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Well as you all know Winnipeg is doing the convention in 2013 Marlene and Dennis Bell are the chairs for that committee .We had our tea and tidbits on Saturday Dec 10 and had 12 women in attendance .It I always great to see the ladies .We had Margaret Dennis Owens attend the Tea .She is the author of a new book about the family of A Hong Kong Veteran The Title escapes me at this time as I have already lent it out to someone to read Well we also had a book signing which was great I will try and post some pictures Well not much to say Other then George Peterson is back from Japan and I will be talking to him shortly Thanks to Darrell Henderson for all the work you did in getting the apology .My only wish is that I wish it could have been sooner and I think I speak for all of you on that ,but now is better then never Well take care and Have a Great Christmas and the Very best in 2012 Juliet Lafortune
HKVCA members across the province attended Remembrance Day services and laid wreaths on behalf of the HKVCA. Traditions continued in Victoria, Sardis, Armstrong, Burnaby and Port Moody where sons and daughters of our HK vets have participated for over a decade. For the first time, a wreath was laid at the Victory Square cenotaph in Vancouver by a new member, Phil Mondor.
Lee Naylor has been extremely busy promoting education in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island. On October 20 Lee made a lengthy presentation at the Heritage Christian School in Abbotsford. Lee and Graeme Stacey attended the BCSSTA Conference at the Vancouver Technical School on October 20 where our display was present and Lee and Graeme made a presentation about ‘C’ Force to the teachers at the conference.
From Oct. 24 – 28 Lee attended the "Living History – An Experience to Remember" event in Chilliwack where he set up our display and spoke to students, teachers and the general public.
Lee and his wife Sherry left for Victoria on November 6 and set up our display at the Royal BC Museum for Veterans’ Week which started Nov. 7 and lasted through Remembrance Day. I know that Lee was making a presentation in the auditorium at the museum on Nov. 11. He planned to attend Remembrance Day services on Nov. 11 with Linda Quesnel, Gerry Gerrard and others. I haven’t had a chance to talk to Lee since his return. Unfortunately I was unable to attend Veterans’ Week at the museum this year due to the rigors of a new job and illness in the family.
Lee plans to attend the BC ALPHA conference in Vancouver on December 7 and 8. As you can see, Lee has been working very hard as our Regional Director and Education Chair and we are most grateful.
Respectfully submitted by Murray Doull, BC Region Secretary/Treasurer.
We here in Manitoba are doing well and we are looking forward to holding the Convention here .We have two great people who have come on board to Chair the Convention Committee .Dennis and Marlene Bell . They have started off on a great path at looking at venues and are open for any advice from anyone We held our Final Big Reunion on Oct 22nd and saddened to say we didn't have one Veteran in attendance We did have the Lieutenant Governor Philip Lee and his wife in attendance along with 4 cadets and a total of approx 90 people . We will be holding smaller scale events for October .We still hold our Tea and Tidbits for the Ladies and the next one is December the 10 as you must know we lost Larry Stebbe on Oct 28 2011 .We are holding our own here and have I have great people to fall back on .George Peterson is doing well after his surgery He went to Niverville with Lora Wachtendorf to lay a wreath for Remembrance Day I laid the wreath for HKVA on behalf of George Peterson and was escorted by Dennis Bell .Our Colour party did us proud as usual .Well take care to all, stay in touch Juliet Lafortune Regional Director Manitoba
We have been invited to attend the 3rd annual George Derby Centre "Tribute to Our Veterans" event on September 17 in Burnaby, BC. The information and details are on the website. We will be setting up our Region’s audio/visual display and answering questions to those in attendance. Gerry Gerrard (RCCS) is travelling from Vancouver Island to attend with his daughter Bev Campbell and her husband Eric who live in Maple Ridge. Bev and Eric’s daughter Tracey Campbell works at the Centre which houses approximately 350 veterans. Lee Naylor and I will arrive early and set up the display. There are many veteran associations in attendance and this has always proven to be a wonderful tribute to all Canadian veterans. It is a perfect venue to educate the public about the story of ‘C’ Force and our display is always very well received.
We have also been invited again this year to set up our HK display at the Royal BC Museum in Victoria during Veterans Week in November. A decision will be made soon regarding our attendance.
