The days are rapidly getting shorter and it’s clear that
summer will soon give way to fall. Kids (and grandkids) are back
in school, and we’ll all be getting back into our regular
The imminent arrival of fall means we will be restarting our
virtual events series. The first of the season will be on
Monday, September 19 at 7:30 pm ET. You should have received an
emailed announcement by now which contains a link to register.
If not, you can register by clicking
here. Our speaker is Fred Hurd, the son of
Capt. Lionel Hurd, who was the Quartermaster of the Royal
Rifles. It promises to be a very interesting story about this
Hong Kong Veteran. Please plan to attend!
We’d like to feature more of these kinds of reminiscences in
our virtual events. If you’d like to speak about your Hong Kong
Veteran, please let me know at
V-J Day Commemorations
I’d like to thank everyone who participated in a V-J Day
service. There were several across the country, some of which
are written up in this newsletter. They take a lot of effort to
organize! Kudos to our members who undertook to arrange them,
and to those who attended to honour our Hong Kong Veterans.
I was very pleased that many of these V-J Day events were
attended by representatives of Indigenous groups, who joined in
honouring all members of ‘C’ Force. Métis and other First
Nations people were part of ‘C’ Force. Pam Heinrichs
continues to lead the HKVCA’s project to identify them and
record their details on our website. She provides an update on
her progress elsewhere in this newsletter.
We non-Indigenous Canadians can reciprocate by in turn
observing Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on
September 30. Wear your orange shirt that day to honour the lost
children and survivors of residential schools, their families
and communities. In fact, the entire week of September 26-30
will be recognized in our schools as Truth and Reconciliation
Week, with special programs for students.
George MacDonell recently celebrated his 100th anniversary.
Debbie Jiang and Eric Brunt collaborated to produce a video of
birthday wishes. Watch it
here! And in case you missed it, here’s a
video wishing Phil Doddridge the best on his 100th birthday
back in April. And for those who missed it, earlier this year
Hormidas Fredette celebrated 105 years. Watch a video
They are all amazing!
A huge “thank you” to all of our HKVCA members who volunteer
so much of their time and energy to keep the memory of our
valiant Hong Kong Veterans alive. You can see the evidence of
their work in this newsletter. It’s truly impressive.
As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me at email@example.com with
your questions or with ideas about how we can make the HKVCA
even more effective.
We Will Remember Them
From the Editor
Extending Our Coverage
You’ll notice two articles in this edition that highlight the
work that is ongoing elsewhere to educate the Canadian public on
the sacrifices made by our citizens in war. Thanks to Rachel
Dell from Bay Chaleur Military Museum, and Sean Seumas Wilson,
from the Remember November 11 Association for contributing.
So… What Do You Think?
I have a favour to ask: as you browse this newsletter make a
mental note of things you like and others that detract from your
Now to the most important step: fire up your email app and send along these thoughts
to your editor. Without feedback our volunteers don’t know
what’s working and what needs work.
Thanks also to our contributors, whether you are a “regular”
or have filled in by reporting on a special event. Your efforts
make this newsletter possible and help to document all the
Want to be a
contributor? It’s easy and fun!
And, last but certainly not least, a big “thank you” to our
newsletter proofreaders: Barbara, Lori, Kathie and Anne.
77th Anniversary Ceremony - Ottawa
It was a warm summer’s day in Ottawa for the Hong Kong
Veterans memorial service held at the ‘C’ Force Memorial Wall in
Ottawa on August 13, 2022. This was the 77th anniversary of the
end of the war in the Far East.
Memorial Wall after Laying of Wreaths. Photo by Richard Lawrence.
The ceremony was well attended by approximately 50 people.
Once again, the event was well supported by the National
Research Council (provided free parking) and the National
Capital Commission (Memorial site upkeep).
The master of ceremony was Brian Tang, Lt.-Col (Retired)
Royal Canadian Air Force.
Live music was provided by bugler Marion Lajoie, and
the RCMP Pipes and Drums band which consisted of pipers John
Virag, Graham Muir and Catherine Mackinnon with Daniel Mandin on
the tenor drum.
Derrill Henderson provided the Prayers and Benediction.
MP Yasir Naqvi laid a wreath on behalf of the Government of
Canada, Robert Loken on behalf of Veterans Affairs. It was
an honour to have Lieutenant-Colonel Montgomery D. Price lay a
wreath on behalf of the Canadian Armed Forces, as his
grandfather, John H. Price and his great uncle, Charles Price
both fought in Hong Kong. Mitzi Ross laid a wreath on behalf of
the Hong Kong Veterans Association and Gail Angel laid a wreath
on behalf of the Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association.
The Acts of Remembrance were given by Mary Tang, Brian’s
The Acts of Remembrance given by Mary Tang
Ian Englehart laid a wreath on behalf of Debbie and Kevin
Jiang in honour of the three surviving Hong Kong Veterans;
Philip Dodderidge, Hormidas Fredette and George MacDonell. Both
Philip Dodderidge and George MacDonell provided a message to be
passed on at the ceremony.
Wreath laid by Julie Carver
Twelve family wreaths were laid. One of these
wreaths was laid on behalf of an Indigenous member of 'C' Force,
Robert Blanchard, who was killed in Hong Kong. It was laid by
Julie Carver, his grand niece. Mitzi Ross laid a wreath in
memory of Gander
Following the service, attendees went to the Lord Elgin
Hotel, Grill 41 for a luncheon.
The ceremony was Livestreamed and recorded via Facebook by
Deborah Tang and can be found at
this link. Please
note due to technical difficulties, the beginning of the
ceremony is missing.
Photos were graciously taken by Richard Lawrence Photography
and many more can be found
on his website.
A vital tool in support of our mission- “to educate all
Canadians on the role of Canada's soldiers in the Battle of Hong
Kong and on the effects of the internment of the battle’s
survivors on both the soldiers and their families” is our web
presence. Thanks to the efforts of Linda May, granddaughter of
Marcien Lafortune, Winnipeg Grenadiers, HKVCA’s first website
was created back in 2001, 21 years ago! Not that long ago in
years, but a lifetime on the World Wide Web.
Over the years, our websites have become a main source of
information on the Canadian involvement in the Battle of Hong
Kong, and the POW years. We expect that researchers, educators
and family members will visit and learn for many years to come.
Want to see how we’ve evolved over the years? I’ve created a
page that shows our changes and expansion over the years. Please
And The Work Goes On
Thanks to the input of HKVCA members and the public, our
online library continues to expand and improve. Our
home page is a good
source of news, ongoing and upcoming events, and also provides
the road map to all of our information holdings.
One specific area that is constantly changing is our ‘C’
Force site which hosts our Individual Reports. On a daily basis
we receive new photos and information on ‘C’ Force members, and
our team of volunteers makes the changes in our reports.
check out the ‘C’ Force website and see if you can add to
the information there.
Special thanks to Lillian, Lori, Jana and many others for
their research and sharing.
One major source of new information and corrections for our
‘C’ Force records is Facebook. Members there have created
dynamic meeting places, and there are lots of discussions and
updates, many including old photos and media clips. Why not pay
a visit to:
The FEPOW questionnaire.
A valuable resource, brought to our attention by Mitzi Ross,
is the Far East POW website.
The COFEPOW database contains thousands of liberation
questionnaires filled in by returning POWs. Accessing these will
help families (and us) to verify and validate various POW
details of returning ‘C’ Force members, and allow updates and
corrections to our records.
Pay a visit and search - you may learn something about your
‘C’ Force family member!
Indigenous Veterans Project
Well, I am pleased to say that the Indigenous families of ‘C’
Force had representation at the VJ Day service in Winnipeg on
August 14, 2022! A number of the Indigenous Veterans were
represented by their families, many proudly wearing their Métis
sashes. The Manitoba Métis Federation was invited to send a
representative of the Red River Métis government and that they
did - our service was attended by Shawn Nault, Minister of Métis
Veterans; Stephanie Meilleur, Program Coordinator for the Métis
Veterans Legacy Program; and Sierra Hill, the Provincial
Coordinator of Culture and Heritage. Minister Nault laid a
wreath for Métis Veterans and addressed the attendees at the
Minister Shawn Nault and Stephanie Meilleur at the wreath
laying ceremony. (photo by Pamela Poitras Heinrichs)
In undertaking a project such as this, it’s important to
consider the wishes of those being honoured to ensure that what
you are doing is something they want. At the beginning of this
project we consulted with some of the Indigenous families
already known to the Association. That resulted in the start of
our project - identifying the Indigenous Veterans and
listing them on the Indigenous Veterans page of our website.
This is ongoing and we will be adding to the information about
these Veterans. In the time since we started I have connected
with many more of the families - each and every one is proud to
have their family member shown as Indigenous - something that
wasn’t always possible in the past. This was evident by the
attendance of some of the families at VJ Day.
L-R Angel Delorme Stoyko, Diane Delorme Hykaway, Brenda
Neufeld-Lapointe proudly wearing their Métis sashes on VJ Day.
(photo by Pamela Poitras Heinrichs)
Some of us are now discovering connections between our
families, whether blood ties or other kinship bonds -
connections that in some cases started over 200 years ago but
had been lost in the not so distant past due to the effects of
colonialism. We are discovering and rebuilding our kinship ties
- and that is very exciting and so very important.
This project, which started out as a way to recognize the
Indigenous members of ‘C’ Force, is now expanding in scope -
helping to reconnect and rebuild family and community.
Did You Know...
Did you know that the Manitoba Museum houses many items
regarding the Hong Kong Veterans? And did you know that you can
make arrangements to attend at the Museum, meet with a curator
and view those items? Yes, you can! And we did!
At the beginning of July, one of our Association’s new
members, Robert Alan Ouellette, made a trip to Winnipeg from his
home in British Columbia. We made arrangements to attend the
Museum while Robert was here. Roland Sawatzky, the Museum’s
History Curator, prepared for our visit by searching for any
information the Museum had about Robert’s grandfather (who died
in the Battle) and about my dad, and by pulling certain items
from the archives that he thought we would find particularly
interesting. In addition, he took us into the climate-controlled
vaults to view where the items are stored. I was very excited
(and emotional) to see items used by veterans I had met, items
used by men in the same camp as my father, and pictures drawn by
someone in that same camp! Roland expressed a few times how
being able to share the collection with others, particularly
families of the Veterans, makes their work so very worthwhile.
(L-R) Roland Sawatzky, Pamela Poitras Heinrichs, Robert Alan
Ouellette view items at the Manitoba Museum. (photo by Brielle
If you would like to visit the Museum and see the Hong Kong
collection, don’t hesitate to contact the Museum and set up an
appointment. Visit alone or with friends - groups of up to 6
people can be accommodated. Contact information is as follows:
Roland Sawatzky, Curator of History, The Manitoba Museum – email
firstname.lastname@example.org , telephone 204-988-0634.
Exciting Things at the Bay Chaleur Military Museum
The Bay Chaleur Military Museum was founded in 2004, in no small
part by Philip Doddridge who served with the Royal Rifles in Hong
Kong. Phil has helped shape the museum’s vision for almost 20 years,
and he is one of the museum’s key financial supporters (see photo).
Our small museum’s mission is to preserve and share the rich
military history of the Gaspe Coast, and we have a national focus on
the story of the Canadian soldiers who served in Hong Kong.
Phil Doddridge at the museum
This summer, with the support of the board of directors, I have
undertaken a project to reorganise the museum’s collection reserve
room. I have a Master of Arts in Anthropology, post-graduate
certification in museum curatorship, and more than 20 years of
experience working with heritage collections. Returning to the
military museum this summer has felt like a homecoming (I created
the museum’s exhibit when it opened). New shelving units were
purchased, new clothing racks, as well as a storage unit for our
large framed photographs. Every artifact (and its location) has been
inventoried, and more than 400 new artifacts have been catalogued
into the collection. Every artifact in the reserve room now has been
carefully stored in custom-made boxes (see photo).
