Three people played an important part in the beginnings of this story, Andrew Baumback, Glen Mooney and Jon Anda.
The aussie brat, the kiwi brat and the kiwi consulate brat who had seen it all.
Three very different people with three different reasons and three different perspectives.
They may be surprised to read their names here, they may not, but it is here i feel i must acknowledge them because i want to.
Many people have asked me over the years, what made you think to start the group Jo?
my simple answer to that question is - Because there wasn't one.
Did i think i should be the one to do that?
Did i think i could be the only one who could do that?
The long answer to the question is given in my entries to this blog and congratulations (and thank you) if you have stayed with me through it thus far.
Come back with me for a little bit to schoolfriends.com.au where i found the first brat who was also seeking others who lived in Singapore for a brief but happy time of their life.
As i have already stated, that site didn't have an option to select our schools of Singapore back then. I wrote to the sites administrators and explained and others must have too because before long there was an option to add a school not listed on the site.
I quickly got to work to follow the prompts and added 'Woodlands High School, Singapore'. Embarrassed to say i did not yet remember the actual name of the school 'NZ Services School, Singapore. Over time i checked to see if there were other entries of Australian or New Zealand Services Schools and there was.
Changi High School, Singapore or ANZ Services School, Changi.
I get some strange looks when i'm waffling on to my civy friends about the Singapore brat group and referring in particular to the Changi Brats. Changi? as in Changi Prison?
Thats what Aussie's and Kiwi's know about Changi isn't it, where the POW's of WW2 were kept after the Fall of Singapore.
Well, the Changi Brats for us are the ex-dependents of Australian and New Zealand, predominately Army, some Airforce and even fewer, Navy personal.
Their Fathers, therefore the family, were posted to Singapore and the school they went to was in Changi. This was during the years 1971 to 1973.
A time cut short when the then Australian Prime minister, Gough Whitlam and his Labour Party, cut defence spending and the Australian contingency had to pack up and go home. Some families were only part way through their 2 year posting. Sorry folks, party is over time to go, just like that. The name Whitlam is a dirty word within the Australian Brat community, and i can understand why it would be.
I sent a message one of the Brats listed under Changi High, registered at Schoolfriends.com.au , about the site, the now defunct yahoo one. I think it was Gill Pennock. It could have been Rosie Cornwall and Steve Jones too. I do remember that they contacted one another to make sure they knew about the site.
My initial idea for contacting them was to learn more about what came before us. The Singapore they knew of in the early 70's. I didn't think they would be interested in the site too much, after all, it was then filled with mostly the memories of mid 70's brats who came after. But they came, they saw and they stayed.
Changi Brats, as they know they are affectionately known to me as, have a special place in the Brat part of my heart.
Why? well, I'll leave that story for another day, but in the meantime i made another video especially for them.
The first sighting of a male/boy in the video is none other than Steve Jones, one of the more well known and much loved Changi brats of the group.