HIGHLANDS RANCH, CO (March 20, 2013) - Roger Schade, a resident of Wind Crest retirement community who was once a civilian held for 37 months in Japanese prison camps during WWII, this past week gave a power point presentation about his life to more than 60 second grade students at Coyote Ridge Elementary School in Fort Collins. He discussed "The Impact of One Generation on Another" at the invitation of his granddaughter, Whitney Gebhart-Miller, who teaches at the school.
Schade, who was born in Durango, attended high school in Manila, Philippines, after his father had been sent by his employer to French Indochina to help build a gold mine there. Schade traveled by passenger ship and he used this experience to get students to discuss how they might travel today from Colorado to Vietnam, which is the present-day Indochina. The students talked about automobile, airplane, bus, canoe, train, and steamship as various modes of travel.
Schade, a retired Bell System manager who taught training programs, told the students how he, as a teenager, and his family were interred by the Japanese in prison camps. He had been helping the Red Cross to evacuate people from Manila immediately prior to WWII. When war broke out and Manila was bombed he and his family were removed to another part of the city where they were captured. Schade was forced to help construct a second prison camp in the Philippines.
"I have never been involved with the instruction of young people," said Schade whose wife Dorothy sat in the classroom, proud of his presentation. "It gave me a great deal of satisfaction for me to know the students really enjoyed hearing about my background."
The students were especially interested in learning about the tribesmen who lived in that part of the world. And they wanted to know about the tropical fruits he and his family ate while on the island.
Schade augmented his presentation with a table display of his 73 year-old Boy Scout uniform and merit badge sash. He also displayed a G-string like those used by Bontoc tribesmen of the Philippines.
Schade left the school fascinated by its use of technology to teach students. "I'm impressed with the equipment and facilities provided teachers and students today," he said. "I didn't see any chalk, erasers and blackboards."
Schade and his wife moved to Wind Crest in 2007 from their former home in Denver.
March 19, 2013