Cowra Voices storytelling app was launched at the 75th anniversary of the Cowra Breakout in August 2019. Len Oliver was asked to speak about the Cowra Japanese War Cemetery which is location number ten on the app, as well as his father Ab Oliver’s contribution to the Cowra story.


This audio interview with Len Oliver was recorded on 21 September 2018 in Cowra by Nikkei Australia’s Mayu Kanamori and Masako Fukui. This interview was recorded for the Cowra Voices geolocative storytelling app, created in 2019, and launched to coincide with the 75th Anniversary of the Cowra Breakout. For more information, please refer to the Overview in this archive.

Len Oliver  00:30

Okay. My name is Len Oliver. I’m a son of Albert Oliver, who was a local man born and bred locally here in Cowra. He was part of a big farming family. He had eight brothers and one sister. And he was born in 1918, and lived through that period of time where there was a lot of – hard work to be done after the First World War. They lived through the Depression. And then of course, the Second World War came along. And my father and some of his brothers enlisted in the Australian Army to go overseas and be a part of the army and whatever they had to do in various odd theatres of war, but he was in the 2/17th Battalion, Ninth Division, which went over to North Africa. And they fought against the Italians and Germans over there. He was in the battles of Tobruk and El Alamein. And he was promoted in the field to Warrant Officer 2nd Class. And they became known as the Rats of Tobruk over in North Africa. After about three years, they returned to Australia. They trained for a period of time, and after some jungle warfare training, they were then sent up to New Guinea initially, and fought in various odd battles there at Lae and Finschhafen, and over to Borneo. And the war actually finished when they were in Borneo. So he then returned home, and there was a period of rehabilitation and –  before he came back to Cowra. He then went in a partnership with another ex-servicemen in a business, a farm supply business and stock and station agency. And that developed into a very, very successful business over many years.

Len Oliver  03:04

The business was eventually sold, I think, my brother bought most of it and –  so when they returned back then, you had quite a few young men who had served in the armed forces and they returned home and went back to doing what they could do as normally as possible. But my father was –  joined the Committee of the Returned Services League, the RSL as it’s known. And over a period of years, a few of them got together and decided they’d have working bees up in the Japanese War Cemetery and the Australian War Cemetery. Just to keep the place tidy, and to mow the lawns and you know, kill the weeds, etc. And just to look after it. It was, purely and simply I think that –  most of them – because most of them had lost friends in North Africa. So they had some friends that were buried over in various odd parts of the Western Desert. And certainly in New Guinea and Borneo. And they were hoping that someone would look after their friends. So they thought it was –  what should be done here, to look after the bodies of  – or the graves of the soldiers, the Japanese soldiers in particular that died in the Breakout. And certainly other people as well, that died while they were in, you know, internment camps and that sort of thing in Australia.

Len Oliver  04:58

So, they sort of started that. The Council then, the Cowra Council, then got on board. And they started to provide staff to help to maintain these graves etc. The Australian War Graves Commission got involved and sort of recognised that because Cowra had the Breakout, it was important that these graves be well maintained because –  it was –  people were – so you got to remember, after the war, people didn’t know, no one ever knew all these sorts of things were kept secret. So it was probably well into the late 50s and 60s, before even Australians got to know that they’d been a prisoner of war breakout here in Cowra on our own soil. So, so that then, it became obvious that that would in itself start to attract tourism, and people would be interested and etc etc. So, it started to sort of grow from there.

Len Oliver  06:10

And I think that my father was –  I can’t remember the first year – he went from the RSL, to the Council. He was always very community minded. He was in Rotary, for probably 40 odd years, and all this sort of business. Very community minded man. And, and he, he went onto the Council, and became Mayor, and I think it was in the, might have been the second time that he was Mayor in the 60s. But by that time, they were starting to organise the student exchange between Cowra High School and Seikei High School in Japan. And people thought that was a great idea. This was done with – you know, by this time, instead of just a very small group of people that were involved in, in doing the graves, now it was developing into quite a few more people who were becoming interested and involved in how it would all work.

Len Oliver  07:20

So the student exchange got underway. And then of course, the Japanese Garden. By that time, we were starting to get – the Japanese Ambassador would come up from Canberra. We had, we even had the Japanese Prince and Princess come out and visit Cowra, so, when I was in the teens, I think. Yeah, very special,very special. Oh yeah, it was a great event. This is royalty, you know, coming to Cowra, sort of thing. So it was, it was very special. I mean, you know, we’d, you know, we never had our own royalty come to Cowra. And here were the Japanese royalty people coming, you know, so it was very special. And of course, they’re very, very attractive people from my memory. She was a beautiful young woman. And he was a good looking young man. So and they got along with all the people here and it was, it was a great event.