A number of special artifacts have been added to the collection
this summer. To list a few of the exciting new additions – in August
Jim Simons donated a samurai sword which his father Reginald
(Reggie) Simons collected as a keepsake on being liberated. Maureen
Rodrigues donated her father Edwin T. Rodrigues’ possessions – his
secret diary written in 1942, his POW # tag, and a small cardboard
record which holds a message Edwin sent to his family while he was a
POW, are just a few highlights. Another very noteworthy addition is
a handkerchief which belonged to Dr. Chak that was signed by 96 POWs
from Sham Shui Po POW Camp (most of whom served with the Hong Kong
Volunteer Defence Corps). The signatures date to 1942 when the POWs
in the camp of Asian descent were released.
The museum has been able to reach out to a much wider audience
this year through our Facebook Page. Every week we featured a
Veteran and an artifact. This has allowed us to showcase many
stories not currently displayed in our exhibit space. We have
enjoyed a wonderful response connecting with Veterans and their
families. A completely unexpected result of the postings on our page
is the international connections we have formed (gaining partners in
Hong Kong - Dr. Kwong Chi Man and his research project, who have
been helping to discover the stories behind the signatures on Dr.
Chak’s handkerchief). Through our page we have also gained new
volunteers – Maureen Rodrigues and her partner Gary Pitts have both
committed to volunteering for the museum from their home in Montreal
Maureen Rodrigues and her partner Gary Pitts at the Memorial Wall
Our museum is a small, independent, largely volunteer-run,
non-profit organization with a registered charitable number. We do
not enjoy government funding. We operate almost solely off private
donations, and the foresight and clever investments made by the
board of directors. Please help support this special museum and the
multitude of rich military history and veterans stories in our care.
All donations over $20 will be issued a tax-deductible receipt.
Stay tuned with us for more exciting developments in the coming
months and years. Check out our website:
http://www.chaleurmilitarymuseum.com and find, like, and follow
I would like to extend thanks to the HKVCA for including us in
Remembrance Gardens, London ON
In 2009, I started the Remember November 11 Association in
response to some concerns I heard from older Veterans. They were
very afraid that the history of the wars would be forgotten and that
future generations would make the same mistakes. Our mission is to
honour our Veterans, remember our fallen, and teach our children.
In 2014, I decided to plant a large poppy Garden in honour of the
100th anniversary of the start of World War I. It was a good
learning moment and it helped us bring together Veterans and
children and families of the fallen. After witnessing this, I
decided to start adding the monuments and the walkways. Over the
last 6 years, I have had some amazing help from many people and
businesses in our community. We have no government funding of any
kind so we rely on our community to support us with these projects.
Once the park started being developed and we started to have
ceremonies, the local Veterans started to become very attached to
our little park, called “Remembrance Gardens”. In 2017 we started
having our annual Peacekeeping Day ceremony and we usually also have
two other events to honour the Battle of Vimy Ridge and Remembering
World War II. This year we have added two new ceremonies. We will
now celebrate the Liberation of the Netherlands at the start of May,
and we will also have a remembrance ceremony to memorialize the
Battle of Hong Kong and the Dieppe Raid. We will also be doing a
Remembrance Day ceremony at the park every year.
Currently, Remembrance Gardens has 14 large memorial stones.
There is one for the dedication of the park and it is the keystone.
We also have memorials for the following: Battle of Vimy Ridge,
three stones to commemorate the Royal Canadian Army, the Royal
Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force. Also memorials to
commemorate D-Day, The Liberation of the Netherlands, victims of
chemical warfare and another monument in honour of all of our
Prisoners Of War and Missing In Action for all wars. Recently we
added our monuments for the Battle of Hong Kong and the Dieppe Raid.
In our peacekeeping section of the park, we have a monument for the
Korean War, Peacekeeping Dayan, a stone dedicated to the Canadian
Army Veterans motorcycle group. We have a large boulder that is
dedicated to August 9th, which is Peacekeeping Day and is the
centrepiece of our ceremony. Next to that is a monument for Canadian
Army Veterans for UN Peacekeeping (CAVUNP).