Lee Naylor has been invited to give a one hour presentation about ‘C’ Force at the Abbotsford Evangelical Free Church on Oct. 20. Lee’s presentation is titled "Canadian Hong Kong Veterans: In Battle, as POW’s, Wounds and Closure". Lee’s presentation will be part of the Hands on History sessions with Todd Farion. Lee will be speaking between 2:00pm and 4:00pm. The address of the church is 33218 Marshall Road in Abbotsford BC for those who can attend.
Graeme Stacey and Lee continue to work closely together on new educational projects to teach the story of our HK vets to students. Graeme is creating a Hong Kong History Document as part of a Critical Thinking Consortium Project which will be available in the future as part of a national collection available to history teachers across Canada. The collection will be comprised of topics relating to 20th century Canadian history.
Respectfully submitted by Murray Doull on behalf of the BC Region.
We had a very successful VJ-Day celebration at All Saints Anglican Church with over 60 people attending including the Lieutenant Governor.
The Hon. Philip Lee spoke at the ceremony and stayed afterward to chat with the attendees in a very memorable occasion.
We continue to strive to keep our membership numbers up and “final notices” have been sent to over 30 individual who have yet to pay dues for 2011. It seems that with the passing of veterans, we unfortunately lose the enthusiasm of their families and thus declining membership. We try to get as close to 200 paying members as we can but it will likely be closer to 170 at the end of the year. Efforts are being maintained to “spread the word” and seek new members.
Greetings from sunny Quebec.
Things are returning to a bit more normal pace.
We are at work in preparation for the November Remembrance period as schools are back for their sessions and the vacation periods are over for the most part.
We will shortly be holding our fall executive meeting and plan for the upcoming new year.
A call for membership renewals for 2012 is also being prepared as this year is fast coming to an end and notes to our sick will also be mailed.
At the risk of repeating the news I will close this report at this time.
Lucette Mailloux Muir
Quebec Regional Director
Lieutenant Governor Philip Lee attended the 66th Anniversary of Victory over Japan (VJ Day) with Bill Bell (Left) and George Peterson (seated) – Hong Kong Veterans.
On August 15th the Hong Kong Veterans and the Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association celebrated the 66th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War when Japan unconditionally surrendered. This day we also commemorate the soldiers of “C” Force – the Winnipeg Grenadiers, and the Canadian Army Brigade that fought at the Battle of Hong Kong (8th to 25th December 1941) and subsequently became Prisoners of War. The battle resulted in the death of 285 soldiers. A further 270 soldiers died while Prisoners of War. The hardships and maltreatment resulted in the early deaths of many soldiers.
For many families there was considerable hardships and despair because they had no information on their loved ones. The status for most of these soldiers was unknown until September 1945 when the Allies visited the POW camps.
When the Hong Kong Veterans of Canada (HKVA) was formed in 1946, it was to assist the veterans in getting health benefits and pensions as many of the veterans were unable to work due to the extremely harsh treatment they suffered as prisoners of war. In 2001 they were granted full VIP pension but it was too late for many of them. The VIP program was given to many of the widows also. We thank the War Amps of Canada and in particular Cliff Chadderton, who led the efforts to get the benefits for the members of the HKVA. Cliff Chadderton has become the patron of the HKVA and when the Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association (HKVCA) was formed he consented to be the patron of the HKVCA also.
The Memorial Wall in Ottawa has all the names of “C” Force and serves as a tribute to the Canadian men, women and dog that were in Hong Kong. Please go to the website – www.hkvca.ca for more information.
We give thanks to these Canadian men and women who gave so much – their lives, their health and their youth so that we may have the freedom that we enjoy today.
We will remember them.
On October 22, 2011 at the Holiday Inn Airport West, the Annual Dinner to observe the 70th Anniversary of the departure of the Winnipeg Grenadiers as they left to go to Hong Kong to help defend the British colony. If anyone wishes to attend please contact Juliet Lafortune at 338-3354 or get the forms from the website.
We are working on the VJ Day service that will be held August 21, 2011 due to the National Convention on the previous weekend. We have invited the Lieutenant Governor Philip Lee to attend and bring greetings. We are hoping to have media, special guests from the service organizations, members and of course the guests of honour – our veterans.
With regard to the recordings that some of the veterans made as POW’s, there has been interest from CBC to do a program– not sure what yet but will inform you as it unfolds.
Alysha Jones,a University student working on a thesis regarding the effects on family members of soldiers who went to war, were POW's, and suffered many issues when they returned - thus away for a long time and needing help when they returned. She met several of our ladies at the Tea and Tidbits and came to our monthly meeting to chat with a few others. Her project has a completion date of April, 2012.
I was forwarded a message from Meg Parkes in England who is associated with a Researching FEPOW History group who are keen to find a speaker to share their research with them at their next conference (8-9 September 2012), particularly concerning the Canadians taken prisoner by the Japanese in Hong Kong, as well as other areas. I have suggested that she contact Nathan Greenfield or Tony Banham as they had done extensive research for their resent publications.
VAC are still digitizing the videos that were done in 1997 and hopefully we will have a full list of them to link to or copies on our website.
Our Colour Party will be attending many Legion and rural area parades throughout the summer which gives our Association some visibility and attention.
There are several of our members thatwill be attending the National Convention but not as many as we had hoped dueto plans changing.
The Royal Hong Kong Regiment (The Volunteers) has a chapter in Toronto, and on June 3 they held their Foundation Day reception and dinner at the Fort York Armoury. Pat and Bernard Turcotte and I attended, and George MacDonell was honoured with a seat at the head table and with a standing ovation.
On June 18 our West Central area held a luncheon, hosted by Lori Atkinson-Smith, at the Bertie Boating Club at Crystal Beach. There were two veterans in attendance, Ken Pifher and Gerry Sunstrom. It was particularly gratifying for the group to meet with Gerry, as he has not typically participated in HKVCA events.
The following weekend the Canadian International Tattoo took place in Hamilton. About 4,000 people in total attended the two performances. There were some terrific pipe and brass bands, precision marching and other performances. The Hong Kong Veterans were recognized with a special (although brief) segment that outlined the battle and POW experience. Ken Pifher was the guest of honour, and received a long standing ovation from the crowd. Outside the arena we had our three new banners on display along with a table with our educational materials. There was quite a bit of interest from the passers-by. As usual, very few had any knowledge of the Battle of Hong Kong. Our educational efforts must continue!
Speaking of education … we’re beginning to plan our involvement in the Ontario History and Social Sciences Teachers’ Association’s annual conference in November.
I’m looking forward to seeing you all in Granby. In the meantime, enjoy the tropical weather!
New activities these days, not too many as we are fast at work with the final preparations for the upcoming convention.
Due to the recent postal strike and subsequent slowdown we are coping with our delays. If any of your members have any questions concerning the convention, hotel reservations, mail etc. please pass on the message by e-mail or phone and will give them all info needed.
ALSO NOTE that if any have not as yet made their reservations or registrations, they can do it with me through e-mail or phone.
ALSO NOTE hotel room reservations, at this late date, will be made with credit card number only. Registrations made by e-mail will be listed as "collect" and payable at the registration.
That is it for this time,
Lee and I were privileged to attend Veterans Week celebrations at the CFB Chilliwack Heritage Museum this week. We set up our display early Monday morning and took it down today. Many students and teachers passed through the museum during the week's events. Lee and I attended Monday and today and left the display for all to see on the days we couldn't be present. It is a bit of a trek for both of us and made for a couple of early mornings and long days in order to attend.
We were fortunate to talk to not only students and teachers but many WWll, Korean and Afghanistan veterans we met for the first time. For those of you that don't know, Lee followed in his Dad's footsteps and is a retired Canadian veteran of 27 years, I believe of which 18 were spent overseas. Lee has excellent communication skills and we are very fortunate to have him as our Education Chair in BC.
Thanks again to Ontario for their wonderful CD Rom. The teachers are so happy to receive it and are very grateful for the teaching aid to take back to their classrooms. It is an invaluable tool in our association's pursuit of education.
There was a luncheon for the veterans today which we attended. There was a Dixie band and Linda Jones sang the songs from the forties. The lady in the photograph with Lee is Alberta Rafferty, the widow of Joe Rafferty, WG.
