Catherine Hellevik's Story

Submitted by larspetterhellevik on Tue, 06/12/2018 - 21:58

My Mother's relatives were her Polish Grandmother Banderzevska, a Widow with five daughters. After her husband's death, grandmother by law, was left without property and therefore her daughters had no dowries. They started to marry Russians, and were cursed by their Mother who was drinkin too much. The Catholic Church excommunicated them for 20 years because in Russia children have to be Orthodox Church.


  1. Jekla died.
  2. Don't know her name- was married to a Protestant and they had one Daughter, Jekla and one Son, Karl. (In my early days I met them, but not later.)
  3. Name unknown. Married and had one Daughter, Lunia. Lunia married Ivan Naumov and they had five children, named Elena, Tatiana, Kcenia, Vladamir and Nadezda (Nadia). Elena died. Tatiana was not married but had some children with a Man she went away with after the revolution. Kcenia, married her Boss. Vladamir I dont't know about. Nadia married a White Officer Periligin who died. They had one son. Later she married Kotener and they had one daughter Veronica, and they lived in Shanghai. They left after The War and lived in America. Veronica married a Shell Oil Engineer, and they had one Daughter, Monica. They were divorced, and Nadia married road Engineer Gabossy, and they had one Daughter called Andrea. Monica married American, Eddie Mills and they had one son.
  4. Marzelina married Medvedev and they had two children, Daughter Nadzeda and a Son Victor who died in 1920 or 21. Nadezda married but had no children. She died in Harbin, China, in 1925.
  5. Anna, my Grandmother, married Russian Pytor Ivan Ilinov, and had one Daughter Maria, (my Mother) and one Son Michel. Michel left Russia, still a Student after some scandal. He disappeared somewere in America. Maria married a man from Ukraina, Jakob Fjdorovich Touskanov. They had four children, Anna, Leonid, Catherine, and Michel. Anna my Grandmother, was a Nursing Sister, I think in 1903 or 1904, she was employed to look after Prince Aleksey, Son of Nicholas 11, the Tsar. The Prince had been ill (Haemophilia). They were on a visit to Japan but it began to be very close to war, so they had to leave in a hurry and needed extra help with the Boy. They landed in Odessa. Anna was sent back, with thanks, and a present of a golden watch, from Alexandra, with her initials on it. I presume Anna was working on Navy Ships, during the War with Japan in 1905. Anna died quite soon after. (I am supposed to be very like her).

I think all the Sisters lived in Odessa. Deselasovskaja Street. At that time, must have been in the middle og the 1800's, lots of people went to the East of Russia, to new land which the Goverment was trying to populate.

I think Marzelina came first and got her Sisters to come later. Medvedev was in the Hotel and Restaurant business, and they were getting on very well, built two big houses and a summer place. Medvedev unfortunately began to drink too much, and didn't look after his business, which showed poor results later. Lunia lived in a smaller house and rented out half of it. The Admiral of the Japanese fleet was very friendly with Marzelina and they often drank tea together. Marzelina got many beautiful things from him, silks, porcelen, and jewellery. (I think he was in love with Marzelina though he was married, and had children in Japan.) He came specially to say goodbye when the fleet left.

My Father came from Ukraine, about the same time I suppose. His family had a Farm and a big Family, Vasily, Jakob (my Father) Paul, Nicolay and one Daughter (I don't remember her name). My Father was educated in a Seminar, a School whose aim was to ordain priests. It appears that Father was more interested in Agriculture, so he went East too. Later his Brother Nicolay joined him and they had two shops, one Confectionary and one Wine Shop run by Nicolay. Father lived in Nikolsk, a Town 100 miles from Vladisvostok. We had a big place to work on, with help from Men from Bulgaria. It was near the Chinese border. He also had a smaller place near Town, where he built a house and had a hothouse nearby. He also bred Horses and he later got interested in Politics and was made Town Mayor. There were also Cows and Poultry. Father didn't drink or smoke but he had a terrible temper. Everyone went on tiptoe when he was at home. The Children were obliged to help Father when asked. Anna looked after Turkeys, which she disliked very much. Leonid looked after the ducks and helped planting seeds etc., and I remember they were often soaked with water and something stuck to them, like worms, nasty slimey things and I was afraid. Gipsy the dog was a good friend, and carried us on her back. We had a little carriage she pulled and a little sledge for the Winter. We used to spend some time in the Kitchen, and there, at one time Leonid played with cold salt water, prepared for cucumbers, and he got sick with Rheumatism in his arms. Once there was trouble with the Chinese, near the border, where there were bigger Farms. They came and killed all the people while they slept, only the Foreman and my Father escaped. At that time I was too small to know the situation around. Mostly I played with Leonid. We had dogs and a donkey and such and we were punished now and again.

The War with Japan was finished by that time (and I can add here, it showed how unprepared the Russian Military were when such a little Country as Japan won). Father gave up that place. During the War in 1905, the Goverment people took all the Horses, left-only one called Fortuna. So eventually Father lost interst, and on top of that was sick with stomach ulcers and had to travel to the Krim, to a Sanatorium and he took Leonid with him. Mother who was expecting a child, took Anna and me and we moved into Town, She rented another house, a place back of the Confectionary. By that time the Wine Shop was sold. Nicolay went away too, but I remember very little. We often travelled to Vladivostok to Marzelina, specially for Christmas, and Lunia was there and I played with Nadia. We used to play with Jekla who was handicapped, she could hardly walk or talk. There was always good music playing and Medvedev had good food and he made wonderful sweets and cakes. They had a Chinese Cook named Petia. Once there was trouble with Japanese and Chinese, they tried to burn the house.

We were sent to Lunia, and had to go up into the hills to hide. That was after my Father left. Otherwise they used to come and visit us.

I remember I started in the Day Nursery and Anna got piano lessons, she played and I danced and Jekla looked on, she loved music. One day it was said that Marzelina was taking her Children to Moskow to see the City and would also take me and Anna. Michel was left behind with Mother. She had, of course, to manage the business. So it was done exactly that way, why I don't know. Was there trouble between the Parents or was he better where he was after getting to be well again? Or did Mother not want to leave Nicolsk? I don't know and neither did Anna. We only found out after Marzelina left and naturally no one asked us.

Father was a teacher in the Agracultural College, near the place where his Sister lived. She was married to a Priest. I remember the day we arrived there, it was such a sad day, it was the funeral of their small daughter who had been drowned in the river. They had more children and a big place and a big garden, where I spent a lot of time lying under the plum trees waiting for them go get ripe. Also I had seen a Scorpion which was found in Anna's bed. There were quite a few such things. I believe the beds were covered by nets. Later we moved to a house which Father had, near the School which was the idea of a Rich Man who owned it. There was a River near, and I remember having thoughts that perhaps it would be a good idea to hop in and get to be like the little girl who drowned. Everybody talked about her and her fine funeral and she seemed to be so important. That must have been my impression.

In winter we were sent to Rastov because Anna and Leonid had to go to School. We stayed with Father's relations who owned a Dressmaking Establishment. The Lady who lived there we called Aunt but I can't remember her name. She was a Widow with two Daughters who were Teachers in the High School, and they began to teach me too. We had to start the first class at seven years old. Katja and Kacia had a Cat called Rene which proved to be a she cat later on. We thought he was a nasty spoiled creature especially when it chose our room to be it's toilet, but we didn't dare to complain. Leonid and I had to clean his mess from under our beds. We had to make some sort of mask to protect ourselves from the smell, playing that we were saving squads of people by cleaning the dead out. The Aunt also had a very old Mother who loved to play cards. Her preference was something like Whist. She once got a grand slam and was so excited that she died instantly. By Russian standards you were obliged to keep the dead for three days before burial, so she was lying on a table covered and it was rather warm. The door from Katja's room opened into the room where the Old Lady was lying, and when Katja came out she saw the cover suddenly lift, so she screamed and fainted. Her other Sister came out and saw that Rene was dragging the cover. He must have been sleeping under and heard Katja come out. It was really spookie. It wasn't much fun living there, but it was better than living with Father. In the spring we heard that Father received a letter from his friend who invited him to come to Turkistan, a new place which was supposed to be very good, and he needed help. Father decided to go. It was a Town called Verniy or Alama Ata as it is called now. So all was packed and we left. We couldn't protest. How we travelled I don't rightly remember.

