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Gary Nash: From Tubabao and Beyond

The story of a valiant war survivor
Gary Nash: From Tubabao and Beyond

By Natasha J

201905 COVER 06Gary Nash鐨勪汉鐢熷巻绋嬧斺
澶╂触锛孴ubabao宀涳紝婢冲ぇ鍒╀簹


鏈湡灏侀潰浜虹墿Gary Nash涓庡ぉ娲ユ湁鐫娣辫繙鐨勮仈绯伙紝浠栨槸鏇剧粡鍦ㄥぉ娲ョ敓娲昏繃鐨勪縿缃楁柉瑁旀境澶у埄浜氫汉銆侴ary浜1932骞6鏈13鏃ュ嚭鐢熶簬澶╂触锛孏ary鐨勭埗姣嶆潵鑷縿缃楁柉锛屼粬鐨勬瘝浜插湪1922骞11鏈堜縿鍥介潻鍛戒箣鍚庣Щ灞呭ぉ娲ワ紝骞跺笇鏈涘湪杩欓噷闀夸箙鐨勭敓娲讳笅鍘汇傜劧鑰岋紝1948骞12鏈堬紝鐢熷懡涓殑绗簩娆★紝浠栦滑澶卞幓浜嗘浘缁忔嫢鏈夌殑涓鍒囷紝鐧讳笂浜嗙編鍥芥捣鍐涚櫥闄嗚埌锛屽墠寰涓婃捣銆傛柊涓浗鎴愮珛鍓嶅锛岃澶氱Щ姘戣杩寮澶ч檰鍦板尯瀵绘壘鏂扮殑钀借剼鐐广傞殢鐫褰撴椂鍥藉唴闈╁懡褰㈠娍鐨勫彂灞曪紝鑱斿悎鍥藉浗闄呴毦姘戠粍缁囧懠鍚佲滆嚜鐢变笘鐣屸濈殑鍑犱釜鍥藉鏀垮簻鎻愪緵澶х害6000涓复鏃朵綇鎵锛屼緵娴佺澶辨墍鐨勭櫧淇勭綏鏂毦姘戝眳浣忋傚叾涓彧鏈夎彶寰嬪鐨勫墠鎬荤粺鑹惧皵鐨开濂モ㈠熀閲岃鍦1949骞存杩庝縿缃楁柉浜鸿繘鍏ュ叾澧冨唴銆傝彶寰嬪鍦ㄤ竴涓棤浜哄眳浣忕殑宀涘笨涓婁负澶у鎻愪緵浜嗕竴涓毦姘戣惀锛屼粬浠瀹夌疆鍦ㄤ竴澶勭編鍥藉墠鍐涗簨鍩哄湴锛岃繖涓湴鏂瑰彨鍋歍ubabao銆傝宀涘笨鍦板钀ㄩ┈宀涘崡绔傞儴鍒嗙櫧淇勭綏鏂毦姘戝湪1949-1951骞翠箣闂撮兘鐢熸椿浜庢锛屽畠鎴愪负浜嗚彶寰嬪鍘嗗彶涓婃渶澶х殑闅炬皯钀ワ紝杩庢帴浜嗚繎6000鍚嶇櫧淇勭綏鏂汉锛屽叾涓湁娌欑殗銆佹暀鎺堛佸伐绋嬪笀銆佸缓绛戝笀銆佽壓鏈銆佸尰鐢熴佸緥甯堛佺墽甯堜互鍙婂墠鏈濆啗瀹樼瓑绛夈傛湁涓嶅皯浜哄湪鍥介檯缁勭粐鐨勫府鍔╀笅锛屽幓浜嗗叾浠栧浗瀹讹紝鏈3000澶氫汉鍘讳簡缇庡浗锛1500浜哄幓浜嗘境澶у埄浜氾紝500浜哄幓浜嗘硶鍥姐傚叾浣欑殑鍘讳簡鍗楃編锛屽宸磋タ銆佸反鎷夊湱銆佹櫤鍒┿佽嫃閲屽崡绛夊浗瀹躲侴ary涓瀹跺湪宀涗笂鍏卞憜浜11涓湀锛屽綋鏃朵竴閮ㄥ垎宸茬粡鍚戠編鍥界敵璇蜂簡绛捐瘉鐨勭櫧淇勬柉浜猴紝鍥犵璇佹嫋寤惰繜杩熺瓑涓嶅埌娑堟伅锛屾墍浠ュ綋婢冲ぇ鍒╀簹浠h〃鍥㈡姷杈捐宀涘苟琛ㄧず婢冲ぇ鍒╀簹鎰挎剰鎺ュ彈浠栦滑鏃讹紝Gary鐨勫浜轰究鏋滄柇鍐冲畾鍘绘境澶у埄浜氥