Masako Fukui  08:24

What do you remember doing?

Len Oliver  08:26

It was just the – well, we were kept out of as kids a little bit sort of thing. But it was all very, very official luncheons, and then visits to the, to the Cemetery. And – 

Mayu Kanamori  08:40

Did you see them?

Len Oliver  08:41

Yes, but I didn’t meet them.

Mayu Kanamori  08:44

But you saw them. Can you describe it?

Len Oliver  08:47

Oh, yes. Oh, yeah. Just very impressive. I guess in those days, I’d always been thinking about, you know, sort of Japanese men and women being my father and mother’s age, as you do, type of thing. These people were younger. And they were good looking people. You know,– they were clever. Obviously, it’s something all of us Australians admire, I suppose. Most people from Asia can speak two or three languages. We can only ever speak one, you know so – So these, you know, the Prince and Princess, always so gracious, beautiful. Yeah, they laid wreaths at all the places and I think all the women that were there were very – all of the Australian women were very impressed by them, and how she, how the Princess dressed and all that sort of thing.

Masako Fukui  09:49

What about you? Do you remember seeing them in a car while driving past? What’s your memory?

Len Oliver  09:55

Oh, yes. getting in and out of cars and that sort of  – yes, yes. We followed behind them with quite a few other people. There were quite a few – I don’t know how –  my impression would have been quite a few hundred people that were involved in just this following them around, you know, it was very special. But since then too, we’ve had a lot of very, very important Japanese people, certainly politicians, ambassadors, etc, come out. But the Prince and Princess, that was very special. That was something that I think – because it happened quite a while ago, a lot of people here might remember, it’s only my age group now because I’m, I was probably in my late teens or something, I think.

Mayu Kanamori  10:52

Yeah, I’m trying to figure out like, where did you see them? Because I think you’re the only person that we’ve spoken to that actually have seen them.

Len Oliver  10:59

Oh yes, yeah. Where was the – the Cemetery and the, in the site. The POW Campsite at that stage. Um, yes.

Masako Fukui  11:15

What were you doing there?

Len Oliver  11:17

We were just being carted around by the people. We were very interested because my father was involved. Very much so. I can’t even think now whether our Prime Minister was here, or whether it might’ve been our State Premier was here at the time. We had a lot of Australian dignitaries here.

Masako Fukui  11:38

We don’t care about the dignitaries, we want to know what you were doing. You were what sixteen, seventeen – 

Len Oliver  11:44

Yes, yes. And that’s sort of age group – 

Masako Fukui  11:46

You were in the car with your dad? 

Len Oliver  11:50

No, no, no, he was off with the other dignitaries. So we were sort of left out the back type of thing. We were following the crowd around. And we’d have to try and get to wherever they were going as quickly as we could to get a park somewhere. So that we could race out to where they were and, and have a look at what they were doing, so, but that was yeah, that was very special. That was very special. They had an official luncheon up at the Services Club actually. So we weren’t there. That was closed. To all the dignitaries, but yes, it was when they were out in the public driving around and, and having a look around town, I think they took them up to the lookout and gave them a bit of a tour around town. And then of course they laid wreaths and that type of thing, which was, yeah, very special, very special.

Masako Fukui  12:54

Do you mind if we just go back a bit. How did your dad tell you about you know – helping with cleaning up the Japanese graves, did he, how did you know about it?

Len Oliver  13:08

Yeah, well, he didn’t. They never – none of these men ever spoke about the war. So we never heard anything. And I – when I was very young, I remember getting on the back of the truck with him and going up there one day, and a few of the other men arrived. And they were cleaning up and that sort of thing. So they’d just spend a few hours up there. They’d take their lawn mowers up there they’d, they just mow the lawn, cut the weeds. Just tidy it up, you know, whatever had to be done to make it look presentable. And – they’d get –  I remember, one of them turned up one day with a few plants and shrubs that they planted. But they can never work out how –  who was going to have to come up regularly and keep watering them. Because there was no underground –  there was no irrigation or anything. There was no, there was no real water supply. Well, there was up at the town cemetery, but you’d have to cut into a pipe there and do it. So all those things happened later. You know, so it was, it was, it was pretty primitive.

