Recorded Virtual Events

Links to Recorded Virtual Events

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April 18 2022

GANDER in Hong Kong

Gander was a large, black Newfoundland dog who struck fear into the Japanese soldiers attacking his human companions in Hong Kong in December 1941. Gander was not only fearsome to look at, but every bit as brave as the Canadian soldiers he went into battle with. Together, against a vastly superior force, they demonstrated the determination and grit of Canadians in battle. George MacDonell, one of only four living Canadian veterans of the Battle of Hong Kong, and writer/researcher Sue Beard tell the fascinating story of this most unusual soldier.

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March 21 2022

WW2 Civilian Internment in Hong Kong

Beginning in December 1941 well over 100,000 Allied civilians across China and Southeast Asia were taken prisoner by the Japanese, including entire families. Although at the outset these civilians were in general not treated quite as harshly as were military POWs, their internment was extremely unpleasant, and for many, deteriorated drastically later in the war. Some 2,800 civilians, among them a number of Canadians, were interned in Hong Kong.

Our two speakers, Martin Heyes of Hong Kong and Julien Lehoux of Montreal, will tell you about Hong Kong’s civilian internees and how they lived during their imprisonment, the complex negotiations to repatriate the Canadians among them, and the impacts on their lives after their return to Canada.

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Jan 24 2022

Shipped to Japan

Even as early as Pearl Harbour itself, some senior Japanese realised that they could be getting into a war of attrition which they could ill afford. Sooner or later they would need to free up as many men as possible to join their armed forces. Once Allied POWs fell into their hands, they realised that they could kill two birds with one stone: put the POWs to work in the the mines and factories and docks, and liberate the Japanese workforce. Starting in September 1942, they therefore began shipping some 4,817 Canadian, British, and local POWs, captured in Hong Kong, to the Japanese mainland. This talk, given by noted Hong Kong historian Tony Banham, explores those journeys and their outcomes.

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Nov 22 2021

"The Fence"

“The Fence”, a feature-length documentary produced by Tortuga Films, powerfully tells the story of one of the longest incarcerations of WW II, with personal accounts from Canadian veterans George MacDonell and George Peterson. Meet the film’s director, Viveka Melki, survivor Luba Estes, who witnessed unspeakable war crimes watching and waiting for her imprisoned father from outside the fence of Sham Shui Po POW camp, and Dr. Chi Man Kwong, East Asia Military Historian.

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Oct 18 2021

"We Remember Hong Kong"

The life-changing and heartwarming story of the student pilgrimage to Hong Kong in 2005 to commemorate the Canadian soldiers who lie buried at Sai Wan War Cemetery and to leave behind a memorial time capsule in their honour. This presentation is a tribute to the Veterans and the students who collaborated to bring attention to these brave and valiant soldiers of the Second World War.

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Sept 27 2021

'C' Force's Indigenous Peoples

Veterans Affairs Canada estimates that as many as 12,000 Indigenous people served in the great conflicts of the 20th century, including the Battle of Hong Kong. Did you know that Indigenous people volunteered to fight for Canada before they were considered Canadian citizens and allowed to vote?  Join us for a talk about Canada’s Indigenous peoples, their involvement in Canada’s military and specifically 'C' Force, and stories of some of 'C' Force’s Indigenous Veterans.

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June 21 2021

Canada's Nursing Sisters in the Battle of Hong Kong and Royal Canadian Institute Tour

The HKVCA and the Royal Canadian Military Institute present the story of Canada’s Nursing Sisters in the Battle of Hong Kong. The event includes a tour of the RCMI museum’s extensive collection of military artifacts and its library and archives. Hear the fascinating story of Lt. Kay Christie and Lt Anna May Waters, and visit Canada’s foremost institute promoting the study and discussion of military history, defence, security and international affairs.

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May 17 2021

Finding War Relics in Hong Kong

Live from Hong Kong! Discover how amateur historian Craig Mitchell and his colleagues search the battlefields to find relics of the Battle of Hong Kong, trace their history, and return them to their owners’ family members.

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April 19 2021

'C' Force Postal History

Before the internet, email and cheap long-distance calls, letters were the essential way of keeping in touch. Meet postal historian Sam Chiu for a fascinating talk as he links letters and stamps with the history of Canada’s “C” Force before, during and after its fateful deployment to Hong Kong in 1941.

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March 22 2021

In Conversation with Jonathon Reid

In August 1941, Capt. John Reid, a young Canadian doctor, was assigned as one of four medical officers for Canada’s 'C' Force, soon departing for Hong Kong. In the prison camps in Hong Kong and Japan, Capt. Reid cared for his Canadian colleagues under terrible conditions. Join his son, Jonathon Reid, author of “The Captain Was a Doctor” as he tells the story of Capt. Reid’s experiences both during the war and afterwards as he grappled with his personal challenges after returning home.

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