Correspondence: Any request or invitation involving dignitaries, government or other associations outside the Hong Kong Veterans' Commemorative Association must follow the correct protocol.
The politics of asking high-ranking government individuals to speak at any event is such that the individual will never refuse outright unless he/she has a high profile event already on the calendar. One can be assured that unless the event is being held in Ottawa, or in the individual’s riding, they will send an aide to speak in their place.
There is a firmly established “ranking” of prominent people. This is not published, but is acknowledged nevertheless. This changes depending upon the situation, but for our commemorative events it is: Governor General; Prime Minister; Minister Veterans Affairs; Chairman, National Council of Veteran Associations (our Patron); Associate Deputy Minister or Deputy Minister; other Ministers of the Crown; National President HKVA; and National Vice-President HKVA. Other individuals have no ranking, but people such as Jack Granatstein for example, should be situated as courtesy and tactfulness dictate.
Protocol - When seeking an individual to address any gathering, the invitation letter must be clear and succinct. Any superfluous text such as health inquiries must be injected in a closing paragraph. It is also required that we inform the individual of other dignitaries who are being invited. For example, the opening paragraph might take the form of:
We, the xxx Region of the Hong Kong Veterans Association, invite you to be the Guest Speaker at the dinner/banquet of the joint reunion of our association and the Hong Kong Veterans’ Association, to be held at [name the locale] in xxxxxx, Ontario on [month, day, year]. The subject will be of your choice (or name it if desired). Although the duration of the address is left to your discretion, it is desirable that it not exceed xxx minutes.
We are anticipating an attendance of xxx people consisting of xx veterans and xxx family and friends. We will naturally make restitution of travel and lodging costs. We ask that you confirm your acceptance by [month, day, year].
You may wish to know that we have also invited xxxx of xxx to speak at the General Meeting and xxxx of xxxx to speak at the Memorial Service (or whatever).
[If the speaker is not totally aware of the Association, a brief description may be inserted here. Mention the age of the veterans as a hint to the desired length of the speech.]
[Closing - your courtesy comments here]
Before any letter is issued, ensure that your information is current. Until such time as Derrill Henderson ceases to function as National Secretary to the HKVA, he will have this information, but there are others such as the HKVA Branch Presidents who probably have this information as well. Please remember that for such events, the HKVCA is only functioning in a delegated position. Its duty is to organize and carry out the physical duties associated with such functions, but when the HKVA is involved to any degree, external correspondence should be signed by a HKVA Executive, or at the minimum, have their approval.
Until the Sunset clause of the HKVA takes effect, the Conventions and Reunions are primarily HKVA events. The above letter should be signed by the National President of the HKVA in the event of a Convention, and the Branch President in the event of a Reunion.
|Rev #||Date||Change Description||Approval Method||Reference||Remarks|
|1||Jan '13||Converted to HTML and minor updates||BOD Meeting 23 Jan||Minutes|