It was by train first, but the Railway didn't go so far so we had to take Horses, and a sort of Coach.

We had to stop every so many miles to change Horses, and I believe the journey took about ten days or so, I suppose we slept, in inns, but don't really remember ail of it.

Anyway, when we arrived we lived in a Hotel for a few days and then in the house of Nicolay, my Father's Brother. I remember there was a fire in the next house, I was very frightened but it was exciting too. Then we moved into our own House which had a very big Garden. There were some people from Nicolsk living there. I began to go to School. The place was taken by the white Russians, I presume as there was a War going on, it must have been early on, there was a lot of Military there. I am not sure what Father did besides helping his friend, but the friend died soon. Mother sent money and was a lot away. We naturally cultivated the garden so we had vegetables and I was supposed to look after a bed of pansies. We had "Giantsteps" See-saw, a Donkey, and a dog — my very good friend which died while he was still a puppy - my sorrow! The Donkey was called Kuzora, it was really my Brother's but he always took me with him. Just before we came, there was a very big eartquake, but during our stay there were only small ones and we got used to them in the end. Sometimes Leonid took me with him on a Mountain trip. We walked first to the Forrester's House and we slept there and continued next morning. Sometimes we met "Kirgis" (Shepherds) with their sheep and horses and we were invited to drink tea with them, Brick tea with salt or Kusmus-horse's milk turned sour, reminded me kefir, but I didn't like it. It was supposed to be good for weak lungs and was used in Santoriums. Climbing over the mountains was fun.

Time was moving on and so came the 1914 War. Prisoners came later and they had to work. Sometime before there came a new Bishop, a friend of Father's from his School days. He talked him into taking Priesthood which he did after a time. The War was going badly, in the Summer of 1917 we went back to Vladivostok. Mother lived there now. Father had to wait until another Priest could be sent in his place. We had to go by horses for about a week and then by train which was full of Soldiers, either going on leave or returning from the front, We arrived safely but Father didn't. The Revolution began so he had no chance, but much later we heard he had gotten to Ukraina - Bochusar - to his Sister and lived with her and her two girls, making a living from her garden. Her husband was dead.

In Vladivostok there was "Intervention Time", we had Japanese, Americans, English, French, Jugoslavs, and Tsjekkoslavs. They were there to make sure that the Japanese didn't grab Vladivostok when the war between the Russian people could get worse. Of course, the Bolsheviks came nearer pushing the White Army before them, so at then the Communists or the Whites, in command. In the end, the foreigners left, the Japanese were the last. The Red Army came in 1922. All that time I went to School with Nadia. There were good times, sometimes when the Whites were in power and some times with the Reds.

For us there was really very little difference, for we were young. My Sister Anna got married, Leonid and Michel went to Kamchatka.

Leonid was a Teacher there and was killed when there was some trouble. Michel came back later. Then Nadia got married to a White Officer, without permission from her Mother and left when all the Whites left. The School was closed, so I started to learn typing in Mother's work place "Admirality", and Mother got a room in one of the Navy Houses. Local trouble was getting to be worse, and when the Red Army was near all who could run away got aboard the Ships that were in port. There was no fighting when the Reds came so only a part of the Army, came into Town.

