Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Changi Brats

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 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 Brats.
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 , 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.  


Lucille said...

Hi Jo, That was great!!! Some photos there I have never seen. Brought back some great memories. The dance on stage section, my sister Sharon was in that. She had the really long legs. Thank everyone else as well. Wish you were coming with us doesn't seem right without you. Lucille

jo said...

Happy to hear you liked it Lu, i really enjoyed making it. It was a lot of fun especially working with that song.
Enjoying your trip back to Singapore will be thanks enough for me.

Barb ( Dauk) said...

Hi Jo, I've just read over all the BRAT stories and the new ones you have added. The videos, well what can I say, you really are an amazing story teller, what you have done with the words, pictures and videos makes you feel that it was only yesterday. You really should publish your own book, it would be a best seller. Thanks again for bringing back all the memories.

Barb (71-73)

Jo Rendle said...

Thanks Barb,
Aren't the videos a great way to express something that can't be put into words? I've been threatening to have a go at it for ages and i'm glad i did now. Its fiddly but fun. I have a few ideas for other things i want to tackle ..not sure i can pull it off but i'm going to try!

Tamara said...

I have only just been made aware of this site and lo and behold there I am in photos... I'm one of those Changi brats.
I was in 1A in '72. I see so many faces and the names just pop into my head even though I have not thought of these people for 45 years. And though I don't remember the name Jo Rendle, the name John Anda is a name I have heard my brother and sister speak of. We were civil personnel so lived in the city as he probably did.

Thanks for all who put this together.
Tamara Durant.

Jo Rendle said...

Hi Tamara, you can find more stories and photos on our site, ANZ Military Brats of Singapore at:
and our Facebook group at: