Manitoba Branch

Box 381 Winnipeg, MB R3C 2H6

April, May, June 2001

Editor: Carol Hadley, (204) 837-6754

Email: cahadley@home.com

Manitoba Veterans Vote

Presidents Report

We received a fairly good response to the questionnaire that we mailed to our membership in regards to the upcoming disposition of our Association.

To those who took the time to reply, a great big thank you. To those of you who did not, I sincerely hope that you were able to attend our special general meeting that we held at the #4 Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion on Saturday, April 7th, 2001, to voice your opinion. The results of this meeting and of our questionnaire will be shown in another part of this newsletter.

I am happy to report that I attended a Winnipeg Grenadier Cadet Corp parade recently and gave a talk on the history of the Winnipeg Grenadiers (MG) when the regiment was formed also when we were amalgamated with the 10th Battalion Canadian Machine Gun Corps, etc. I also spoke in regards to the Battle of Hong Kong and our ensuing years in the hands of the Japanese. My oration was very well received. I am also glad to report that there has been a n upsurge in the Cadet Corps attendance in recent months.

The last meeting of our Commemorative Association that I was able to attend was on Saturday, March 24th. The plans for our National Convention in August are well in hand. The Commemorative Association is to be congratulated for their dedication to us, the Hong Kong Veteran.

Respectfully, George Peterson

Winnipeg Grenadier's Hong Kong Trust Fund

We are still seeking donations for the Winnipeg Grenadiers Hong Kong Trust Fund and cheques should be made out in that name (not HKVA). The Hong Kong Veterans' Association make a donation to this fund in memory of each deceased veteran member .

Contributions can be directed to Donna Remillard at 303-740 Kenaston Boulevard, Winnipeg, MB R3N 1Y3 or phone her at 489-0008.

Team Canada

(Barry Mitchell works for the Provincial Government and because of his involvement with the Hong Kong Veterans' Association he was asked to suggest something for the Premier of Manitoba to see in his free time on a recent trip to China. He suggested a visit to the Sai Wan Cemetery as so many of our Manitoba fellows are buried there.)

Barry writes: You will recall that I mentioned that some members of Team Canada (trade mission to China) were going to attend a ceremony at the Sai Wan Bay cemetery on February 17.

Our departmental representative tells me the ceremony went really well on a bright and sunny day in Hong Kong. Both Premier Doer of Manitoba and Premier Harris of Ontario laid a wreath. It seems three other Premiers wanted to attend as well but protocol meant that they would have to lay wreaths as well and none could be provided in time. Thus they couldn't attend but I believe that at least one of their wives showed up in an unofficial way. In any event, the service was very moving with the International School singing, boy scouts arranged in line along the pathways and a bugler accompanying the raising and lowering of the flag.

The master of ceremonies was a former Winnipeg fellow who is connected to the reserve and was thus all decked out in his uniform. Everyone was truly impressed with the ceremony itself plus the remarkable setting that is the Sai Wan Bay cemetery.

A reception was held on the site after the event. I'm told that Manitoba budgeted $3,500 for the arrangements and that Ontario shared in the cost as well. Premier Doer was taken to my uncle's (and dad's) grave site and my connection to Hong Kong and the Manitoba Government was explained to him. I'm also told that many of the politicians and many of the businessmen really, really wanted to attend this ceremony and it was considered as a very special part of their itinerary. The Ontario guys arrived with a list of all the Ontario boys who are buried there (27 in total) and numerous photographs were taken throughout the morning.

Thought you might be interested in this story.

Barry M.

Hong Kong Veterans' Commemorative Assoc'n

Hello all!

Well spring is here and the golfers will be out soon. Hopefully you had a decent winter. Over the winter the HKVCA have been working to get the convention running smoothly. Everything is coming together at our end.

We were aware that the due date for registration was early in order to finalize our commitments, however we can extend the date to May 31 - but that is critical. So please send in your registrations as soon as possible. Also don't forget to make your hotel reservation if required.

As a point of clarification, the convention cost of $90.00 is all inclusive - this covers your attendance at the meetings (Wednesday - Saturday), the dinner and brunch on Sunday . The $60.00 fee is for Saturday dinner only. There was some confusion about the agenda for the Friday meeting being open - but only open to convention registrants. There will be special name tags for the registrants which will allow them entrance to these events. Hopefully that will clarify any confusion.

There are many activities and surprises for everyone. Please try to attend or if you need more information please call me, Juliet Lafortune at 338-3354.

Oeyama POW Camp

I correspond annually with Mr John Pople, who served a brief spell in Oeyama POW camp during WW2 at the same time as my father, WO1 H L "Dixie" Deane,

Royal Engineers, who was also captured at Hong Kong. John was kind enough recently to send me a copy of the December 2000 issue of the Manitoba Branch of the Hong Kong Veterans Association of Canada newsletter and I was wondering if I could seek some information about my father's POW activities through the columns of your publication. Dad died in 1981.

Dad and 3 other senior NCOs at Oeyama were courtmartialled after the war in Canada, Dad and 2 others at Fort Osbourne Barracks in Winnipeg in March and April 1946 and another in Montreal. The charges related to assaults on fellow POWs, Winnipeg Grenadiers and others, when all four were responsible

for maintaining camp discipline. Dad and one other were found not guilty, I believe the sentences of the other two may have later been quashed.

I have recently retired and am living in Canberra, Australia after serving in the British Army, the Hong Kong Police and the Australian Army. For about the last 18 years I have also been doing some freelance writing and book reviewing, and at various times have been considering writing a book about Dad's wartime experiences and the different psychological pressures and tensions operating in the doubtless hot-house environment and grim conditions of a POW camp occupied by prisoners from varying Western backgrounds and controlled by a race with a markedly different cultural outlook.

It is not intended to make the book any sort of whitewash of what Dad and the others did, but to illustrate the numerous attitudes and points of view that have to be taken into account in order to give a rounded, non-judgmental picture of what went on in such a situation so that it can be fully understood by those of us fortunate enough never to have had to experience it. As a veteran myself -- Vietnam 1969-70 -- I can appreciate that things happen in wartime that civilians whose only news source is the daily media may have difficulty in apprehending. In fact, I envisage the book being along the lines of the Japanese film director Akira Kurosawa's "Rashomon", in which the tale of a violent act is refracted through the conflicting testimony of four honest witnesses.

Dad rarely spoke about the war, and as my career after I turned 18 took me away from home and largely out of England and involved with other interests,

I never asked him much about it. However, I do know he bore no one any ill-will following the court martial, and I have a newspaper clipping from the Winnipeg Free Press files dated May 11, 1946, in which he says that all the Winnipeg Grenadiers who were with him at Oeyama had been very friendly to him during his stay in Winnipeg and the four witnesses against him had been extremely fair.

I am in the throes of contacting the Canadian Defence Department to see if I can obtain transcripts of the proceedings, and a lady at the Winnipeg Free Press library is kindly looking through their files to see what was reported on the three other cases -- they sent me their files on Dad's case several years ago when I first began collecting information but unfortunately other matters intervened.

So if any of your newsletter's recipients can cast any of the more human element into the picture I am trying to build up, I would be most grateful to hear from them, whether they have firsthand accounts or otherwise.

Regards, William Roger Deane

(Editor: Please send any comments to the editor to pass on to Mr. Deane)

Website Update

-Linda May

Well, we have finally done it!!! Our website has finally found a permanent home!! We can now be found at http://www.hkvca.ca Nifty, isn't it?? We should have a lot less problems than we did when we were at the xoom site. We are also currently completely revamping the site. We will have a whole new look, and it will be great. Thanks to Bill Kellas for his untiring efforts in this major effort, and to Fred Lemley for all his graphic work.

Sadly, our old discussion forum is no longer. The company that was providing it for us gave us no warning that it was going out of business, and we lost all of the old posts. BUT we now have a new message board, and would love you to drop by and post a line or two. You can get to the discussion board by going to the website, and clicking on Discussion Forum. As always, we are grateful for any submission of pictures, letters, any thing you would care to share.

We have been contacted by John McKay who has graciously allowed us to reproduce a song written for Pte Francis Little (his grandfather). Look for it soon, on the new and updated site!!!

As always, I am available by phone at 519-770-4099 or email at hkvca@hkvca.ca Please don't hesitate to call or write!!!

Royal Rifles

For all you computer literates, check out this web site, www.geocities.com/rcwpca. This web site contains the memoires of Major M.A. Parker, from Quebec City, Quebec, who was the Officer Commanding "D" Company of The Royal Rifles of Canada. This site is in his honour and for the men of 'C' Force.

Ron Parker, son of Major Parker, with the help of his family, have produced the story, accompanied with pictures, as related in his father's diary.

This story was a great interest to Phil Dodderidge, who was Maj. Parker's company clerk.

We were able to find a missing piece of the memoires in recalling the name of the 19 year old 2nd. Lt. Charles French, who was killed while retaking Jardine's Lookout and Mount Butler. We are grateful to Art Loussier and Dick Wilson who were able to recount some of this history for us.

Senator Gil Molgat

What a shock, as a nation, to loose such a distinguished statesman!! However is was more devastating for those people who were on the Pilgrimage to Hong Kong and Japan in December. Senator Molgat, or 'Gil' (as he asked us to call him) and his wife Allison, were so vital, energetic and an integral part of your journey.

Even though Gil was cognizant of the history of the Hong Kong Vet and in particular the Winnipeg Grenadiers (as a native Manitoban), he and Allison became familiar with each member of the Pilgrimage and their particular story. He referenced some of these individual stories in his addresses at the various ceremonies to personalize and give ownership to the event. He was a remarkable man and will be sorrowfully missed by all who knew him. Our sympathy was extended to Allison and family on behalf of the HK and the HKVCA.

"We will remember them"


This acronym stands for Children (and Families) of Far East Prisoners of War. I have recently met Carol Cooper (over the internet) who is the Director of this group. She has a wonderful web site located at www.cofepow.org.uk In my correspondence with Carol, I have learned that they have had a couple of tree plantings as a memorial to their veterans - here are her words,

"We have only planted two, as yet, but both occasions have been very successful. The first one was planted in the gardens of a Crematorium in Norwich, where most of our local members live. It just seemed appropriate to plant it there and they were very accommodating and let us choose the spot. Our tree was an umbrella shape (or will be as it grows bigger) and turns lovely orange, mauve and red shades in Autumn. It is surrounded by a circle of pretty red bricks with a bronze plaque.

We have a nice story attached to this tree. We held a Dedication and Remembrance Service before the planting of each tree and when we planted the first one, we asked a very good friend ours, the Secretary of the Norwich Fepow Branch, Fred Eva, if he would address the congregation and say a few lines. This he did and we were all very moved. But eighteen months later he died and it was his wish that his ashes were planted around the roots of our tree. Wasn't that wonderful. We now know that our first tree will always flourish in memory of all Far East Prisoners of War - it has Fred looking after it.

Our second tree was planted in the grounds of Elstow Abbey in Bedford. One of our members live close by and she approached the Vicar. This Abbey has strong connections with the Fepows and it has a separate Alter which was dedicated to them some years ago and an annual Service is always held there by the Fepows. Naturally they were very pleased that we wanted to plant a tree there also in their memory. It was a grand occasion and the large Abbey was packed to the brim with lots of dignitaries being present. The annual service is on the 3rd June and we will all go."

I agree with the COFEPOW that our soldiers should be remembered in some way and what could be more fitting than trees. Environmental issues aside, the trees would symbolize the strength, endurance and steadfastness of our soldiers. Even though the enemy destroyed the body, we their seed have inherited their qualities and will always remember the sacrifices they endured on our behalf. On our recent Pilgrimage to Japan in December, a Canadian Maple was planted in Yokohama cemetery where so many of our soldiers were murdered in prison camp.

With this thought in mind, maybe HKVCA would entertain a project of this type.

Last Post

Jack Goodey, September 9, 2000

Our thoughts and prayers are extended to the families and friends.

"We will remember them"

Notes from Barry Mitchell, Treasurer and Membership

Greetings to all the members of the Hong Kong Veterans' Association and the Commemorative Association. I trust you wintered well and are now ready to take on the New Year with renewed gusto!

Elsewhere in this newsletter you will be reminded to quickly send in your registration for the convention in August but I remind you that we need your membership as well. A separate cheque to cover your 2001 dues will be very much appreciated as this is going to be an expensive year for your favourite veterans' organization. Your executive has been kept much more busy than usual, primarily with convention business, but we need your support through memberships. The mailbag has been full each week but not with memberships. Please remember us when you next get out your chequebook and don't forget to include a few extra dollars to help with our increased expenses. The fees for Veterans are $15.00 per year while Associate Members are assessed $7.50. Membership in the Commemorative Association is $15.00 annually, with all widows included free of charge. All dues are to be sent to P.O. Box 381, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3C 2H6.

It was nice to receive the usual generous cheque from George Taylor of Winnipeg for both a membership and a donation. Like a few other veterans, George has chosen to take out a membership in the Commemorative Association as well as the HKVA and we welcome this optional support for the new organization..Appreciate the card and note from Bertha Alyea of Winnipeg, sister of Pete Corbeil who passed away in Mesa, Arizona in 1986. Bertha wishes all the veterans a Happy New Year and good health to everyone.

Thank you to Donalda Munn of Winnipeg for a generous donation in the name of her late husband Arthur. Also thanks for the dues sent in for her son Stuart and daughter Patricia Ducharme, also of Winnipeg. Now we have the whole family package..British Columbia was heard from in the form of a card and warm greetings from Maurice and Esther LaPointe of Penticton. They send good wishes to all veterans with the hope for good health in the coming year.

Thoughtful note from Arthur Diehl of Cypress River, Manitoba. Arthur is adjusting to life on his own, along with the usual variety of health challenges. He sends his best wishes for the New Year to all members..We appreciate the cute card, cheerful greetings and generous donation from Gladys Brazel of Red Lake, Ontario, as well as from Mona Zane in Carlsbad, California..Nice note from Kelly Chipping of Winnipeg, who had just received her first newsletter. Kelly tells us the letter served as a good reminder for her to send in her 2001 Commemorative dues, so we thank her and welcome her aboard.

George and Mona Coutts of Melita, Manitoba, say 'hello' to all the fellows, with a particular greeting for Roy Robinson. They tell me they are well and still participating in curling, golf and bowling. They see Tom Forsythe of Reston, MB quite often and it seems he is doing fine as well. Thank you George for your generous donation and the cheerful note..Tom Dewar of Winnipeg sends along his greetings and explains that we haven't seen him at the monthly luncheons because he has been under the weather and unable to get out. However, he's starting to come around and plans to get away for a few weeks in the spring..We appreciate the note and change of address from Gordon McLellan in Chino, California. Gordon's wife Louise passed away last fall and he has moved into a retirement home near his daughter's residence in Chino. He's doing his best to adjust and we certainly wish him well.

That's it for now folks. Thanks to all who have sent in their dues but it has been awfully quiet lately. We had some momentum at the beginning of the year but it seems to have completely disappeared with the passing of winter. I look forward to hearing from all those whose membership is outstanding so that we can give you a glowing report in the next newsletter.

Barry Mitchell

Special Meeting, 2001

April 7, 2001 at St. James Legion #4 at 10:00 hrs a special meeting of the Hong Kong Veteran's Association was held with the purpose of dispositioning their Association. There were 17 Veterans, 5 Associate members and 2 guests present.

Through a democratic system the following decisions were made:

1 All monies will stay in Manitoba and go to the Manitoba HKVCA and both the Branch operations will merge.

2 All the archives will stay with Manitoba HKVCA

3 The Veterans will be made full members of the Manitoba HKVCA with no special consideration upon joining and the membership card will indicate "Hong Kong Veteran".

4 George Peterson and Borge Agerbak will continue to represent the HK Veterans on the Board of Directors of the Manitoba Branch of HKVCA and if possible there will always be 2 HK veterans on the Board.