Alberta has always been a supporter of the HKVCA and lives in Chilliwack and it was very nice to meet her in person.
(from Murray Doull)
The event took place amidst displays of all types of military memorabilia, everything that a soldier, sailor, airmen or airwomen wore, used or operated. There were over a dozen military vehicles including a full size replica First World War bi-plane courtesy of the Canadian Museum of Flight. Lee and I set up our Region’s extensive display complete with audio and video components.
Lee and I met at 8:30am to set up the display and the activities officially started at 11:00am with a Service of Remembrance at the George Derby Centre Cenotaph. The service was immediately followed by the official opening ceremony. Amongst the dignitaries who took part was Mrs. Anne Bason who tragically lost her son two years ago in Afghanistan.
After the ceremonies were completed, the displays opened and a barbeque lunch was served. There were military musical performances throughout the afternoon until things started winding down around 4:00pm.
Lee and I had the opportunity to talk to many people and hundreds viewed our display asking many questions. We were surprised how knowledgeable many were about the story of ‘C’ Force, particularly the veterans in attendance.
Lee is to be congratulated for the tremendous work he is doing as the BC Education Chair. Lee has enhanced the incredible educational display that Linda Stewart made a couple of years ago and works very hard making contacts and exploring avenues to promote the story of ‘C’ Force and raise funds for the Memorial Wall. We have a great team in BC with Linda, Bev and Lee and many more hard working members and I am proud to be a part of it.
(Photos have been added to the gallery) -ed.
Manitoba Branch of the Hong Kong Veterans Association is holding the 64th Reunion to be held at the Holiday Inn Airport West in Winnipeg on October 24, 2009.
This Hong Kong family gathering welcomes everyone who wishes to celebrate with the Hong Kong Veterans (Canadians who were sent to Hong Kong to support the British forces against the Japanese).
The evening consists of some formality with recognizing the passing of the Hong Kong Veterans and the Commemorative members from the past year.
There are some items related to the Battle of Hong Kong for sale (Barry’s Emporium), memberships, tickets for silent auction and name draw.
Generous members donate items for the silent auction to raise funds for the projects that the HK vets support. Displays for review, to educate and inform anyone not familiar with the Battle of Hong Kong and Canada’s involvement.
After a wonderful dinner there is dance music, visiting and reminiscing with veterans and their families.Hope you can attend.
The Holiday Inn Airport West is honoured to assist with the overnight accommodations for the Hong Kong Veterans Association of Canada. A block of standard rooms has been reserved at the special rate of $104.00 + tax per room per night based on single or double occupancy (plus taxes). The block of rooms is scheduled for arrival on Friday October 23rd, 2009 and departure on Sunday, October 25th, 2009.
Please contact our Reservation Department, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 am – 7:30 pm each day to confirm your overnight accommodations and refer to the group booking code below.
Group Booking Code: HKV
Cut Off Date: Friday, October 9, 2009 (Any non-reserved rooms after this date will be released & subject to availability at time of booking).
Direct Toll Free Reservations: 1-800-665-0352
Local Phone: (204) 885-4478
Check in time is after 3:00 pm and Check out time is 12 noon.
For your information, the Holiday Inn Airport West has an indoor Holidome Recreational Area with a swimming pool, adjacent children's wading pool, Pirates Cove Playland, whirlpool, and saunas. Additionally a fitness centre is located in the Holidome complete with an exercise bike, rowing machine and step machine. All guest rooms are equipped with a coffee maker, refrigerator, iron and ironing board, hair dryer, as well as regular personal guest amenities.
The Hotel also has a fully licensed Restaurant - Bell Bottoms open for breakfast, lunch, dinner & snacks. The hours of operation for Bell Bottoms Restaurant is from 6:30 am – 11:00 pm (Monday – Friday) and, 7:30 am – 11:00 pm (Saturday & Sunday). Also available is our SOS Lobby Bar located on the main floor, adjacent to our front desk area - a perfect spot to have a quiet drink with friends.
