Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Canal

Back in 2008, Sarj Bloom submitted several photographs that he took during Typhoon Gloria in 1963.

He just sent me some more information that he's discovered using Google Earth:

While looking for the Canal that ran north and south east of TDC I remembered that one of the photos I took of Typhoon Gloria '63 was taken looking north towards the east of TDC. See location photo from Google Earth.
A friend of mine told me that the Canal is still there it just runs under the new raised highway. Sure enough I even confirmed it with a Google Earth photo of the water under the Highway.
Anyway I got my photo out and then tried to match it the best I could looking North from the new Highway that goes over the Canal.

Both photos are looking north and you can see the mountains that run behind Club 63 and the Grand Hotel. I think I got the approximate position on Google Earth to represent my photo.
I was a few blocks north of Nanjing E. Rd. or what we called Nan King E. Rd. Our intention was to walk to TDC that day but had to turn around because of the canal overflowing the road, as you can see in the 1963 photo if you look up near the trucks. Also you can see the canal on the right is hardly in it's banks.
That had to be a lot of heavy construction to contain that canal and then build a raised highway over it. Most of all, look at all the big buildings that have been constructed since those days. 

Amazing what time can do.



Victor said...

The canal in the photo is part of 新生大排水道(Hsin-Sheng Drainage Canal), or some people called it 瑠公圳(Guo Hsi-Liu's Irrigating Canal). The Hsin-Sheng Overpass Highway over the canal was built in 1983.

titojohn said...

Back in the day, we all referred to it as Benjo Ditch Road.

Victor said...

The canal stinks? The word benjo(便所) is from Japanese, which means toilet.

sarj said...

Victor somewhere near the canal was an abandoned railroad track. The Army Map Service map of 1945 shows the track. I remember part of it still there in 1963, maybe a mile or so south of where the map shows it. Can you confirm?

Victor said...

I believe the following is the Hsin-Sheng Drainage Canal on the 1945 map.
But I can't find the abandoned railroad track you mentioned on the map?

titojohn said...

Victor, Back in the 1960's there was raw sewage flowing in the canal. Yes, it did stink. I lived not too far away from the canal (Hsin-Hseng N. Rd. Sec 2, Lane 127.)

The Taiwanese word for toilet (piān-só) sounds a lot like the ben-so or benjo. I think that the word must have a Japanese derivative.

It was not meant as a derogatory term back then, but a statement of fact.

Don said...

I believe this photo from the Shu Linkou veterans website may be of the same location: