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(originally given to HKVA members in a separate session)
Comrades, over the past two years since our last meeting in Ottawa there has been a lot going on that affects us, the Hong Kong Veterans.
It is comforting to know that most, if not all, of that activity has been generated and produced by the HKVCA. You will receive a complete report from the HKVCA meeting so I won’t try to itemize them here.
I want, though, to mention and congratulate Flash and Jessie Clayton on their being inducted into the Canada Veterans Hall of Valour. Flash and Jessie work untiringly to spread the story of Hong Kong, and their efforts have been deservedly recognized. This should be entered in the records.
The Hall of Valour now has on its roster a number of Hong Kong Veterans due to the efforts of Ron McGuire, one of the members of the Hall, and a member of HKVCA.
I don’t have to tell you that travel for us is getting more and more difficult, and I regretfully have to report that I have not attended all of the funerals that I would have wished to.
The HKVCA has taken on a project of building a memorial wall. It is well advertised at this convention, so I won’t say more about it except that it is hoped that the Ottawa red tape can be cut through in time for the construction to move ahead, so that some of us at least can see the finished product, and even be present at the unveiling.
I try to attend as many reunions as I can, but due to difficulties of travel I am limited to the ones nearby that I can reach by car. The Quebec reunion takes place every two years and it has been held in Granby for the last few years, organized by Lucette Muir and Marcel Mondou.
The Maritimes region reunion is held in Florenceville, NB. I try to take that one in every year, and I was even able to get to the Manitoba dinner-reunion in Winnipeg in 2005.
Since we last met I went to Hong Kong along with five other HK Vets, Ed Shayler, Gerry Gerrard, George Macdonell, Doug Rees, and Flash Clayton.
Students and teachers from schools in the Oshawa area of Ontario buried a time capsule at the entrance to Sai Wan Cemetery. It was a moving ceremony. You have all received a copy of a wonderful book by Nancy and Michael Strahl in which they describe the trip and the capsule ceremony.
Many parents and friends also traveled to Hong Kong for the occasion.
George MacDonell also wrote a report of the trip and gave a copy to each of us.
Since we turned over our management and responsibilities in 2001 to the Commemorative Association, and I slid into the position of National President after Harry Atkinson’s death, my role has been largely ceremonial.
Derrill has been Recording Secretary for many years and because he lives in Ottawa he is close to where we need a friend. He is able to advise and direct and keep everything on an even keel.
Barry looks after our finances, and from his report you can tell that he does so in a very efficient manner.
The question that is always on my mind is, are things going to your liking? Do you wish to make changes? If you feel that we should hold an election please let me know. I am willing to carry on for as long as you want me to but if you want to make a change I am willing to step aside. Please let me know.