Len Oliver  14:31

Yeah, and like I say, it was really – I think the biggest problem was no one knew anything about this at all until probably well into the 50s. And it became –  and then it was the 60s. So this, you know, the Breakout was, you know, 1944. It –  you know, I was born in 48. So mid 50s, 60s before it really got a roll on. And people started to really take an interest. And then of course the support grew for  –  and it was to make sure then, that whatever could be done to sort of rearrange and renovate those, the cemetery, and over a period of years the POW Campsite. There was talk at one stage of reconstructing part of the Campsite so that they can make a movie about it. But I think with great respect to the Japanese, they didn’t want that to happen. They sort of regarded that as a bit of, almost like a little bit of sacred land, you know, they prefer not to have the original site used in that type of thing, so that was that. So movies were made, but not here.

Mayu Kanamori  16:07

Just, if you had any more childhood memories, whether it’s at the cemetery or the POW Camp?

Len Oliver  16:19

I think – 

Masako Fukui  16:21

Did you help your Dad clean?

Len Oliver  16:23

Oh, not really. We were there – 

Mayu Kanamori  16:28

Who’s we?

Len Oliver  16:29

Just myself and my brother, we were there occasionally. One of the other boys I can remember, Harry Telfer, he turned up occasionally, he was a friend, he turned up with his dad. But that was pretty rare. They’d often – the men would often get it organised and go off on a Sunday morning or something like that. And, and they’d do it –  and they’d do it often earlier in the morning and quite often it was you know, we weren’t sort of really invited to go.

Masako Fukui  17:03

So can you tell me who the men were?

Len Oliver  17:08

Yeah, there was Keith Telfer was one, and there was another bloke Col Stinson, who was another one. They were RSL guys, Col Stinson was a bomber pilot actually. Keith Telfer was in the tanks. He was in army tanks and that sort of thing during the war, but – and then there was a floating population of a few other men. There weren’t – initially there weren’t a lot. Three or four. That grew a little bit then over a period of time, as other guys found out it was happening. And they then offered to help, you know, that type of thing. So that sort of grew a little bit. Then it –  then I think I have the feeling that it sort of got going fairly quickly once, once the Council decided to take it over. And, and organise periodically, Council staff and Council equipment to go up there. Well, then I think water was connected. And then of course, over a period of years, the actual layout was changed, slowly but surely to what it is now. So that it was, yeah, trees and shrubs and flowers and that sort of thing so (unintelligible).

Len Oliver  18:36

And that happened over a period of probably twenty or thirty years. It didn’t happen quickly. It didn’t happen quickly, but it was – but then it was you know, the Japanese Gardens. And wow, that was, that was –  the whole thing exploded. Then because suddenly we started to get a huge amount of interest from Japanese business people. And the big one that I’ll always remember was Nagakura. He was Kyushu Electric Power Company. And he and his son, but he the father, he was a brilliant man. Just so, so generous, so gentle. I’d hate to think of how much money they’ve donated to it, that particular company. Now there were quite a few other companies as well that over the years have contributed, you know, very substantial amounts of money to the Japanese Gardens and Nagakura Park of course, which is in his name.

Masako Fukui  19:52

Do you have any memories of Saburo Nagakura?

Len Oliver  19:53

I sort of met him, I actually I met him twice. Because then In the early 80s, I was, I’d finished playing rugby union. And I was coaching. So I played twice against Japanese teams. One was Kyushu that had come out here to Cowra. So I played twice against them. But we were then invited to go to Japan. So over a two year period, we organised a tour to Japan. And I was actually coaching that tour. So I met him once here, probably I’d seen him three or four times, but I met him once here. Then met him again, of course, over in Japan. And that was terrific so. They were tremendous memories, but very, very, very gracious, very generous people. Outstanding, it’s so that, that connection has sort of – it just –  once that – once the Japanese Gardens got going, the whole concept of this relationship with Japan just absolutely boomed. It was extraordinary.

Masako Fukui  21:13

Did you like him, Mr Nagakura?

Len Oliver  21:15

Oh, yes, yeah, yeah. See, I was –  I’d become a little bit familiar because I was the Toyota dealer here for 38 years. So I – that was from 1970 on. So I got to meet a lot of Japanese men. And in 1970, a lot of the Japanese executives that were running the business in Australia here for Toyota, they were men in their 50s and 60s. Quite a few of them. So I always found, always found a lot of the older men to be very courteous, very gracious, very generous, and always very helpful. So they were nice people. I like the young Japanese men too, but they were getting too westernised, in those days so. They became a little bit too smart, too clever, you know, a bit like our people, our young men. But anyway, it was great.

