2010

Sarawak Museum exhibition: Wartime memories come alive

THE wartime heritage exhibition at Dewan Tun Abdul Razak in Kuching aims to shed light on Sarawak’s history during the Second World War, about which little is known.

Held in conjunction with the 65th anniversary, the Borneo World War II: Sarawak Liberation and Reconciliation exhibition features wartime artefacts and photographs, including stark images of conditions in prisoner-of-war (POW) camps during the Japanese occupation.

One of the exhibits is a model of the Batu Lintang POW camp in Kuching, now the Batu Lintang Teacher Education Institute, where Allied forces and civilian personnel were interned from December 1941 to September 1945.

The model, built by retired lecturer Joseph Aloysius Kuek in 2002, shows Japanese army office buildings and barracks, POW barracks and buildings which were later renovated into college classrooms, hostels and offices.

Kuek, 81, also built a model of Australia House, a POW barracks in the camp which housed about 60 officers of the Australian Army’s Eighth Division from 1942 to 1945.

Seeing his models on display in the exhibition revived Kuek’s wartime memories.

“I was only 15 or 16 when the war ended in 1945. Life was very difficult during the Japanese occupation. We couldn’t simply go about anywhere and people were living in fear.

Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: Sarawak Museum exhibition: Wartime memories come alive

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