For your convenience complimentary parking for over 300 vehicles is available, in both our outdoor lot as well as in the climate-controlled underground parking garage. Also available for your convenience is our complimentary shuttle service. This service operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to and from Winnipeg International Airport.
cc: Reservation Department (8/23/09)
Manitoba Branch of the Hong Kong Veterans Association (HKVA) holds an Annual Reunion dinner and dance in October. The date is usually the closest Saturday to October 25, marking the date when the Winnipeg Grenadiers left Winnipeg for Hong Kong. In recent years the Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association (HKVCA) have organized this event to honour our veterans and widows and to thank them for their efforts for our rights and freedoms.
We invite anyone who wishes to share this camaraderie with our veterans, widows and HKVCA to use the information linked below and we look forward to welcoming you.
by Carol Hadley
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Manitoba Region annually observes VJ Day at All Saints Church in Winnipeg with a service using the Protocol in honouring our veterans. All members were invited as well as concordant bodies such as the Royal Canadian Legion branches, Korean Vets, Peace Keepers, etc.
The service began with George Peterson, President of Manitoba Branch of the HKVA bringing in the Colours with the Colour Party (Alex Taylor, Stan and Vince Lopata). There were about 50 people welcomed by George and Carol Hadley, Secretary (as Juliet Lafortune, Regional Director was out of town). Introductions of the 5 HK veterans that were present was made; they were George Peterson, Larry Stebbe, Bill Bell, Bob Lytle and Grant Shepherd and the Manitoba Region executive; Stan & Vince Lopata, Deputy Directors, Barry Mitchell, Treasurer and Carol Hadley, Secretary.
A couple of our projects were highlighted mainly the Memorial Wall in Ottawa (with the artists rendering on view) with an update to progress and the new tabletop display that the Education Committee uses was available for all to see.
The Protocol service was lead by Carol with the assistance of Larry Stebbe, Pam Heinrichs and Vince Lopata with his computer coordinating the music. Barry Mitchell and Carol supplied the items for the table. Carol read the Honour Roll with the names of those who died from August 2007 – August 2008.
Following the service we enjoyed refreshments that were prepared by Juliet and served by Bonnie Wiebe and Linda Sloan. Vince Lopata did a very comprehensive powerpoint presentation on the Battle of Hong Kong as to the movement of the units over the 17 days of fighting.
We are pleased to have pictures of the day provided by Dennis Bell.
by Murray Doull
August 4, 2008 was BC Day and marked the 150th birthday of the province of British Columbia. Celebratory events took place in many cities from the Pacific Ocean to the Alberta border.
The BC Region of the HKVCA participated in what will be the largest tribute to our veterans this year in British Columbia. The event took place under sunny skies with temperatures well over 30 degrees Celsius at the Burnaby Village Museum and was called, “BC Day Salute to our Veterans.” There were thousands of people in attendance.
The event paid tribute to three significant historical anniversaries: the 55th anniversary of the Korean War Cease Fire, the 90th anniversary of the First World War Armistice and the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Crown Colony of British Columbia. All three anniversaries were represented on the Museum’s site through static and mobile displays, official ceremonies, historical interpretation and military band performances. This Tribute to our Veterans’ event took place 11 days before the 63rd anniversary of VJ Day and was well attended by two HK vets and their families and many HKVCA members.
The event had three main goals: to educate, inform and entertain. Participant groups were supplied with display areas which allowed them to create a greater awareness as to the role and goals of their associations. Collectors of military vehicles displayed their restored vehicles and three military bands performed on stage throughout the day.
The event also included an off site component: a commemorative celebration at the Korean War Veterans Monument which was unveiled last year in Burnaby’s Central Park. Veterans and Officials were transported to and from that venue from the Museum site in period military vehicles to attend a Service of Remembrance. One of our HK vets, Gerry Gerrard, attended the Memorial Service with his wife EV and his daughter and son in law, Bev and Eric Campbell. Gerry and Ev travelled to the Lower Mainland from Victoria a day earlier and were staying with Bev and Eric at their home in Maple Ridge.
While Gerry and his family were attending the Memorial Service, Linda Stewart (BC Regional Director), Lee Naylor (HKVCA) and Lucy and Murray Doull (HKVCA) started setting up the BC Region display in the Carousel Building. Linda had arrived a day early from Victoria and Lee and his family also arrived a day early from their home in Princeton. Fortunately for Lucy and me the Museum is only a 40 minute drive from our home in Maple Ridge.