Len Oliver  22:23

So I was, I was very fortunate to have this connection in my hometown, where I was born, and where I’ve lived, where I live, and then of course, a continuance of that through business. But yeah, Nagakura in particular, he stood out. Some of the other men I had met from other companies, but I can’t remember their names, really, it was sort of, I was there with a group of people and just shook their hand and said hello. And, and then it was sort of they passed on, as it happens, because a lot of these visits are sort of quite busy. And everything happens very quickly. But in the early days, the important part again, and I’ll come back to this, the early days, I think it was – it was great that these early returned servicemen started to just do this simple task, which really started the whole thing. It was – 

Mayu Kanamori  23:38

How do you feel about it? Do you feel proud of your dad?

Len Oliver  23:40

Oh yeah, very proud. 

Masako Fukui  23:41

Would you mind saying that, I’m proud of my dad.

Len Oliver  23:44

Yes, oh yeah, very proud of my father, yes. He was a great man. He was,  he was never home (laughter). Mum always had to come and watch us play sport, and everything but he was a very busy man. But I think he felt that he was one of those people that had a great, a great desire to contribute to the community. And I think his war experiences taught him, because I think I said it the other night on the phone. I’ll never forget the one thing he did say. And he said it two or three times over the years, was that he said we’ve got to do everything possible, everything we possibly can do to make sure this never happens again. Yeah. So it’s because it was – see he never, he never found out until after he’d returned about the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. And I think that, I think that really concerned him. He said, you can’t, you can’t do that to people, you know. That’s – you just can’t do that sorts of things. So it’s you know.

Masako Fukui  25:12

So how has those sorts of things your dad said, how has that influenced you?

Len Oliver  25:20

Oh, I think it makes a difference. I think it makes you prepared to be –  to sit back and listen, and be prepared to be more mindful of other people, and what their beliefs are and what their culture is and how they live, that type of thing. I’ve sort of – I think it’s helped me greatly, actually. Because we – after the war, of course, we had an army camp, just not far from out on the Darby Falls Road, actually. And when the war finished, that became a migrant camp. So we had a lot of people from Europe, that emigrated to Australia after the war. And to help them assimilate, they put, particularly all the families where there were children involved as well. So they put them in the migrant camps out there and taught them English. Got them started, and help them learn if you know, if the men in particular, if they didn’t have a trade, they would train them and that sort of thing, and try and find work. Then eventually that worked very well for them.

Len Oliver  26:35

But um – so we in Cowra here, when I grew up going to school here, we had a lot of the kids from migrant camp coming in as well. So we –  right, from a very early age, I was very much exposed to Aboriginal children, Indigenous kids, because we all went to school together. And of course, the people from the migrant camp, a lot of those, a lot of those young people were from European, Yugoslavia, all those sorts of – a lot of those different European countries so – oh Greeks and Italians as well, of course, etc, but – quite a few of them are still around. Their families have lived in Cowra, they’ve now had grandchildren, and probably some of them great grandchildren. But – so it was a very easy place to learn to recognise and think about other cultures. And enjoy what those other cultures have to offer, you know, and of course, and over the years, we’ve all grown to enjoy what Japan has to offer. You know, it’s sometimes you look back and you wonder how in the hell did that happen? You know, but anyway.

Masako Fukui  28:01

How in the hell what happened?

Len Oliver  28:02

The war, yeah. All wars. How in the hell did the war happen? You know – it’s yeah, you really look back at it and you sort of think well, how did it, how did had all those things, all those sets of circumstances line up to create a situation where nations, major nations throughout the world, would decide to throw millions of young men into combat against other nations. I mean, you shake your head really, sort of think, well, you know, there’s got to be – we can understand some of the reasons I suppose if, when you dig deep enough, but it’s  – at the end of the day, it’s – it created – 

Len Oliver  29:07

I mean, I suppose in the early days too, some of the Australian soldiers that came back, some of dad’s friends here, and our family friends, some of them, some of those men were very badly affected by it. Some did commit suicide in their late 20s and 30s. And that sort of business because they just couldn’t, they couldn’t, they couldn’t come back to – Because the worst part about what they all did was that they were away from here for three or four or five years. And it was non stop, you know. It’s not like nowadays, I have a son in law that’s just retired from the SAS, and he’s over in Perth and – but they used to –  they’d do rotations of six months and fly home. And of course, some of his friends have died in combat. But they’ve flown their bodies home. Well, you know, that never happened, it was just outright slaughter, wasn’t it  when you think about it back in the Second World War and First World War, so.

