Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Helen Scott Mahy '30

The Scott sisters, Elizabeth '28, Helen '30, and Beatrice '33, were raised in China by their parents (Dr. and Mrs. Charles E. Scott) who were missionaries. They all returned to China as missionaries, themselves. Helen Scott Mahy returned to China in 1935 under the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church.

Alumnae Quarterly (AQ) May 1935: "Helen Scott Mahy and her husband have been assigned by the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church to the China Council for suggested location at Shantung."

AQ August 1935: "Helen Scott Mahy and her husband have sailed for China under appointment of the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions."

AQ February 1938: "Word has been received from Seattle that Helen Scott Mahy is safe and well."

AQ Frebruary 1942: "The Gordon Mahy family (Helen Scott), with Betty Scott Stam's daughter, Helen Priscilla, are at Montreat, N.C. until such time as they may be able to return to China."

AQ August 1945: "Margaret Mahy Van Dyke spent two weeks with her brother and his wife, Helen Scott Mahy, Ted Stevenson, husband of Bunny (Beatrice) Scott, arrived there for a family reunion after three and one-half years as a prisoner of the Japs in Manila."

AQ May 1946: "Helen Scott Mahy's husband left for China in January. Helen and the children will join him during the summer."

AQ May 1949: "Gordon Mahy has returned recently from a trip into Chinese Communist Territory. The Mahy's feel they will continue to stay in Tsingtao as long as they can help their Chinese Church and friends, but with Communist military successes and U.S. Navy evacuations, they may send the three older children to school in America. Don Mahy, is now a high school junior, and is six and a half feet tall. The other Mahy children are well and growing - typical American children as yours and mine."

AQ August 1950: "Gordon and Helen Scott Mahy and family are now in the Philippine Islands. Helen is teaching there and writes that the family is well."

Helen Fraser West M.D. '25

Helen Fraser West was a missionary with the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions.

Alumnae Quarterly (AQ) August 1929: "Helen Fraser who was graduated from the Women’s Medical College in Philadelphia in June, will be an intern in the Presbyterian Hospital of Pittsburgh during the coming year."

AQ May 1930 (paraphrased): "Helen Fraser married the Reverend Kirk West, a graduate of the Princeton Theological Seminary. They plan to sail for China under appointment by the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions."

AQ February 1935: 'The Wests oldest daughter, Prudence, died at their home in Weihsien, Shantung, China due to pneumonia following bacillary dysentery. She was three years old."

AQ August 1937: "Numerous Wilson alumnae in Shantung: Helen Scott Mahy and Helen Fraser West are next door neighbors. Marguerite Luce is nearby. The Dicksons, who have two daughters at Wilson are neighbors, and Kathleen Neale Kepler was there for a year."

AQ February 1941: "Helen Fraser West and her family have been sent to the Philippines due to the dangerous conditions in China."

AQ August 1942: "The Wests are now in Pennsylvania while on enforced furlough from China."

AQ August 1946: "Helen Fraser West’s husband sailed for China – March 1. Helen and the children expect to sail in August."

AQ May 1947: "Helen Fraser West and her family of four children sailed from San Francisco on March 28 for China. Her husband left about a year ago and has been back in their old station."

AQ February 1947: "Helen Fraser West’s life sounds like a three ring circus. She and her family are in Tsingtao, China. They were not allowed to return to their station at Weihsien as it is Communist country. Kirk is away a great deal on inspection trips. Tuck’s (Helen) house seems to take in and care for everyone." Wilson alumnae during this era frequently used nicknames.

AQ November 1949: "Helen Fraser West and her family arrived in San Francisco in late spring."

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Kathleen Neale Kepler '23

Kathleen Neale Kepler studied at the North China Language School in Peiping from 1930 to 1931.

Alumnae Quarterly (AQ) February 1932: "Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Kepler are now stationed in Siangton, Hunan, China, where they are doing evangelistic work."

AQ February 1938: "A very cheerful letter has been received by Kay Neale Kepler’s friends in this country, saying she is well and safe."

AQ August 1938: "Kay Neale Kepler, who is in China with her husband and two daughters is three miles outside Tsing Tao, and they are not able to return to their mission station."

AQ November 1942: "Kay Neale Kepler and her family are living in New Jersey until they can return to their home and work in China."

AQ February 1947: "Kay Neale Kepler is in Shanghai, China."

AQ May 1949: “Dear Class of 1923: We five Kepler’s were evacuated from China on a Navy transport, leaving Shanghai in early December. A brief stop in Tsingtao and at Yokasuka Bay, where the Navy planned a day in Tokyo for us and where we saw the bombed areas coming back to life in the remarkable reconstruction of that country, and where we Christmas shopped in the little stalls of the Ginga, Tokyo’s great thoroughfare, and the greatest variety of fellow evacuees, missionary, civilian, and military dependents, all made an interesting trip home.

“Our plans are still indefinite…as we have little chance of returning to China in the near future. That brings me to China, which we so hated to leave. Last summer we realized that our days there were probably numbered, as the situation from the political, financial, and military viewpoint was deteriorating so rapidly. Tension was great a good deal of the fall in Shanghai (near which we lived after we had to leave North China), especially when the food situation became very acute. Inflation made rice jump about six dollars U.S. per hundred pound bag to four hundred U.S. for the same amount, in ten days time, and even at that price you couldn’t get it. Farmers refused to bring in produce, inflation was such that money was worthless to them before they could use it. For a time we couldn’t buy so much as an egg or a potato. Paying up to $2.50 U.S. for a loaf of bread, with queues of waiting people unable to get it at that price, caused the American Council to get bread and sell it rationed at about fifty cents a loaf to Americans. Stores were closed; streets were jammed with idle, restless, panicky people; rioting was constant. The flow of refugees into and out of the city was indescribable.

“Temporary money adjustments eased the tension and the food crisis, but when our government sent evacuation notices, and the school bus stopped for our children, and many of their teachers were evacuating, that - together with other things - made us feel we would have to leave.

“The future no one can predict. Our personal opinion is that China will fall to the Communists eventually, and that it is a Russian Communism. From experience in a city nearest to the “Iron Curtain” for nearly a year, we know it is an anti-God, anti-freedom ideology that denies the one thing China needs - the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Friends who have tried staying ended up practically as prisoners in their own homes, a menace to their Chinese friends or to anyone who showed any connection with them. In our area, we were asked to leave not just for our own but for the sake of the Chinese Christians. Our hearts ache for China.”

AQ May 1956: "Kenneth and Kathleen Neale Kepler have again been called into the missionary field, this time to Formosa (Taiwan)."

AQ November 1956: "Kathleen and Kenneth Kepler sailed from San Francisco September 14 to be gone five years. They will conduct English Bible classes among college and high school students, government workers, lepers, and the aboriginal tribes of Formosa (Taiwan).

AQ February 1959: "Kathleen Neale Kepler believes the light of Christmas is really beginning to shine in Free China. All over the city of Taipei there were groups (both those born on the island and mainlanders who have lost all they had) that were decorating their churches and homes, sending gifts and cards, and letting their neighbors know of the joy Christ has brought them."

The Kepler’s spent another 10 years in Formosa/Taiwan.