Taisoo’s  story

by | Jun 6, 2024 | News | 0 comments

Taisoo Kim Watson was brought up in the war-torn country of Korea.  While she was one of the lucky children who survived the atrocities of the Korean War and did not lose her parents, sadly many children grew up in orphanages. Not only were hundreds of thousands of people of all ages killed or died of illness or starvation, the natural flora and fauna were destroyed as well.

Childhood life was difficult.  Taisoo started primary school in a tent where the straw floor mats provided little protection from the freezing winters.  UNESCO produced and distributed beautiful textbooks to aĺlow learning to happen. The children believed Mr UNESCO was a kind person who loved Korean children.  This international support organisation kept hopes alive.

The army occupied the school buildings for many years after the war broke out in 1950, just five years after the bombing of Hiroshima.  These childhood years of course made an indelible impression on Taisoo, and during her lifetime she has visited many war memorial museums to discover the plight of so many victims of the futility of war.  She is very grateful to her Japanese friends, Yukiko and Naomi, who encouraged her to visit Hiroshima in 2010.  The scars of all wars, not only the Korean War, remain.  

Taisoo was extremely moved by by the sight of of the rusty tricycle exhibit with its heart-breaking story attached.

” Shinchi Tetsutanmi (3 years 11 months old) loved to ride his tricycle.  That morning he was riding in front of his home when in a sudden flash he and his tricycle were both burned.  He died that night.  His father felt he was too young to be buried in a graveyard away from home, and thinking he could still play with his tricycle in the backyard.  In the summer of 1985, forty years later, his father dug up Shinchi’s remains and transferred them to the family grave.  The tricycle and helmet after sleeping for 40 years in the backyard with Shinchi, were donated to the Peace Memorial Musem.” 

Reflection on the age of Shinchi equating to that of her grandson, saddened and angered Taisoo, because the killing of children continues today across the world.

Taisoo’ s adult life journey has been devoted to the global hope for Peace.  Qualified with a Masters Degree in Business and a Bachelor of Science, her extensive and diverse cv reflecting a succesful career in librarianship where she was able to introduce Korean literature, is underpinned by humility and the principles of multi-faith harmony, teaching, cultural learning, interpreting and sharing and supporting many community groups and their needs.  

Taisoo is a fine example of the calibre of peacemakers from traumatised situations around the globe and in Toowoomba, and her commitment to ” peace workers planting seeds of goodness, hope and peace in their hearts and planting small seeds in the childrens’ big hearts, which, as the seeds grow into strong plants, they help other children” continues to drive her daily journey.

The Toowoomba community, and the sister city of Paju, have been blessed by Taisoo’s presence and ongoing support across so many different aspects of the Garden City. 

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