Linda had been working tirelessly for two months creating an incredible permanent ‘C’ Force educational display for our Region. Due to Linda’s efforts and hard work there is no doubt in my mind that our HKVCA display honouring the Hong Kong veterans stood out among all the displays that were present. Lee contributed with a display he made which focused on the hat badges and arm bands from the RRC, WG, and Brigade Headquarters. Lee also brought some memorabilia. We also had memorabilia from Gerry Gerrard and my father, Bill Doull. For hand outs we had HKVCA informational brochures, Memorial Wall brochures and Sgt. Gander bookmarks for the children. We had books for sale as well as an audio and visual display. Our rather large display was very well attended throughout the day. The picture below shows part of the display with Lee on the left, Linda in the middle and Murray on the right.
Once we had set up our display in the Carousel Building, we realized that there was a more prominent display area available outside near the bandstand, the Korean Veterans display, the VAC display and the military vehicle display. Although we wouldn’t have the luxury of air conditioning at the new location we unanimously decided that we had enough time to move to the prominent outside location and set up once again before the public attended at 11:00AM.
Linda and I would like to thank everyone that helped us to relocate our display. It was quite a bit of work but the effort was well worthwhile. We were all set up and ready for the public when the Museum site opened. Just before we moved to the new location, another HK vet, John Lowe, arrived with his wife Florence and their daughter Diane and Diane’s children. They arrived in the Carousel Building just before we re-located and posed for a photograph before we started tearing down.
The picture below was taken after we had set up the display at our new location.
Here is a photograph of John Lowe sitting at the display flanked by two Korean War veterans, Bob Stewart on the right and Vic Mumford on the left.
The following photograph is Linda Stewart in front of one of the display panels she made, pointing to a pre war photograph of her father, Cliff Carpenter, WG.
From 11:00 to 11:30 pipe bands paraded through the village. At 11:45 was the Parade of the Veterans led by the pipes and drums of the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, the 78th Fraser Highlanders and the Vancouver Naval Veterans Association Colour Party. Gerry and John assembled with the veterans prior to the Parade. Gerry was carrying the Hong Kong Veterans flag and was very honoured when the Colour Party asked him to join them with the HK Colours. The parade formed and was led in by the RCMP, the pipes and drums, the Colour Party and the veterans. It was a very moving parade and hundreds of participants were clapping and honouring the veterans as they passed. The following pictures show Gerry carrying the Hong Kong veterans flag in the Colour Party and John marching with his fellow veterans.
We were grateful that Noreen Cambon brought her mother Eileen Cambon to our display area. Eileen is the widow of Dr. Ken Cambon, RRC. Thank you also to Bev and Diane for bringing Gerry and Ev and John and Florence to the events. The temperature was very hot by the time the Parade of the Veterans took place and our two HK vets stood tall and didn’t bat an eyelash.
Guy Black coordinated and directed this wonderful Tribute to our Veterans. What follows is an excerpt from the letter that Linda wrote to Guy following the event:
“BC Day at the Burnaby Village Museum was a fabulous success due largely to your devotion and hard work.
On behalf of our veterans and the commemorative members, I thank you for all that you did to put on the event. We very much appreciate how you go out of your way to honour and show respect for the veterans and make them feel special as, of course, they should feel.
Thank you for accommodating our last minute change of location. We sure appreciated your help with that as well. It was really wonderful how you took time to help us with that when you were so busy.”
Thank you also to all the HKVCA members from the BC Region who participated and helped us in the display area. I don’t want to mention any names for fear that I might miss someone. Your presence and support was greatly appreciated.
HKVCA Treasurer/Membership Chair, BC Region
ON Region Newsletter - Jan '08 (PDF)
***Note: the dates below may be in error! Correct dates probably are Sept 5, 6, 7.***
From Neil Darrah
Reunion will be in Florenceville N.B. on Sept 4,5,6. Regesteration Fri 2-4, social evening Fri 7-12 music by Wild Wood. Memorial service on Sat at 11 am. AGM at 2 PM on Sat afternoon, banquet at 5 P.M.. on Sat. Social evening Sat night. Good buys on Sun morning. All threes events will be held at the Florenceville Legion.