 

1949骞12鏈7鏃ワ紝浠栦滑缁堜簬鎶佃揪浜嗘倝灏硷紝婕傛硦鐨勪汉鐢熶粠姝ょ敾涓婁簡鍙ュ彿銆侴ary寮濮嬩簡鑷繁鐨勮亴涓氱敓娑紝浠栨帴鍙椾簡鏂板崡濞佸皵澹窞鏀垮簻閾佽矾鍏徃鐨勭數姘旀満姊板笀鐨勫伐浣滐紝闅忓悗杩樺湪绉戞妧澶у瀛︿範鍏ㄦ棩鍒剁殑鐢垫皵宸ョ▼璇剧▼銆傞偅娈垫椂闂翠粬闈炲父杈涜嫤锛屾棭涓6:15瑕佸埌閾佽矾杞﹂棿鎶ュ埌寮濮嬩竴澶╃殑宸ヤ綔锛屾櫄涓10:30鎵嶈兘鍧愭湯鐝溅杩斿洖銆傚湪閾佽矾閮ㄩ棬宸ヤ綔涓夊勾涔嬪悗锛屼粬璁や负鏄椂鍊欐敼鍙樹竴涓嬭嚜宸变簡锛屼簬鏄粬鍔犲叆浜咺BM鍏徃骞跺湪杩欓噷宸ヤ綔浜31骞淬侴ary涓庤嚜宸辩殑濡诲瓙Marina鏄湪淇勭綏鏂勘涔愰儴涓浉璇嗙殑锛岄偅鏄湪1952骞7鏈堢殑涓涓櫄涓婏紝浠栦滑涓瑙侀挓鎯呫侻arina鏄竴鍚嶅嚭鐢熶簬鍝堝皵婊ㄧ殑淇勭綏鏂汉锛屽ス杩囧幓澶ч儴鍒嗘椂闂撮兘鐢熸椿鍦ㄤ笂娴枫備粬浠湁鐫鐩镐技鐨勪汉鐢熺粡楠岋紝褰兼闄即锛屽苟鏇惧娆″洖鍒板ぉ娲ュ拰涓婃捣鎺㈡湜銆傞偅涓姩鑽$殑鏃朵唬锛屽甫缁欎簡鎴戜滑娣卞埢鐨勫巻鍙茶蹇嗭紝鏇翠负涓浠d汉涔﹀啓浜嗙嫭涓鏃犱簩鐨勭敓鍛藉巻绋嬨

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We read of stories about valiant war survivors in novels, and a vivid image is painted in our minds based on those narratives. But it鈥檚 always hard to personalize with them, to get into their shoes. It鈥檚 a whole other realm. Meeting an individual with such laudable story line is not an ordinary occurrence. Tianjin Plus has been quick to grab an opportunity to inspire our faithful readers with narratives that are anything but prosaic.

201905 COVER 04We met with Gary Nash on his most recent visit to Tianjin from Australia in the summer of 2018. Coming from a Russian ancestral line, Igor Ivashkoff (Gary) was born on 13th of June 1932 in Tientsin (Tianjin) after his matriarchal family migrated to China following the Russian Revolution in November 1922. They established their roots in Tianjin and were hoping to make it their home. However, they were hit by a second debacle when the Maoist revolutionary forces advanced on the city from the north and the emigrants were forced to leave.

 

In December 1948, they lost everything they owned, for a second time in their life. The family boarded The United States Navy Landing Craft (LST) that would take former White Russians with no recognizable travel documents to Shanghai. Given that the ultimate goal of the Chinese Red Army offensive was to seize the whole country, the United Nations International Refugee Organization (UNIRO) appealed to governments of several countries of the free world with a request to provide temporary shelter for around 6,000 anti-communist so-called White Russian refugees that were displaced. (For those not up on their Russian history, 鈥淲hite Russian鈥 refers to those who swore allegiance to the Romanovs, the last monarchy of Russia, against the 鈥淩ed Russians,鈥 the Bolshevik revolutionaries who overthrew the Romanovs and eventually became the Soviets. Neither one should be confused with 鈥淏lack Russian,鈥 which is not an Afro-Russian person but a mixed cocktail of Kahlua and vodka.)

003

Nina and Boris Ivashkoff, Igor鈥檚 parents, on their wedding day in 1931 (漏 Nash page 82 ).

