November 29, 2006

Please add our parents to the list for people interned at Los Banos.

Lindsay De C Blechynden (British)
Claire Louis Blechynden (American)

My fatherís birthdate is 3/24/1909; my motherís birthdate is 11/14/1920. Their favorite song was Island in the Sun. This was sung by Harry Belafonte and was their tribute to their home in the Philippines.

They were first interned at Santo Thomas, but then they were later sent to Los Banos.

After the war, they went to the US and England for a short time, but when asked where he would like to be sent next by his employer, Shell Oil Company, my father said ďBack to the Philippines!Ē My Mom and Dad considered Manila their home and the Filipinos their dear, dear friends.

They lived in Manila (Makati) until my father retired in 1963.

They then settled in San Diego, California.

My mother died in November, 1998 of cancer, and my father died in February of 2005 at the ripe old age of 96 of pneumonia. Even though they both had health problems as they grew older (brought about by the diet given to them while interned by the Japanese), they both had long, happy lives and were devoted to their children and grandchildren. Iím happy to say that my father lived to see his only great granddaughter, his namesake, Lindsay Fortado.

They had two children, myself, Susan (Blechynden) Viets, born in Manila, Philippines. My brother Michael Blechynden was born in the US. We both live in San Diego, California.

I was so excited to find your website. So few people know about the atrocities that were committed against the civilians that were captured and sent to POW camps.

Although our mother and father found it painful to recall those times, over the years they related many stories about their time at both Santo Thomas and Los Banos. I would like to know if anyone out there remembers them.

This is really healing for the family. Thank you so much for what you have done.

Susan Viets and Michael Blechynden

You can reach Susan at:

If you would like to share any information about Lindsay or Claire Blechynden
or would like to be added to the POW/Internee e-mail distribution list,
please let the me, Tom Moore know.

Background music to this
page can be controlled here.
"Island In The Sun"
<bgsound src="island_in_the_sun01.wav" loop=infinite>

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