This letter brings best wishes and news from our Association to all of our BC Region Hong Kong veterans and their families, widows of HK vets, and HKVCA members.
We have some very good news to pass along regarding the Hong Kong Veterans’ Memorial Wall. After a lengthy process, our project has been approved by the National Capital Commission in Ottawa. The Memorial Wall Committee has been meeting on a regular basis for over 7 months and now that approval has been granted, we are prepared to move forward. We have been offered several prominent sites in Ottawa to choose from and the Committee will select the one that is best suited for the Memorial after considering all pertinent factors.
We will be working closely with the NCC every step of the way. Although the NCC will assist with the site preparation, the HKVCA will be responsible for design and the cost of materials and construction. We set a goal to raise $100,000.00 at the Calgary convention to cover these costs. Due to the generosity of so many of you, we are well on our way to meet our goal but we are not there yet. Please consider this project very important when reviewing your gifts for charity. Charitable tax receipts will be issued for donations over $20.00. This project is currently the number one priority for our Association and we are anxious to see it completed. Please make your cheques payable to the HKVCA and note “Memorial Wall” on the bottom. Please visit our website at www.hkvca.ca for updates as the Memorial Wall moves forward towards completion. There will be more information to follow in the March edition of the National newsletter which you will be receiving soon.
It has been decided that four National newsletters (instead of two) will be issued per year starting in March, 2008. The Wasureru –Nai will now be distributed in March, June, September and December in order to provide more news from National and each Region. For those of you who have computers and an internet connection, we would appreciate your assistance to help us save postage costs by agreeing to receive your newsletters and other communications electronically. All you have to do is send an e-mail to Murray Doull at email@example.com indicating your approval and I will put your name on the electronic mailing list. You will be helping us to cut costs while being environmentally friendly at the same time.
For those of you that have an internet connection, I would encourage you to visit our website on a regular basis. Jim Trick, a BC member and our National Secretary, is also our Web Master. Jim does an excellent job keeping the website informative and updated. The website is a key component of our Association and once you have visited it you will be drawn back again and again because there is so much to see and learn. The site has proven to be a valuable educational tool. Please encourage your family and friends to visit www.hkvca.ca and learn more about our Hong Kong veterans and the HKVCA. You may discover that you have related material at home which would be a welcome addition to the site. If you do, Jim would be glad to hear from you and he can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hong Kong veterans and their widows will find their membership card and HKVCA decal for 2008 enclosed. The HK vets and widows are lifetime members of our Association and are not required to pay dues. Regular memberships are due for renewal on January 1 of each year and they still only cost $15.00 annually. $10.00 of that amount is forwarded to National and $5.00 stays in the Region. While the by-law states that “members in arrears by one month cease to be members in good standing”, for reporting purposes those who remain in arrears as of December 1 of the year (11 months in arrears) will be removed from the membership list. Although there are some of you that are receiving this letter, you will not be receiving further National newsletters or Regional communications unless you renew because you did not pay your dues for 2007. Perhaps you forgot or were too busy, but I urge you to renew while it is fresh in your mind . Thank you to those of you who have already renewed and to those that have sent donations to both the Memorial Wall Project and the BC Region.
For those of you that were current in 2007 and have not already done so, please submit your 2008 dues to me at your earliest convenience. I encourage you to consider paying your dues 2 years at a time if possible. It is important for us to keep our membership strong in order to fulfill our mandate. Please encourage family members and friends to become new members. Currently the first priority of the HKVCA is the Memorial Wall, the second is promoting educationally the story of ‘C’ Force, and the third is to increase membership. It is also important to keep us informed of your new address and phone number if you have moved in order for us to stay in touch with you. Thank you for assisting us to achieve our goals.
The BC Region will be holding elections for officers this year. The positions that will be available are; Regional Director, Secretary, and Treasurer. Currently the Secretary and Treasurer are combined into one position. It has been proven in this Region that the position of Membership Chair is best filled by the Treasurer who receives the dues, makes the deposits and transfers to National, and sends out the new membership cards and decals as dues are received. The election process will start once a committee has been formed consisting of a Collector, Scrutineer and two Counters. An appeal for nominations outlining the process will then be mailed out to Regional members in good standing. Once people have been nominated and accepted, the membership will then receive a short bio for each nominee accompanied by a ballot which will have to be returned to the Collector within specified time limits. It is important to note that anyone wishing to run for office or vote in this Regional election must have a current membership. We encourage members to step forward and run for office.