Now began the changes. Anna was ill and she came to us. Her Husband went by train to Harbin and then the border to China was closed and her Husband Peter, couldn't come back. She tried to get permission to go to Harbin but she was refused. She decided to try to get over the Border with the smugglers, and as she was ill, I had to go with her. It wasn't so easy, it was January, stormy and snowing. The smugglers couldn't drive so we had to walk three miles to the nearest Railway Station. We got to the Railway Station but all our luggage was left behind for the Smugglers to bring. Anna left first and I waited for our luggage. After two days I left for Harbin and stayed there with Peter's Sisters, Anna was in Hospital for a time, Peter had a job in a Factory in a place near Harbin. I got a job as a maid in a Hotel. 1924 Nadia asked me to come to Shanghai. I arrived in Shanghai in November 1924. I stayed with my cousin Nadia, who was married to former White Officer, who now worked for the French Police as he could speak French. They had two rooms and share of a Kitchen. As soon as possible I put my name down for any sort of job, but with the Town full of Russians, to get a job wasn't easy. I had some temporary jobs looking after children, then my Mother's friend got me a job in a Cafe, as Waitress. The owner was ill so I had to be Cashier too, The Owner soon sold the place. In the meantime, I had to get a room because my Cousin moved to a Boarding House, Then I met another Russian we had known in Vladivostok, Eugenia. She lived with an Englishman who was a Chief Officer. There I met my Husband, who was a second Engineer and he soon asked me to marry him. I wasn't too sure about it, but Eugenia said I mustn't be a fool. I had no work and to be a Taxi Dancer wasn't so inviting. Even if he drank too much and was much older, I would he better with him. She was sure he was a decent man.

We got married on the 5th of December 1927, As I didn't know much about life, I got married just as my menses finished and got pregnant right away. Life was not very great. Harald had some debts and was used to being a spendthrift. There wasn't any question of going into Hospital, so I got in touch with a Russian Midwife, She had her own little place, and I could pay her some money every month. Then my Husband's Ship the "Irene" was taken by Pirates and had been force to go to another place. They were found by the English Navy which ordered them to stop, and when they didn't the Englishmen shot and sank the boat. All the crew were picked up and brought to Hong-Kong. He came back to Shanghai just when I had given birth to a Son. I had no milk for the Baby and when the milk did come I had a very high fever, so I couldn't feed the Baby. In the end, I got abscesses on my breast, first one side and then the other, and was very ill. Harald had to get a guarantee from the Nowegian Consul. After a while, the Doctor found I had trouble inside too and he was very annoyed with the Midwife.

First I had a little operation on one breast, and then I had another inside because of inflammation. It all took a very long time, so Norman was about three months old before I got home. I had to go to the Doctor for a long time after and with the extra feeding needed a lot of money, so it wasn't so very easy.

Then Harald got a Ship which didn't call into Shanghai, only Hong-Kong and in December 1928, I got permission to go to Hong-Kong. Soon after Harald shanged his Ship and went to a Norwegian Company. His friend advised him that even if they paid less money, at least his job was secure and I myself thought it was much safer.

He worked for Thoresen Company for the rest of his time in Hong-Kong. It was a difficult time and very expensive to get a flat, we had to live in a Boarding House. In 1931 I had to have another Operation as the treatment hadn't helped. It seemed as though when one thing finished, another started. The operation was much bigger than first thought, and the after effects were not pleasant for me either, and there was cessation of menses too but I couldn't tell Harald, with his funny ways, that would have only caused more trouble and we had enough from before. I liked Hong-Kong, it was quieter than Shanghai and everything closed at Midnight. Haralds Ship went to Saigon 3 - 4 weeks, and one week home, it was quite nice. I had an Amah for Norman because Harald wanted to go out when he was home. Hong-Kong Dollars were expensive and the wages were poor. We lived with Mrs. Haugland and when she moved, we went with her. I didn't care much for the arrangement, but I thought if we got a flat Harald would spend much more. At about 5 years old, Norman caught a cold and then he got German measles and then it was discovered he had Diabetes. Norman had some fits, if he had been eating something he shouldn't and scared me, but he got over these attacks.

Catherine Hellevik and her son Normann Hellevik
Catherine Hellevik and her son Normann Hellevik, by larspetterhellevik

First they diagnosed Kidney trouble, but then it was discovered that he had Diabetes and had to use Insulin, but there was a great improvement in his condition very soon. He went to St. Joseph's College when he was seven years old, and couldn't attend the primary School he had attended before. We used to go swimming as much as possible and to the Pictures once in a while, especially in Winter. I went to dances and whist drives with Mrs. Haugland, mostly arranged by the Navy, where one didn't need to have a Partner if one didn't want to. Harald wasn't interested in this but I didn't like to sit in Hotels and drink, and so time kept going forward. Sometimes I tried to get a job as money was always scarce but married Women couldn't get jobs in Hong-Kong. I sometimes got a job with an Advertising Firm but this was seldom. I tried to give Russian lessons, but soon found out it wasn't Russian lessons they wanted.

I had contact with my Sister and My Mother who had moved to live with my Sister. I had once seen my Brother, but that was in Shanghai when he finished the Engineering School, and was being sent to take back Ships which were left in America when the White Army left Vladivostok. He met Harald once. My Sister had Kidney trouble and had to go to Peking. Before that she had trouble with her Husband, he had another Woman on the side, and he wouldn't give her a Divorce, I mean Anna. While my Sister was in Peking my Mother died (What joy did she ever have in her life?).

I had little contact with my Father. He was constantly in trouble because he was a Priest. He sat a few times in Jail. He lived with his Sister and her two Daughters, and when she died he looked after the Girls for a while, but they were eventually taken from him. He got the parcel I had sent him, containing vegetable seeds and shoes but I never heard from him again. I had no contact with Nadia after she got married for the second time and had her child called Nica. She joined the Adventist Church and urged me to the same. That was the end of my Family.

By that time, there began to be trouble with the Japanese. First some Newspaper men were killed. Japanese said they fell from a high building, after words. There was trouble about an explosian on a Ship in Hong-Kong and some fighting. The Women and Children, were told to leave Hong-Kong and were ordered to go to Manila. This was done but didn't include the Norwegians. Later England was at War with the Germans and the Italians, and still later the Japanese declared war on England. At that time, Harald had to have an operation for Ulcers in Saigon, but the Office did not advise me to go to Saigon because of possible trouble with the Japanese. We had to get lessons on how to be Warders, the shelters were built but still Hong-Kong was quiet. Some of the Women and Children returned and Harald too came back to convalesce. When he was better he couldn't go back to his Ship which had left Hong-Kong, and then we heard a English Company was looking for an Engineer and had asked Norwegian Companies if there any around, so Harald was asked and agreed to take Ben Line "Ben Lady". They were going to Australia and England. It was all arranged by the Norwegian Consul. I was supposed to collect money in their Office.

We heard rumours that the Japanese were gathering in their Ships around Hong-Kong and the Army was coming to New territories around Kowloon. Lots of Ships left. There was a change of money and blackouts. A regiment of Australian Soldiers came. Everybody was scared! Consul was supposed to send a Car to take us to a safe place. The Shops started to close. After my birthday on 7th November, we found out there was 45 Warships and 175 thousand troops around Hong-Kong. Still it was quiet. In December it started. I refused my Warder job on account of Norman though I got word that Norman could stay in the Hospital, on the Pic, but he didn't want to leave me. He went to School one morning and was sent home again, The War started by bombing from Air and Army. It didn't last more than two weeks. Two British Regiments and one Australian in Kowloon, I Regiment of the Middlesex, 1 Regiment Royal Scots and about 8 thousand Voulanteers against 175 thousand Japanese. Of course later we understood. Nobody was thinking of defending Hong-Kong, just as long as they could get the money out of the Banks in Hong-Kong and Singapore. On Christmas night the Battle was fought. Nobody answered telephones and no car was sent for us, so we sat where we were, I and Norman, Mrs Haugland and Daughter, Mrs. Prichard our Neighbour and one of my Russian friends and her Son. Then came five Indian soldiers and stayed with us for a rest. It was a fine night with a full moon. Fighting was going on and we could see Japs running from the other side of the Valley. I think there were a lot of Chinese who hid themselves in empty flats and shot at anybody they could.

Under our Veranda, someone cried for Help, he was wounded. 

It was awful to hear but the Indian Soldiers sitting on our steps said not to open the door or the Japs will shoot. The Sergeant told me that they would leave when it was quieter but had no hope of getting anywhere. He said it would be worse for us when the Japanese came, if ever, so he said next day we should try an get to the Centre and find his Regitmental Officer Scott and tell him that Sergeant Davies and four men, had no chance of escape.