We have installed 22 trees, and each one is dedicated to a
Veteran or fallen soldier that has some connection to the park via a
relative or myself. We started a program to outline our large poppy
Garden with paving stones carved with individuals who had served
Canada. Right now we have about 70 of those installed. And normally
the main focus of the park is the enormous poppy Garden. It is 5,625
square feet and has thousands of poppies when it is in bloom.
Monument Honouring Canadians from all Wars
This park and the poppy Garden are a true labour of love and
everybody that comes out to help is doing it to honour our fallen
soldiers, but more so to create a place for our Veterans to come and
have ceremonies and contemplate. It is also turning into a great
place for teaching, and we hope to re-engage with the schools and
start learning programs based on the park. It was very meaningful to
me and our group to have our two new monuments, but also to work
with Deb Legg and the Hong Kong Veterans Association, to see the
dedication and pride your group brings to a park like ours.
Sean Seumas Wilson had a career as a computer programmer and
accountant. In his spare time he also worked with the Master
Gardeners of Canada and in 2008 he decided to start working with
Veterans and families of the fallen and to find out how they wanted
their history presented to everyone, including children. Since then
his group has grown and they do many meaningful events to honour and
celebrate our military history and the people who serve Canada. It
is an all-volunteer organization and the size of these projects
takes some real commitment from all involved. You can find out more
RememberNovember11.com or find us on
Facebook at The Remember November 11 Association.
Gravestone Marker - Update
Our Vision: Every one of our men’s graves has a
With the battle of Hong Kong holding such a unique part of
history, the HKVCA created this stunning grave marker some years
ago to be placed on the gravestones of those who fought in the
battle of Hong Kong. They were created as a way to identify,
recognize, and honour ALL those who fought. As one can imagine,
our association went to great lengths to ensure the gravestone
markers matched our vision. The markers themselves are
high-quality discs that have been custom forged and are then
treated and painted with industrial paint in order to stand the
tests of time, weather and wear. These gravestone markers have
been available through our organization for several years, and
we are happy to report that they have found their intended
place, marking history on gravestones across the country. These
stunning markers have generated enough interest that we had to
have more made! We are so pleased that through great research
and effort, these shiny new gravestone markers are back in-stock,
made in Canada, and available TODAY, to be shipped directly to
you, so our mission of every grave having a marker can continue
to unfold. Orders can be placed today (shipping included!) with
our resident merchandising officer - Barry Mitchell.
Options to order:
• Send a cheque for $75.00 made out to Hong Kong Veterans
Commemorative Association and send it to: PO BOX 381, Winnipeg
MB, R3C 2H6
• Send $75.00 by e-transfer to
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT
About the author - First-time article writer Stephanie
Mitchell, (grand-daughter to Lt. William Vaughan Mitchell,
daughter of HKVCA National Treasurer Barry Mitchell), and newest
member of the HKVCA Board of Directors, has been a proud member
for many years and you can find her at our Manitoba events and
Greetings from the Prairie Region.
We hope all our members are enjoying the summer months to
renew our energies for the coming winter. We’ve had some nice
weather and some terrible weather but we’ve managed to enjoy it
all. As I prepare this report, Manitoba has had some relaxed
regulations and people have started to travel so we are probably
as normal as it gets.
We are grateful to the Manitoba Legislature which allows us
to have the Hong Kong Veterans flag fly in August and December
at the Cenotaph on Memorial Blvd in Winnipeg. Thank you to Stan
Lopata for transporting it. It is a great tribute to ‘C’ Force
and their service.
Prairie Region has continued with the monthly lunch meetings
but we have moved to Smitty’s Restaurant on Pembina Highway and
Grant Ave in Winnipeg. Everyone is welcome to attend but please
let me know to arrange seating.
Indigenous Project Update – Pam Heinrichs,
daughter of Fred Poitras, continues to work on the Indigenous
Veterans of ‘C’ Force Project. Many thanks to Pam for all her
dedication and research on this project and look for further
information in this newsletter.