 

Of all the countries in the world, only the Philippines under President Elpidio Quirino agreed to welcome the Russians on its shores in 1949. The Philippino nation in an act of kindness offered a refugee camp in an uninhabited island. They were placed on a small island called Tubabao, which was a former U.S. military base. The island was roughly about 5 miles by 3 miles in area and was located at the southern tip of the island of Samar. In a large tent city, a significant part of Russian refugees lived from 1949 to 1951. During this period, Tubabao became the biggest refugee camp in Philippine history, accommodating nearly 6,000 White Russians. The camp housed professors, engineers, architects, artists, ballerinas, doctors, lawyers, priests, and former officers of the Czar's army. While the Philippine government had provided shelter, the EDI had taken the lead in organizing and paying for the costs of their evacuation from Shanghai on Tubabao, as well as with their further dispersal. The first two groups that flew to Tubabao cleared the grounds in the jungle, thus preparing conditions for the resettlement of refugees who sailed on the steamer. They pitched tents, built common kitchens and cooked food on kerosene stoves in huge boilers.

009

Igor proudly saluting in his Russian school uniform with Aunt Jenia, Tientsin 1937 (漏Nash page 122)

 

By 1951, majority of refugees in Tubabao Island of Guiuan were able to permanently resettle in the US, and the others in Australia, South America, and France. Of the total population of 5,600 displaced persons (DPs), about 3000 went to America, 1500 to Australia, 500 to France, and the rest to Brazil, San Domingo, Paraguay, Chile and Surinam. Majority of DPs applied for a visa to America but became frustrated with both the delay and the US Congress rulings. So, when an Australian mission arrived in Tubabao, indicating that Australia was willing to give them asylum, the smarter clans like the Tarasovs jumped at the idea. The delegation extolled the virtues of the country and left behind a batch of the Sydney Morning Herald to encourage the prospective migrants and to paint a rosy hue of Australia. Of course, that was an easy task given that the White Russians had endured so many hardships. Gary and this family were on the island for about 11 months before they left for Australia.

 

They arrived in Sydney on 7th of December, 1949, where their DP status was finally terminated. They were met by the Kandaoorvs. Boris Kandaoorv was an old friend of Vasia and Nina (Gary鈥檚 mother) who had migrated to Australia some years before. He offered to sponsor the family and found sponsors for the extended family in Brisbane. This would permit the Tarasovs to migrate as sponsored migrants and relieve them of the contracts that they would have to adhere to if they were to migrate unsponsored.

010

Igor (far right) with St Louis鈥 Class 5 soccer team, 1942. (漏 Nash page 126). He is wearing his soccer boots, though he usually spared them being scuffed during practices.

 

Gary immediately started to work tending chickens at Boris鈥檚 five-acre farm in Galston and in the meantime his mother began to plan his career. Although Nina always dreamed of Gary becoming a famous pianist, Gary was keen on an engineering degree. He then applied and received a job as an apprentice electrical mechanic at the New South Wales Government Railways. Gary also did a diploma course simultaneously to increase his chances for winning a scholarship granted by the Railways for a full-time degree course in electrical engineering at the University of Technology (now University of New South Wales). His arduous work and tedious commute commencing at 6.15 A.M. to the railway workshops and returning via the last train at 10.30 P.M. after his classes was well worth it, as Gary was one of the four candidates to snag the sponsorship.

 

After working for three and half years for the Railways, Gary was bored of the repetitive and unchallenging job. He bought himself out of the bond to join IBM. He recalls it being the best business decision he ever made, spending 31 exciting years with them before he retired.

 L7B3688Living in a foreign land Gary鈥檚 only means of connecting with people of his vintage was visiting the Russian club. It was a tiny, snug little venue and Saturday night was party night. One night in July 1952 Gary was completely enchanted by a vision of loveliness - Marina, his wife-to-be. It was love at first sight! Marina Dobrovidova is a Russian born in Harbin but has lived most of her life in Shanghai. She too had come to Sydney via Tubabao just like Gary but they didn鈥檛 know each other. Two years and four months after they had met at the club, Marina and Gary became man and wife.

 

64 years later, after children and grandchildren, Gary and Marina are still very much in love. They have previously revisited Tianjin and Shanghai a couple of times. One, a sentimental back to the childhood journey in 1988, the other was a St Louis College get-together. The most recent visit was one of the destinations on their 35-day cruise, touching many countries like Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Sydney, and spending about two nights in each city.

 

The Tarasov clan were courageous and resilient through whatever tough hardships and deprivations they faced. They were gutsy people that didn鈥檛 wilt under pressure nor take anything for granted. Gary鈥檚 life story is a perfect example. His hard work and determination to break free from poverty to live a very comfortable life is magnificent.

201905 COVER 05This article is a continuation of an article that appeared on the previous edition of the Tianjin Plus under the title 鈥淕rowing Up in Tientsin Gary Nash (Igor Ivashkoff)鈥. The contents of this article were inspired by his book 鈥淭he Tarasov Saga (2002)鈥.

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