We are also seeking volunteers to form two separate committees which we feel will be very effective to help us move forward in this Region. The purpose of the first committee, the “Phone Pals” will be to maintain regular contact, either by phone or in person, with the HK vets and their widows that live in BC to ensure their well being. We have some HK vets and widows in care facilities that might enjoy visits. Members who live in their communities could be contacted by the committee to see if they would be willing to help out by visiting with the vets and widows in these facilities. Home visits could be arranged for HK vets and widows that are interested. We are hopeful that a committee of 3 or 4 members, including a chairperson, will be established as soon as possible. Linda and I will be available as much as needed to help the committee get started and evolve by supplying information and assisting in whatever way we can. Our contact information is at the end of this letter and we look forward to hearing from you in order to get this committee up and running expeditiously.
Secondly, we would like to form an education committee with 3 or 4 members including a chairperson. We are very fortunate in this region to have Graeme Stacey as a long time member. Graeme grew up in Victoria and is currently a high school history teacher in Westbank. Graeme learned about the Hong Kong veterans when he was in university and was fascinated by their story. He interviewed several HK vets in the late 1990’s (Lionel Speller, Don MacPherson, Larry Stebbe, Flash Clayton to name a few) and wrote his Masters degree based on the history of ‘C’ Force. Graeme has worked hard over the years to successfully have the HK story included in the grade 11 social studies curriculum throughout our province.
The purpose of the education committee will be to look at new ways to ensure the story of ‘C’ Force is presented to British Columbians. This could be accomplished by timely press releases prior to Remembrance Day and Christmas. Another way would be to speak in schools and to other organizations about the Hong Kong veterans. One of the roles of the new Secretary will be to chair this important committee and help it move forward. Again, Linda and I will assist in any way we can to provide input and guidance, especially in the initial stages.
Enclosed you will find a page (mailed copies only) containing all the particulars about the upcoming HKVCA luncheons in Victoria and Vancouver in June. We hope that you and your family members will be able to attend one or both of them. Over the years the luncheons have proven to be a time when those of us that don’t see each other as often as we would like can get together and renew old friendships and make new ones. Veterans Affairs Canada will be represented at both luncheons as well as special guests. Please mark the dates on your calendar and follow the contact information to RSVP beforehand. Information is also available on our Online Calendar.
The BC Region of the HKVCA will be participating in a BC Day event which will salute our veterans. This year’s event will be held at the Burnaby Village Museum on August 4 and will showcase Canada’s proud military heritage and say “thank you” to our veterans on the 150th birthday of our province. This celebration is a free family focused event which will be held on the 10 acre museum site. Linda and I will be setting up a ‘C’ Force display and talking to those in attendance about the role Canadians played in Hong Kong and their subsequent internment as prisoners of war. Please mark this date on your calendar and we hope to see you there. Linda will be providing more details in the June edition of the Wasureru-Nai.
Our hearts and prayers go out to those of you who have recently lost family members and loved ones. To those of you who have been ill, we hope that you will recover soon. Please do not hesitate to contact Linda Stewart our Regional Director, or myself, if you know of a Hong Kong veteran or widow who is need of assistance. We will do what we can to help. Linda can be reached by phone at 250-294-6747 or by e-mail at email@example.com My phone number is 604-465-0579 and my e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org If you are sending in your membership dues or donations, please mail a cheque made out to the HKVCA c/o Murray Doull, 20368 Kent Street, Maple Ridge BC V2X 1A6. I look forward to the postman keeping me busy. Linda and I also look forward to hearing from volunteers so we can get the BC Region committees outlined in this letter up and running as soon as possible.
I have never heard an HK vet say goodbye to a comrade. Rather, they say “See you again” or “Until next time”. Keeping that in mind, we wish you well until we meet again.
Warm regards, Murray Doull HKVCA Secretary-Treasurer, BC Region