Last Post project – Please let us know of
any unmarked HKVA Veterans graves or damaged gravestones, as
they can be replaced at no cost in this program. Also, the
addition of traditional names for indigenous Veterans can be
included with the wives’ names. Please contact me if you know of
any gravestones that need attention.
Lawn Signs – Judy Preston, (daughter of
Riley Prieston), in Russell coordinating this project, reports
she had 13 signs left. She can be reached by email -
email@example.com and the funds can be sent to her by
e-transfer or cheque as the postage and handling charge will
need to be added.
Plaques – The Plaque initiative has been
very successful in our Region with 7 in AB, 4 in SK, 22 in MB,
and 3 in NW ON for a total of 36 plaques. A list of the sites
that have plaques can be found on our
Education - Alex Taylor and Stan Lopata will
be attending MSSTA conference in October and possibly Pam
Heinrichs with some information on the Indigenous/Métis members
of ‘C’ Force.
VJ DAY - August 14, 2022 - We had about 80
people attend our service observing the 77th Anniversary of the
end of WWII. We began in the Field of Honour in Brookside
Cemetery with piper George Morrison bringing in the Colours to
act as an honour guard at the ‘C’ Force monument.
Padre - Rev. Murray Still, son of Joseph Oige, WG HKV,
presided over our devotions. VAC Area Director, Lina Matos
(daughter of a Portuguese Combatant) said a few words reflecting
on this day.
Wreaths were laid by HKVCA – Pat Peterson, daughter of George
Peterson, and Pat Atkinson, daughter of Harry Atkinson; Lina
Matos, Area Director for VAC; Marty Morantz, MP; Shawn Nault,
Minister, Red River Métis Veterans, Manitoba Métis Federation;
Councilman Scott Gillingham and Veteran Associations: 283
ANAvet, Portuguese Combatants and Judy Bradley, IOOF.
Bugler, Ray Vance and Piper George Morrison performed the
Last Post, Lament, Reveille.
FEPOW Prayer – Barry Mitchell, son of Vaughan Mitchell.
We closed this service with prayer and adjourned to the Neil
Bardal Centre for the balance of the program.
We began the program with the Indigenous statement, prayer
and opening comments. Pam Heinrichs introduced our guest
speaker, Shawn Nault, Minister of Red River Métis Veterans.
Minister Nault has served in the Canadian military and respects
the service all Veterans give to this country. He gave an
inspiring speech on their association with the hope of working
together. Several of our Métis members were present and pleased
with these comments
We continued with the Protocol assisted by Donna Remillard,
daughter of Ray Sellars and Stephanie Mitchell, granddaughter of
Vaughan Mitchell, removing the chairs, and Colleen Stebbe,
daughter of Larry Stebbe, reading the Act of Remembrance.
The Regional Director, Carol Hadley (daughter of Borge
Agerbak) reviewed the mission that the Veterans gave to the
HKVCA when it was formed and our progress in addressing this
promise. Many of the projects are ongoing and listed above.
The meeting concluded and refreshments were enjoyed with
great conversation and many questions from our guests.
We are grateful for the interest and support of our political
officials; the connection with the Manitoba Métis Federation
(MMF) to help support our Métis members; the support from the
other Veteran Associations and our members. Big thank you to
Eirik Bardal, (grandson of Nijall Bardal, WG) of Neil Bardal
Centre for the use of their facility, staff and equipment - we
couldn’t do it without you. They made this day a success.
From Kathie Carlson (Lethbridge)
We had a beautiful warm summer day for our flag raising and
wreath laying at the City of Lethbridge Cenotaph on Monday,
August 15th for the 77th Anniversary of VJ Day. The HKVCA
Commemorative flag was raised at the front of City Hall at
exactly 11 a.m. and was flown for the week.
We had a small group in attendance, but delighted that HKVCA
members from Calgary, Norma and Glen Fuchs, Cynthia Melanson
from Cardston and her daughter Terra from Picture Butte, and
member Chiara Gurney from Lethbridge, who is the
great-granddaughter of Len Corrigan.