Len Oliver  30:23

So the reconciliation process, I think, from our point of view, has been very significant. And, it’s been of really a huge benefit to Australia as well, economically. I think Australia was one of the first countries after the Second World War to recognise that somehow or other, you had to push that aside, and make an effort to reconcile with people so that you could get on with your lives. And you could then trade. And of course, after the war, as you know, with the American help of money, etc, the Japanese economy, once it got moving, absolutely boomed through the 50s and 60s and 70s. And suddenly, Japan became a major trading partner for Australia. And I think a lot of what happened was those relationships – by ambassadors and how they were treated, and, and this sort of thing, I think it helped, probably to ease, ease the tension as such.

Len Oliver  31:54

My story’s a good story. It’s a happy story. Because I was born, I didn’t realise really, what had happened. We were – we just, was born here, went to school here. And it was only suddenly by, sort of getting to understand and listen and hear what the adults were saying that you sort of started to realise what had gone on. So it was – and then and then being part of watching it happen. And I think my father was very, very proud that he made it – all of the exchange students, the Japanese that came over, they always came to our place in the early days and, and had a meal with us and that sort of business. And Dad always looked after them. He’d always – 

Masako Fukui  33:02

Tells us about the meals, (unintelligible)?

Len Oliver  33:04

Yeah, well, part of the time. Yes. Yeah. Part of time I went to school, I went to school in Sydney for the latter part of my education. And then I was working. So I left school in 65. 1965. So the exchange student program hadn’t been going for that long.

Masako Fukui  33:25

Do you remember any students?

Len Oliver  33:26

Oh, Keiji was one. And a couple of the girls, always wanted her to remember the girls’ names. 

Masako Fukui  33:36

Doesn’t matter about the names – were they nice?

Len Oliver  33:37

Yeah, funny. Oh, yeah, all of them. I think that once again, I think the Japanese were very, very selective. The Japanese students we got here I think were very, very clever young people. And very personable, very friendly. And very, very much prepared to do anything, and have a crack at anything. I think Mum always just put a meal on the table that we’d eaten and of course, if the student, if they weren’t too sure what it was that they were going to eat, Mum – you know, we’d sort of explain it. And we always sort of said look, try it if you don’t like it, just push it aside. Find out what you do like, you know, and most of them made an effort to eat almost everything. Whether they liked it or not, I think. But – some of them – some of them – oh I remember one of the boys sort of saying, ‘oooh, so much meat. Never seen so much meat’. Because Mum would always do lamb or steaks or something or rather you know, so those sorts of things, but they were very, very, very good people.

Len Oliver  35:08

And I think a lot of the – oh, Mum and Dad went to Japan on a few trips and Dad paid for his own trip the first time to go over and meet with the headmaster of Seikei. I think, then after that the exchanges then were terrific. And, and it’s worked so well and it’s continuous now so. And the host families are very good here, which is great. I, I was always worried that over a period of time, that we’d run out of host families, because Cowra’s not a big town as you know. It’s – and particularly now with a lot of the lot of the women working as well. Because when it first started quite a few of the host families, the woman was not working full time. She would have children of her own. And that was the reason that they were a host family so that the Japanese student could stay with them with at least one student of a very similar age. And sex, of course, you know, the girls with the girls and, and that type of thing. So that. So it was all fairly carefully selected, but the host families have been fantastic over the years.

Masako Fukui  36:34

Have you ever had any – host – and hosted any kids?

Len Oliver  36:38

I haven’t no, personally no. No. No I – 

Masako Fukui  36:41

And your kids, obviously have grown up but – you’ve been handed this legacy from your father. How do you hand it to the next generations coming?

Len Oliver  36:55

I think anything like this is fantastic. I am –  I think people have got to understand. It’s a bit like the Jewish Holocaust. People have got to understand that it did happen. And you can’t ignore it. And you’re gonna make sure that it never happens again.

Masako Fukui  37:22

How do we do that?

Len Oliver  37:24

Oh, I think it’s very, very difficult, isn’t it?

Masako Fukui  37:31

How do you do that?

