Some war-time reminiscences

by Frederic "Jim" Silva, 2012

I was in Macau for 3 years during World War II. I finished my high school education there under the tuition of Irish Jesuit priests from a very prestigious High School in HongKong. I was in HK after the Japanese invasion for nearly one year, aged 14; then my family moved to Macau as refugees for another 3 years. Most HK refugees lived at communal centres and were housed and fed by the Macau Government and entrusted to the care of Santa Casa de Misericórdia, but my family decided to live on our own outside and we survived with a meagre subsidy from the British Government through their consulate. My lasting impression was that I was always hungry at that time.

I was fully aware of events and conditions. Macau in those days was an exciting place, full of refugees and incidents. It was much like Casablanca in North Africa, with plots, factions, spies, so many outside Government agencies – Portuguese, English, Japanese Chinese Nationalists and Chinese puppets of the Japanese – spying and intriguing against each other. These are some of the events I remember: