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(submitted by Carol Hadley after the meeting - no report was available at the meeting)
National Convention 2007
August 16-19, 2007
QC Regional Director Report 2007
General Meeting August 17, 2007.
Since our 2005 Convention in Ottawa, we are continuing to work for the welfare of our Veterans, Widows and HKVC Association.
We in Quebec continue to work jointly with our Veterans of the QC-Maritimes Branch.
We hold a joint-executive meeting annually and consult with our Veterans on certain special subjects as their experience and knowledge are as always very good assets for us.
In our Region the HKVCA executive meet locally on a fairly regular basis, more often during a “Reunion Year” or in the case of an emergency or a special decision to be made for our Region.
We attend the monthly on-line National Meetings as regular as possible. We try to bring some of our experience that could possibly help other Regions.
Every November I or someone from our executive, deposits a wreath in the memory of all fallen HK Veterans and Comrades.
In the later part of 2005 we attended more activities for the 60th Anniversary of the “Year of the Veteran” still taking place in many areas.
For 2006, again in June we held our annual joint-executive meeting in New Richmond, QC. A very productive meeting was held and later in the day the spouses joined us for refreshments at the Baie des Chaleurs Royal Canadian Legion followed by a social dinner.
In August we held a very successful bi-annual reunion with 11 Veterans and in no particular order: Dempsey Syvret, John Levitt, Bill Doull, Robert Olscamp, Philip Doddridge, Jean-Paul Dallain, Robert Clayton, Bruce Cadoret, Eric Batley, Austin Batley and Oswald Clark were present with Wives, Widows, Family members and Friends of the HK Family. Six of our Provinces were represented by Veterans, Widows and/or family members and from as far as BC, Sask. and Manitoba with of course Ontario, NB and Quebec. There was time for social activities, time for business and of course time to commemorate the sacrifices of our Veterans. Philip Doddridge layed the HK wreath for all Veterans, yours truly for the Commemorative Association, and our widow Renee Giard for all Hong Kong Widows. Each Veteran present deposited a small Canadian flag for each of their fallen Comrades since our last Reunion, Patricia Maltman from Winnipeg for all Winnipeg Grenadiers and Family members present for their Dad’s. The HK Banner was carried by John H. Russell, OMM, CD from Kingston ON in respect and in memory of his Dad Albert Russell RRC deceased in 2005. We again thank Murray Doull from Maple Ridge BC for giving us a great last minute hand to carry the Canadian flag.
Many prizes were drawn during the weekend and our ticket draw was a great success.
Following our call for elections of officers, the results were announced during our joint-general meeting. The complete committee was re-elected with the addition of a new Deputy Director Renay Perrier.
We attended or were represented for the funerals or celebrations of life of some of our Veterans and Widows.
For 2007 the HKVCA executive held a meeting in April.
In June we again held our annual joint-executive meeting in New Richmond and for the first time at the Baie des Chaleurs Military Museum. Four Veterans were present. It was remarked by the Vets as they recalled the times when 20 or so Veterans were present for these meetings and then enjoyed the social get-together at which the wives and other friends also attended. Yes it is very sad!
We attended funerals of our Veterans, John Levitt and James Badger and unfortunately due to weather and/or distance could not attend others including some of our widows.
QC Region sends their newsletter “The Torch” four times per year, in March, June, September and December. It is always gratifying to read notes from our Veterans, Widows and Members following these mailings.
We try to stay in contact with as many Veterans, Widows as possible by visits or by telephone or even by internet.
We send birthday and anniversary wishes to our members for which they wanted us to do so. We also send sympathy cards or notes for deaths or very special occasions.
For our 2006 Reunion, QC region had a few polo shirts made with the HKVCA logo, this went off very well and we had more made. We have books of the “Royal Riffles of Canada in Hong Kong” by Grant Garneau still available. If someone is interested in the shirts or books, talk to Marcel or I.
For the 2008 QC Reunion, watch your newsletter “The Torch” in your mail or by the Web for more details and information still in the works.
Financially, QC Region remains on a solid footing. This results from the ongoing support of our Veterans, Widows, Members and well attended reunions. Again thanks to all for your support.