It was horrible that night we read about battles in stories, but don't expect to experience them ourselves. As they left the cries of the man stopped, someone must have helped him or he was killed. There was no more shooting that morning but it did not last. The Japs came into the Valley, who knows how many, and the noise they were making, perhaps it was prayers. They were killing Pigs and Horses for food. They started to break down doors, if one didn't open up, searching flats and pushing everyone on to the Streets. One struck Norman because he didn't believe him, that there was not anybody in the next flat. In the end I took hold of him and dragged him to the back door and then opened the front door so that he could see there was no one there. He pushed everyone out but took me with him and went through all the flats. When we came down people were sitting on the Streets. There came a Japanese Officer who after examining our passports explained that since Norway was not at War with Japan and the Chinese were Brothers, we could all go home, which we did, but then processions of Soldiers began plundering, one by one, taking all they could. Then came another Officer who told us to move from the front rooms as the Japanese needed them.

The Portugese who lived on the top floor asked us to come upstairs to them, and we did, taking food with us. We were all Women apart from the two Boys. Though the Japanese kept guard, the other Soldiers still continued to come, and they took two young girls, one was not lucky but the other managed to hide. Next morning I said I wasn't going to stay, it would be better to go to the Center, so as soon as the back door was open, we left and took what we could. There wasn't a soul about and we managed to get quite a long way when we met a friend of the Portugese Family. They said we could stay with them because of the fighting and thieving and we gave them our Rice for allowing us to stay overnight. Next day we continued our journey, we reached the Center and were told to go to a building, where we could stay and be given some food. We were told to stay put as the Japanes General hadn't arrived yet, so nothing could be done.

I met some people from Thoresen Co., but they had no advice to give. When the General came there came an order for all to go to the Parade ground and wait. Most of the Hong—Kong population were there but when the Japanese saw our passports we were told we couldn't stay there as we were Norwegians. Slowly they sent people away, little by little, some to Chines Hotels so that when the last were ready to go, Mrs. Haugland and me amongst them, the Soldiers came and pushed us back and wouldn't look at our passports. I was glad the English were kind enough to let us stay and defended us from the Japanese. Later we were pushed on boats and sent to the other side of the Island where there was a jail and Warder's houses which had been built for the Camp. We were lucky, we were placed in the house with Dutch and Belgians.

We were plagued by Japanese to leave as Norway was not at War, but eventually Norway came into the War. Soon the Americans and Canadians left by changing their Japanese prisoners.

The English had none, besides Churchill said he didn't know of any Women and Children in Hong-Kong. We were about three thousand prisoners, mostly English. It was not so bad in the beginning, we could even go swimming but as time went bye there was less food, even rice. We had two ounces per person. With each change of Governer for the camp we were pressed more. There was morepunishment, we had curfew, and were not allowed to go from house to house but we managed to keep our School and Church. Black Market flourished but if we were caught we were punished, by dipping our heads in water. If the offence was more serious electric plates were used. Everyone must come out to observe. First we had little stoves to warm the rice but they were taken away. If the Red Cross sent food we only got the comfort parcels. Cigarettes could be exchanged on the Chinese market. Norwegians were still a little better off as the Consul, who was in Town, sent a little food. We had no soap, little salt, no sugar. Next we had to grow our own vegetables such as sweet potatoes. The Doctors protested. They said if we broke new ground we would bring out the Mosquitoe's eggs and that Malaria would flourish. They were correct in their sumary. Lots of people took ill and I had it three times, first the febrile type and followed by the chronic type. When the Japanese were bitten they took their revenge on us. Being Human beings, after a time we could even laugh. The Americans payed us visits casting bombs, the Japanese had not put Red Cross marks on our roofs. Olga's husband got shrapnel in his ankle and some were injured in their spines. Japanese got angry and put machine guns in the middle of the camp and threatened they would shoot every one of us if the Americans attacked us again. Later we heard the German war was finished and then that an atombomb had been dropped. Sometime in August we suddenly saw Amphibian boats and the English arrived without a fight. The Japanese Govenor committed Hari Kiri.

