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June 14, 1944

The great pork graft is really the major topic. Schultz, who used to get kitchen squeeze but is now out on account of illness, squealed that the kitchen staff got 8 or 9 fat juicy pork chops the day after we all had pork. Carl went on a tour of investigation and found several still warming in the oven. Henri had picked out 8 or 9 of the biggest and best, passed them to the Chef to cook and divide among the elect. It all happened just in time to be presented to Committee Meeting. The pork was worth P2100 at present prices—the stolen chops worth about 65 or 70 pesos. As Jerry says, it has reached the point now where a man might get killed over a pork chop.

No newspapers will be allowed to enter camp. “We are not to be concerned with social occurrences outside,” Mr. Yamato said. He feels that we can lead a more peaceful life by ourselves. He again stated that he wishes this to be “an exemplary camp.”

The Tribune tells of landings all along Brittany—40 thousand by sea, 60 thousand by paratroops and gliders after them. Previous to this, 11 thousand planes bombarded. The sea was rough holding up landings which were finally sent by air. Transport planes landed tanks and a big tank battle was in progress. The first phase was completed, the second about to begin. Gen. Dwight Eisenhower was in command on French soil. Rommel commanding Germans on French soil. The two great antagonists meet again, after Africa. Rome declared an Open City and evacuated “to spare its art treasures,” according to the Tribune. The front is now 40 miles north in Italy.

Father Gowan was asked to attend the meeting on June 13 to explain to the General Committee his reasons for wishing to retain the grade school building. Following is a summary of his statement: In the high school there are 25 classes comprising 15 regular and 3 graduate students. Elementary school is divided into two sections. The upper grades meet in the grade school building. In the lower section the classes are held inside and outside of grade school building, in hospital arbor, in nipa shack, in dining room and on veranda. Some of the grades are so large that they had to be divided into 2 sections, making a total of 14 classes in the elementary school. This does not include the preprimer and kindergarten classes which meet wherever they can find room. Father Gowan called attention to the difficulties under which the school had worked from the beginning of internment, the necessity because of students’ widely varying backgrounds and educational training, for makeup courses in order to meet college entrance requirements. They have endeavored to keep the graduate students who hope to go on to college in academic training. Reorganization of adult classes, discontinued in many cases because of inadequate space, was advised as a stimulating interest to the adult group in camp. Aside from these special educational considerations, the need concerns some 90 students, not including the kindergarten. Father Gowan pointed out the difficulties that would occur if the new school building were used for several purposes. Lab work should be done over weekends to make up for the work which has been lost in recent months. Religious services would be interrupted if students were passing back and forth. If the rooms are to be used for religious purposes, partitions, desks, tables, etc., would have to be moved daily. . . . In addition to the school’s need for the building, it was pointed out that during the rainy season last year, supervised play for the children was arranged in the grade school building. . . . Father Gowan said that at the end of this term the teachers were worn out because of the undesirable conditions under which they have been forced to work. The teachers have had to maintain discipline and interest from their own nervous strength and intellectual resources. He said that he had been assured two months ago that members of the Committee were very definitely opposed to the plan of using the grade school building for other purposes, and he felt that the situation had not changed. The standards should be maintained in order that the children shall not lose by these years of confinement.

Denki stated that he felt the first problem that confronted the camp was food, and the second was living conditions. It was his opinion that it was 4 great deal more important to the camp to try to relieve the crowded conditions by making use of the facilities we have with the new school building and using the grade school building for family living quarters. Dr. Skerl suggested that the rooms in the new high school building might be divided to make room for the classes. Denki made a motion that in order to help relieve the crowded conditions in the barracks, the grade school building be used for Family Units when the new school building is turned over to us, and is ready for occupancy. Carried. Five members voted in favor of the motion. Miss McKim, Dr. Skerl, Gowan, and Art casting opposing votes.

We have that terribly cut-off feeling again. It is horrible until one gets used to it. No wife can write to or hear from a husband at Cabanatuan or Hong Kong prison camp. No Chairman can contact another Chairman. No problems or needs can be exchanged or met. But we hope it means nearness to the end.