Len Oliver  37:34

Oh, I talk to people, a lot of – I encourage – (phone ring)

Len Oliver  37:41

I think I’ve encouraged people to travel as often as they can. I’ve participated in a lot of fundraising efforts to help young people go on sporting trips or whatever. Certainly, whatever, whatever can be done to get people away from their own small world that we all live in. And if we’re not too careful, we become too insulated. Because we’re too busy. But luckily Australia is becoming more multicultural – people – 

Masako Fukui  38:27

Just before you go on. So why a little town like Cowra – which most country towns are a bit insulated. How did Cowra manage to be so outward looking, do you think?

Len Oliver  38:40

I think probably the Japanese connection as well as the migrant camp. So we were  – so after the Second World War, we really did have people living in our town, who weren’t Australian born and bred. So we had  – and it was quite a few. It was quite a few, actually. From memory, and they’re all good people. Like when I say they’re all good people, I mean 99 percent, there’s always the odd one. But it’s –  but we’re the same, but it’s a – still I think we were just –  it – the Japanese connection, I think has had a huge influence on people that were born and bred in Cowra and their descendants like me.

Len Oliver  39:47

And of course, those that come after me. I think it’s a realisation that out of absolute disaster and tragedy things can improve, if people will just sit back and listen, and talk, and think and accept other people’s culture, and other people’s opinions. and other people’s attitudes towards things because I’ve never found a situation where – sorry l tell a lie. I think twice in my life, I haven’t been able to negotiate out of a situation where I couldn’t find some common ground and agreement.

Len Oliver  40:42

Apart from on the sporting field, well, that’s, you know (laughter) –  the opposition you just want to beat them anyway. But it’s – but with regards my personal life, and business life, I mean, yeah – just stop and listen for a minute. And think about what’s being said, and what people are sorry. And.

Masako Fukui  41:17

Thank you, that’s beautiful. I think, just to end, ask you to do what we asked you to do in the beginning was to reintroduce yourself. And just very quickly say, because your dad was Albert Oliver, but people refer to him as Ab Oliver. So if you could just say that, and I think he was Mayor three times.

Len Oliver  41:42


Masako Fukui  41:42

So if you could just say, My name is  – My Dad was – Albert Oliver but people call him Ab Oliver – he was Mayor of Cowra three times – whatever.

Len Oliver  41:57

Okay, my name is Len Oliver. I am a son of Albert Oliver. Albert was commonly known as Ab Oliver. It was abbreviated when he was a young man. And he was forever known as Ab Oliver. He was a local man born and bred in Cowra and in his lifetime, spent many years on the Cowra Shire Council, and did three terms as Mayor, as well as other terms as Deputy Mayor, and  Councillors.

Len Oliver  42:45

He was held in such high regard by the community generally, that we did not want to ever make it appear that we were using that influence for our own benefit. So it’s an Australian thing, I guess to a certain extent is that you like to achieve things yourself, and not be known as the son of someone else. Whatever – so – that’s, it’s just one of those things I guess. But both us felt a little bit like that. My brother has been very successful in business, and done a lot of work in town. He’s currently President of the golf club and all that sort of thing and does a lot of work over there. And I’ve been involved in rugby union and cricket here for many years. Done a lot of work there. But we – I don’t know, I suppose to a certain extent, purposely avoided treading on the same stones as our father, because you –  he was so highly regarded, that we just sort of felt that –  no, we’ll make our own way.

Masako Fukui  44:14

But do you think it’s important to talk about him now?

Len Oliver  44:18

Oh, he very much so. Very much so because he’s gone. And I think, what he and a certain number of other men did – that number then grew fairly quickly, over 20 odd years. And it’s been quite remarkable. There have been – there are people now that have spent a huge amount of time on helping to run the Japanese Gardens or helping to run the exchange student program. They are very, very good people. But there’s –  too many to mention, and if I try to mention, I’ll forget some very important people. And of course then people get very offended by it so. But I just want to make sure that people understand the start, where that first little, little bit of work was done that helped to create a situation where – because there wasn’t many of them. And they were all returned servicemen.

Masako Fukui  45:39

That’s great. Thank you so much.

Mayu Kanamori  45:41

Yeah, that was beautiful.

Mayu Kanamori  45:42

Thank you.


The Cowra Voices Audio Archive Project 2023

Cowra Council is the copyright holder of all the audio works in the Cowra Voices Audio Archive. If you would like to reuse or copy any of the materials in this Archive, please contact Cowra Council. Australian copyright law is set out in the Copyright Act 1968 (Commonwealth).

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