It was queer to be free. First we didn't leave the Camp and we were together, then it was everyman for himself and we didn't know what to do. Soon it was clear that Hong-Kong was pretty well ruined and no one but the necessary people were allowed to come back. Soon came a Hospital Ship, which would take the sick first, from Military Camps and then from the Civilian Camps. Norman should have been on the first ship, and they tried to force agree, but then they said it was better if we waited for a bigger Ship. Norman was supposed to go to a Sanatorium in the Blue Mountains of Australia but there would be no place for me. Though I didn't want to go, we were put on board the "Empress of Japan". I wanted to wait and see if we would get in touch with Harald. What would I do in Australia? We were persuaded to go, and the result was that Norman died after two days at Sea. They had put him on "C" deck. The Camp Doctor had told me to keep using my old Insulin as the new one would be too strong. First thing I did on board, I went to the Hospital unit and told the Doctor about my Insulin and gave him my basket, and on the third night Norman died. When they called me the Doctor scolded me, but the basket with my Insulin was there. Someone had made a mistake. They wanted to bury Norman at Sea along with one Sailor, and that had to be done before the Ship was three miles out of Manila.

A burial on shore, would take a lot of time. Permission was needed and other formalties so he was buried at Sea. I wouldn't come back to Manila anyway, and dead is dead. After the burial, we proceeded to Manila where an Australia Officer came on board with a list of people who would be taken to Australia. When my turn came, it was explained to him that my Son had died and I was told I didn't need to go to Australia.

Manila harbour was like a Ships cemetary. We left the Ship there and there was a Camp for those who wanted to go back to Hong-Kong. I went to see the Norwegian Consul who advised me to go on to London where I would probably find out about my Husband sooner. I took his advice but it took us a long time to get there. There was only one boiler working in a machine room with four. We arrived at Gibaralter but were not allowed ashore and the weather was very bad. The Ship didn't go to London but went instead to Liverpool. There came Officials on board and we were questioned and got identity papers. The War was finished so we became the Allied instead of the Alliert. We travelled to London and I got a Red Cross letter from Harald in which he said he was O.K. and that I was to wait for him there since his Ship was on its way to Holland. We came in September 1945 and stayed in the Norwegian Headquaters, the Shaftesbury Hotel. We had to report to the Doctors there and by some mistake my Röntgen papers had been mixed up. The Doctor said I had Tuberculous sores on my lungs and must leave for Norway as soon as possible. On 3rd of January 1946, I was sent to Norway. Harald's ship had gone from Holland to Bodo. When I got to Bergen, I was supposed to go to Oslo. Harald managed to meet me in Bergen and we both went to Oslo. He went to join a ship and I went to Akershus Hospital, there they found a mistake in the rontgen plates but wouldn't let me leave, they sent me to a Sanitarium in Gjovik where I was a patient until April. I went to Stavanger to Harald's relations and I stayed in their hut until Harald cams back, and we stayed there until Harald got another ship and he left first for Bergen. I came to Bergen later to his Brother-in-law, for Elinor's Confirmation. After a while we got a room in Mowinckel's House (the coffee people), Harald tried to get a job ashore or a small boat, but in the end he left for Brazil, and I was left alone. I wanted to qo back to Hong-Kong but it wasn't possible. One does not escape one's fate, "Qui sera sera”. One had to be sensible and there was nothing to complain about. All was, and is O.K.

Catherine Hellevik

Book type
Diary / Memoir
Dates of events covered by this document


It was interesting to read this. The Mrs Haugland Catherine refers to is my grandmother Florence Haugland . Her daughter Esther Marie Ruth Haugland(Eriksen) is my mother. My mother spoke of Norman and that she was very fond of him and his mother. Sadly my grandmother or my mother hardly spoke of the years in camp or the years before the ww2. So I am thankful for the possibility to learn about this through the diary of Cathrine Hellevik, and also thank's to David for publishing this on