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Daughter of first English radio station manager seeks childhood baby sitter

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The daughter of the first English radio station manager in Taiwan expressed her hope of finding her childhood baby sitter during a recent visit to the country, a former Taiwan military bandleader said yesterday.

Mary Jane Heppe, daughter of Harold L. Arison — the first English radio station manager in Taiwan — visited the island this February in order to collect material for writing a biography on her father, said Chou Shih-wen (周世文), an ex-Republic of China military bandleader.

Arison worked at the radio station, BEC-27, which began in 1955 and was an R.O.C. government-funded project for the foreign community in Taiwan.

Later, the station became the U.S. Armed Forces Radio and Television Service in Taiwan and then changed to the American Forces Network Taiwan.

In April 16, 1979 the station became International Community Radio Taipei (ICRT) after the withdrawal of U.S. military personnel following the break in diplomatic relations with the R.O.C.

ICRT is still the only English-language radio station in Taiwan.

According to Chou, Heppe, born in 1954, came to Taipei to be reunited with his father not long after her birth.

Arison arrived in Taiwan earlier in the same year after serving as an assistant bandmaster, composer and arranger at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

While in Taiwan, he served as a music adviser to the Taiwan military, organizing and directing a music school for music teachers, bandmasters and instrumentalists.

Heppe left Taiwan with her family in 1963 and had not returned until the recent visit. Arison died of cancer on Oct. 29, 1998 at the age of 79.

To collect information in writing a biography on his deceased father, Heppe visited Taiwan on a four-week tour and met with Chou, who is currently writing a book about the history of Taiwan's military band.

Looking for Grandma Ching

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In this file photograph taken at Oct. 10, 1955, Harold L. Arison conducts an R.O.C. military band in front of former President Chiang Kai-shek during a National Day celebration event in Taipei.

(Photos courtesy of Chou Shih-wen (周世文))

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