Japanese Internment and the Reshaping of a Canadian Missionary Community
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Title Page, Copyright
List of Illustrations
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My friendship with Dr. Sonya Grypma first began with her telephone call, nine years ago. As a nurse historian, she was researching the work of the Canadian missionary nurses in China, which included my mother, Betty Gale. I could not have predicted, at the time, how interlaced our lives would...
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In China Interrupted nursing scholar Sonya Grypma skilfully analyzes the intertwined social history of a Canadian missionary community and the personal story of missionary nurse Betty Gale, one of its members. Born and raised in China as a daughter of Canadian missionaries, and determined to...
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A project like this, spanning nine years and two continents, would not be possible without the goodwill and support of many individuals and organizations. First and foremost my gratitude goes to Margaret Gale Wightman, daughter of Betty and Godfrey Gale and collaborator extraordinaire...
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Introduction: China Interrupted
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At 9:15 a.m. on Monday, 8 December 1941, Canadian missionary nurse Betty Gale walked through the Shandong Christian University “Qilu” campus gates into four years of internment under the Japanese in China. She was returning home from the Qilu University Medical School and Hospital...
1. Developing a Mishkid Elite (1910–1934)
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Theirs was an unconventional childhood. To Canadian missionary children born in early-twentieth-century China, rickshaws, chopsticks, and “amahs” (nursemaids) were as familiar as Brontë novels, piano lessons, and Christmas plays. While their parents immersed themselves in the...
2. “A Call to Live Dangerously” (1935–1938)
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The mishkid nurses’ decisions to return to China during wartime countered Canadian societal expectations of women to avoid danger; women were to be protected from war, not to enter into it. As the political landscape of China became increasingly dangerous after Japan’s 1937 invasion, the...
3. The “New” Missionaries (1939–1940)
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By the time Betty Thomson, Dorothy Boyd, and Mary Boyd decided to return to China, North China missionaries had been in Henan for fifty years. They would be returning to a well-established missionary community—not quite the rugged, remote, and rural setting their parents had committed...
4. Heeding and Ignoring Consular Advice (1941)
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Anno Domini 1941 was a watershed year for the mishkid nurses. For three of them, Betty Thomson Gale, Mary Boyd Stanley, and Georgina Menzies Lewis, it marked a year of both motherhood and internment—two events that would remain central to their identities and experiences as missionary...
5. Practising the Fine Art of House Arrest (1942)
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The morning of Sunday 7 December 1941 was clear, warm, and sunny. Godfrey Gale had turned down an early morning invitation to join friends in shooting ducks because he had “lecture notes to revise for the morrow.” Seventy missionaries remained on Qilu campus and, at midday, they heard...
6. Adjusting to Columbia Country Club and Yangzhou Camp B (1943)
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On 10 August 1942 Betty Gale and Georgina Lewis set off with their families and the remaining dozen or so Qilu missionaries on a train filled with expatriate evacuees from all over north China. They were bound for Shanghai. For Betty Gale, one exciting thought edged out all others: they were...
7. “The End of the World Has Come” Pudong Camp (1943–1945)
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Pudong Camp was a cluster of six abandoned godowns (warehouses) of the British-American Tobacco Company. It sat approximately half a mile from the bank of the Huangpu River, across from the famous Shanghai Bund—a group of nineteenth-century Western-style buildings along the...
Conclusion: Internment and the Reshaping of a Canadian Missionary Community
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There were 300,000 Allied nationals in Japanese hands during the war. Japan held 13,544 civilian men, women, and children as captives in China and Hong Kong, including 311 Canadians, ten of whom were missionaries. Of the 189 Canadians who remained in internment after the 1943 repatriation...
Appendix A: Canadian Missionary Nurses in China, April 1941
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Appendix B: All Canadian Nurses Interned in China
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Publication Year: 2012