As for membership, we are no exception to other regions, as we do have to remind some members to pay their dues on time in order to be kept informed.
We have noticed in the past few years that, following the unfortunate death of a Veteran or a Widow, some family members seem to loose interest in the association, for what reasons, we think it should be the opposite that should happen.
Maybe our Veterans and Widows can give us a hand by encouraging their children and grand-children to join and to continue with their interest in the association.
Another project for all to work on!
Generally, things are very good as we manage to add new members to our list.
We should not forget our “Raison d’etre” for our Veterans and Widows and continue to keep the Hong Kong Memory alive.
“C” Force Memorial Wall for the Battle of Hong Kong. After so long in the planning, waiting etc. it is time we do our best to get things moving fast. So little for the great sacrifices, health and lives of our Hong Kong Veterans
Our Veterans need to know that there will be a Memorial in their Memory.
Here at the Convention, QC Region has a great delegation of Veterans, Widows, Members and Family Groups.
We, in Quebec will continue to be there for our Veterans, Widows and not forget the “raison d’etre” of our Association.
Have a great Convention and safe trip home.
Thanks to all of the Organizing Committee for a job well done and great hospitality.
Respectfully submitted by:
Lucette Mailloux Muir, Quebec Regional Director
REMARKS TO HKVCA AGM - Calgary, August 18, 2007
Regional Director, Ontario
Good morning, everyone, and a big Alberta yahoo to all of you! On behalf of Ontario’s 32 Veterans, 58 Wirows and 126 Regular members I’m pleased to bring you greetings from our region.
I’d like to first congratulate Marilyn Pridgin and Gail Richoz and their wonderful team on organizing this fabulous convention. They have done an absolutely magnificent job.
I also congratulate Derrill on his election to president, and I’d like to take a moment to recognize Carol Hadley for the superb job of leading the HKVCA that she has done for the past 6 years. Those of us who are relatively new to the organization are especially thankful for the patient and supportive way Carol has helped us over her term.
A couple of our region’s Executive are here today: Mark Purcell, our Treasurer, and Pat Turcotte, our Education Chair. Keeping things running back home are Denise McLachlan, our Secretary and Lori Smith, our Membership Secretary. Without these folks our region simply couldn’t run.
A major focus in Ontario is telling the HK story in schools. A few of our accomplishments in this regard:
Much of this work has been spearheaded by Pat Turcotte.
In keeping with our emphasis on telling the HK story to students, we have submitted a proposal to Veterans Affairs Canada for funding to develop a professional-quality multi-media presentation to be used in school and with other audiences such as service clubs. The idea is to enable our 2nd and 3rd generation members to give a compelling presentation to high school students on the Battle of Hong Kong, the POW camps and the post-war conditions of our Vets. We hope to hear shortly from VAC.
Ron McGuire - one of our Ontario members - has been instrumental in having 8 Hong Kong Vets from across the country recognized at the Veterans Hall of Valour, and has put together a very impressive memorabilia display, much of which is in the Memorabilia Room here at the Convention. Ron is not related to a Vet, which makes his dedication to his task all the more impressive.
As you probably know, our members in Ontario are quite spread out, so having any kind of meeting is a challenge. However, we did hold a general meeting in October in Toronto which 50 of our members attended, including 5 Veterans. One of our members traveled 400km to be there!
I’m also pleased to tell you that we participated in Toronto’s Asian Heritage Month, as we have done for several years. This year we marched in their opening parade down University Avenue in Toronto. I intend to strengthen our ties to the Chinese community in Ontario, as these people have obvious reasons to be more closely associated with the HKVCA.
The Ontario Region was instrumental in making the 2005 pilgrimage to Hong Kong happen. Although in the end, much of the work relating to the Vets’ travel and the commemoration ceremonies was handled by VAC, our region was responsible for organizing the travel and related logistics for the 38 HKVCA members from across the country who participated.
We’re looking forward to a busy year, and to continuing to tell the Hong Kong story.
Enjoy the rest of this great Convention!
Regional Director, Ontario
August 18, 2007
MB Regional Report – Stan Lapota, 1st Director reports that they host a number of events such as a ladies Tea and Tidbits event quarterly.
There is an annual dinner held each October close to the 27th – which is the day the WPG Grenadiers left for overseas; and have as many as 160 attendees, often including Phil Doddridge himself.
They try to participate in regional events with other military/veterans groups in MB. They provide the colour party for HK Vets at Wpg Remembrance Day services held at the Convention Centre in Wpg. The memorial plaque in all Saint’s Church in Wpg at Osborne and Broadway will be redone to now include more of our deceased veterans.
On 30 Sep ’07 in Brookside Cemetery there will be a dedication of the duplicate Veteran’s Affairs plaque now at Sai Wan Cemetery in HK.
Works continues toward the Interpretative Centre.
AB Region Report – Gail Richoz.
Gail noted that Patty Stebbe was committee chair until work issues prevented her from continuing.
Gail commended Marilyn and her team for hosting and managing such a marvelous convention with special thanks to Ralph McLean for hosting meetings in his home and providing great coffee many times.
The Convention has made many interesting contacts and special note is made of the involvement of the Calgary Chinese community, some of whom may still have family members residing in HK.
Membership is a challenge in AB, too and perhaps the Chinese community can be approached to join us.
Gail thanked Carol Hadley for her always-ready assistance.
Noted that the Silent Auction and Hospitality Room are available to attendees.
From LInda Stewart
December 2005 HK Pilgrimage - well attended by BC delegates.First time I met Jim and Anne Trick.
Remembrance Day & Christmas Day (Sunday before the 25th actually) Wreaths laid in 2005 and 2006. Nov 11th, 2006 - Aubrey Flegg laid a wreath in Kelowna, Linda Stewart laid a wreath in Victoria, Frank Brown & Bill Doull laid a wreath in Sardis.
Annual Spring Luncheons - 2006 and 2007 - Victoria and Vancouver - Veterans Affairs Reps attended every one
March, 2006 - 100th Anniversary of District of Saanich - Published a book called 100 years, 100 Stories / "A Voice for Veterans - Lionel Speller" was one of the stories.
2006 - Veteran John Lowe participated in student interview in Burnaby
March, 2006 - Gerry Gerrard - one of 6 veterans to meet with the new Governor General Michaelle Jean when she visited Victoria.
Gerry and Ev send their regrets. They wish they could have been here for the Convention. Daughter Bev and her husband Eric Campell are here.
Larry and Anne Stebbe attended the plaque dedication at the New Memorial Arena.
November, 2006 - Gerry Gerrard - Honored to give 1st poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion's Annual Poppy Campaign to British Columbia Lt-Govenor Iona Campagnolo.
Linda Stewart, BC Regional Director for HKVCA, attends Veterans Affairs "Victoria Veterans Client Advisory Committee meetings" about 3 times a year.
Jim Trick - BC HKVCA member and National Executive Secretary / Skype / Website. Well done.
Murray Doull - BC HKVCA member and BC Secretary/Treasurer and National Executive 1st Vice-President / member of Memorial Wall Committee. Well done.
All three of us attend monthly on-line National Executive meetings.
July 1st, 2007 - Canada Day - Port Moody Station Musuem - Tribute to Veterans - Many veterans groups - 5,000 attendees - Thanks to Carol Hadley for shipping the HK Display to us - Visit with Will and Mona Allister day before.
Linda Stewart attended "Padre" in Victoria on August 28th/07 (following the
Convention) - a one man play compiled by Jeff Forst from his great-grandfather Honourary Captain Uriah Laite's writings during four years in WWII Hong Kong POW camps. www.forstmedia.ca
Patti Stebbe, daughter of Larry and Anne Stebbe, was the 2007 Calgary Convention Chair in the early stages and had to stand down due to work-related issues. Although Larry and Anne just recently moved back to Winnipeg I still think of them as ours. Manitoba - you can claim them at the next Convention.
2003 Victoria Convention Committee - Four out of 8 committee members are here at the 2007 Calgary Convention - Gwen Day / Murray Doull / Larry Stebbe and Linda Stewart. It was a great bonding experience. We look back proudly and you will too.
Congrats to Alberta/Sask. Region, to Marilyn Pridgen and her committee and to Gail Richoz, Regional Direcor - Great job!!!