We were honoured to have families from the Kainai Nation
attend, especially Elder Newton Bull Shields who sang an Honour
Song with his drum, composed specifically for Veterans, and
Elder Charley Crow Chief, who said a Prayer and did a Smudge
honouring our Veterans (Warriors). Warrant Officer Glenn Miller,
retired, who is the historian for the Legion, and a strong
supporter of HKVCA, also helped with the program and
arrangements. Five wreaths were laid at the Cenotaph. Our local
media coverage was excellent. Lunch followed for those who could
We received coverage on Monday evening news on Global TV and
CTV. We also had additional coverage that was sent by Glenn
Miller (see link below) with Norma Fuchs from Calgary being
Our Lethbridge Herald article was on our front page. If you
go to both
CTV (about 7 minutes into the newscast) and
Global Lethbridge, about 9 minutes into the broadcast),
under local news, their HKVCA coverage is on the 5:00 pm
Newscast for August 15th . The Bridge City Newscast is
here. It was a great day with great coverage!
Salute Our Veterans Banners - The Royal Canadian Legion
General Stewart Branch No. 4 initiated a project, in cooperation
with the City of Lethbridge, to place Memorial Banners for all
Veterans that will be hung on city light standards around the
City of Lethbridge, during the month of October and November
each year. Their target was 91 banners, and they reached 81 by
the deadline. To develop a Banner for my father Len Corrigan
(see photo), they required a picture, an application to
be filled out, and a biography. Cost is $225 dollars. If
interested, contact your local Legion to see if they would
consider a similar program in your community.
We wish you all a wonderful, colourful Autumn as we prepare
for Thanksgiving, Remembrance Day and Christmas. May we always
remember those who served and be thankful for their sacrifice
for our rights and freedom.
Take care and God bless the Prairie Region.
London Ontario VJ Day Celebration
VJ Day in London, Ontario
In our last newsletter, you will remember that Debbie Legg announced
the unveiling of a monument in memory of her father, Lawrence Ross (RRC
E29339), on VJ Day 2022, in London, Ontario. During the service at the
Remembrance Gardens on Sunday, August 14th, 2022, the "Battle of Hong
Kong" memorial stone was dedicated to all Hong Kong Veterans. In
addition, there was one in memory of Lawrence Ross.
We gratefully thank the Ross family and in particular Lawrence's
daughter Debbie Legg and Remembrance Gardens Sean Wilson for bringing
this together for us. It is truly an impressive and significant tribute
to all of 'C' Force. We thank:
- Piper - Eileen Robertson
- Trumpeter - Skip Phoenix,
- MP London-Fanshawe - Lindsay Mathyssen,
- London City Councilor, Ward 2 - Shawn Lewis
for helping to make the service complete. Also in attendance were
present and past HKVCA members, guests and family members. We will never
Both of the memorial stones were commissioned by the Ross family in
their effort to continue educating the Canadian public about this
(Read more about the Remember Nov 11 Association and the
Remembrance Gardens in a related article, above)
Ross Family - From left to right....Rachel, Bill, Brian, Mary, Lana,
Debbie, Yvon, Sheryl, Mike, Dylan, Cherie, Pat, Willy
Ontario News by Shelagh Purcell, Ontario Rep
Mavis Martin and her family honoured John Martin, RRC, with a wreath
at the memorial wall on August 13th, 2022. Following the ceremony they
joined others at the Lord Elgin hotel for lunch.
Frank Miller, David Miller, RRC, thinks being a member of HKVCA is
important and a way for families to keep in touch.
Barbara Cunningham Drew, Winston Cunningham, RRC, has had a busy
summer being grandma. Now realizing summer is almost over she still
misses HK gatherings.
Grace Thornton, Howard Thornton, RRC, finds the TV news difficult to
watch these days. Wishing things could be more what we used to think of
as normal, but she's carrying on.
Irene Firlotte, Lawrence Firlotte, RRC, is doing well for her age at
96. We talked with her daughter Susan about the Ottawa ceremony for VJ
Esther Geraghty, Donald Geraghty, RRC, moved to a long-term care
facility in Waterdown.
Jean Killoran, John Killoran, RRC, has had family health problems to
deal with. Looking to her community for more help.
Agnes Fehr, Victor Fehr, RRC, is lucky to have four daughters
involved with her move to Beamsville. At 97 and a half, she hoped to go
to the Warriors parade at the CNE. Daughter Donna Drimmie makes handmade
cards for her family and sends them out regularly. She hopes this will
help her mom connect to family memories.
An important part of the VJ tribute in Ottawa was the luncheon that
followed the official ceremony on August 13th, 2022. It provided an
opportunity for HKVCA members to meet and chat about shared memories,
something we haven't been able to do when having a convention was not
possible during the pandemic.
At the historic Lord Elgin Hotel, Derrill Henderson and daughter Gail
Angel, Pat and Bernard Turcotte, daughter Carole Turcotte, myself -
Shelagh Purcell and son Mark, and new voice Julie Carver (who had found
her great uncle's name, Robert Blanchard, WG, on the Memorial Wall) sat
Julie, Carole, and Mark as second generation family members were able
to bring a different view to the day.
At another table, Mavis Martin, widow of John Martin, RRC, and her
family shared the luncheon with Mitzi Ross, Allen Sandeman, Jo-Anne
Scaffidi, Stan Lasenba, Maureen Rodrigues and Gary Pitts.
Ian Engelhardt (one of the day's organizers along with Brian Tang),
and Gwen, had organized the group lunch so well there wasn't a place at
either table for them, but thank you for bringing us together IAN!! It
is greatly appreciated by all attendees!
Can anyone tell us why the Lord Elgin Hotel in Ottawa has a history
with 'C' Force?
STAMPS! STAMPS! STAMPS!
Check out our HKVCA postal stamp. Distinctive, Eye-catching.
I have been called “old school”and I am!! I love to write letters,
send cards, mail bills - all with HKVCA stamps on them. And I feel if
anyone asks about the stamp, it's an opportunity to tell them about the
Canadians sent to Hong Kong in 1941. Many people still don't know, so
the stamp is also a message.
Available from Barry Mitchell.
POW Medals Dedication
Nearly 9,000 Canadian soldiers were captured and became Prisoners of
War during WWII. Over 1,600 of them, or almost 20%, were ‘C’ Force
members captured in Hong Kong.
The Royal Canadian Military Institute in Toronto recently honoured
four Canadian WWII POWs by permanently displaying their donated medal
sets as part of its extensive medal collection. Two of them were Hong
Kong Veterans: Lt Kay Christie and CSM George MacDonell; and the others
were Air Vice-Marshal Lawrence Wray (taken prisoner in Germany) and
Flying Officer Melvin Garland (captured in Normandy), both of the RCAF.
Peter Middleton speaking about Kay Christie
At the unveiling event each of the former POWs was honoured with a
speech describing his or her life before, during and after their POW
experience. You can watch all four presentations
here on the RCMI’s YouTube channel. Peter Middleton, a nephew of Kay
Christie, spoke on her behalf, and Mike Babin spoke about George
The event was very well attended, and although George was not able to
attend due to his health, he did watch it from his residence via
livestream and spoke afterwards with several attendees. George’s son,
Paul, and his family watched proudly in person.
Mike Babin speaking about George MacDonell
The RCMI’s medals collection also includes those of Brig John Lawson
and a plaque naming all recipients of the Victoria Cross, including that
of CSM John Osborn.
Fall Special Sale
License Plate Holder (front plate)....................$5.00
Winnipeg Grenadier Tie...............................$20.00
Postage Stamps—sheet of 50.........................$65.00
Dark Side of the Sun.....................................$20.00
‘C’ Force—Decorations, Medals, Awards.............$20.00
One Soldier’s Story......................................$20.00
DVD - Slaves of the Rising Sun.........................$10.00
Golf Shirt— XL........................................... $20.00
To order, send cheque to HKVCA, P.O. Box 381, Winnipeg MB R3C 2H6
Interac e-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org