5 Implementation of these items will be decided at the semi-annual June meeting.

The HKVA flags have been placed in the care of the Colour Party and Tim Klumper is responsible for the placing and retrieving the HK flag at the Cenotaph in August and December.

A copy of the minutes of the meeting have been mailed to each Veteran member.

Camp Tokyo

Bill Kendall scanned and emailed me a copy of this song called "I'll Never Say Goodbye Again", written by Elmer McKnight. This song was broadcast from Tokyo by the Japanese to let everyone in Canada know how 'well' are soldiers were?? I believe Bob Lytle sang this at a Reunion Dinner a few years back. Many talents among our 'C' Force. Does anyone have an original recording of this??

Miscellaneous Items

I would like to thank Cliff Matthews for the many newspaper articles, pictures and other interesting items he has shared with me. All these things help us re-create the history of the veterans' experiences.

Many thanks to John Pople of Carman for sharing his pictures of Jamaica. I have them scanned in and will forward them on to our web master. Thanks also go to Dick Wilson for his mementoes, pictures and stories of his experiences.

I commend Phil Dodderidge on his newsletter and appreciate receiving it monthly. I hope you have all the newsletters that you have produced and that they can be archived on our website.

Thank you also to my Dad, Borge Agerbak, for sharing his books, picture albums and his stories that give us a better appreciation of the historical events.

I would like to thank those special people who shared their pictures with me from our Pilgrimage to Hong Kong and Japan. It was great to hear from you and get an update on your experiences that we shared on that memorable occasion.

The HKVCA in Manitoba would like to find a permanent place to display Winnipeg Grenadier memorabilia, pictures, etc. - anything related to that unit Any suggestions??? Please call us with any ideas in this matter.

Reminder .... this is an election year for the National Council and the Manitoba Branch of the HKVCA. If anyone would like to take a more active role on a committee or the executive, please call us and let us know. More information in this matter will be forwarded to you at a later date.



Once there were these two hillbillies driving down the road, when they saw a police roadblock. The first hillbilly, Bubba, said, "If those police see us drinkin' these here beers, they'll bust us fer sure."

The second hillbilly, Earl, said "I've got a plan. Pull over, take the label off your beer bottle, and put it on your forehead. Just put the bottle under your seat."

"What fer?" Bubba asked.

"Just do it," Earl replied.

So they took the labels off their beer bottles and put them on their foreheads and pulled up to the police roadblock. A policeman asked, "You boys been drinkin'?"

"No, sir," Earl replied, "we're on the patch."


Whenever your kids are out of control, you can take comfort from the thought that even God's omnipotence did not keep his kids under control.

After creating heaven and earth, God created Adam and Eve. And the first thing he said was, "Don't."

"Don't what?" Adam replied.

"Don't eat the forbidden fruit," God said.

"Forbidden fruit? We got forbidden fruit? Hey, Eve...we got forbidden fruit!"

"No way!"


"Don't eat that fruit!" said God.


"Because I am your Father and I said so!" said God (wondering why he hadn't stopped after making the elephants). A few minutes later God saw his kids having an apple break and was angry.

"Didn't I tell you not to eat the fruit?" God asked.

"Uh huh," Adam replied.

"Then why did you?"

"I dunno" Eve answered.

"She started it!" Adam said.

"Did not!"

"Did too!"


Having had it with the two of them, God's punishment was that Adam and Eve should have children of their own. Thus the pattern was set and it has never changed. If God had trouble handling children, what made you think it would be a piece of cake for you?

Advice for the day:

If you have a lot of tension and you get a headache, do what it says on the aspirin bottle:

Take two and keep away from children

Reaching the end of a job interview, the human resources person asked a young engineer fresh out of MIT what kind of a salary he was looking for.

"In the neighborhood of $140,000 a year, depending on the benefits package."

"Well, what would you say to a package of 5-weeks vacation, 14 paid holidays, full medical and dental, company matching retirement fund to 50% of salary, and a company car leased every 2 years...say, a red Corvette?"

"Wow! Are you kidding?"

"Yeah, but you started it."

Four married guys go golfing. During the 4th hole, the

following conversation took place:

First Guy: "You have no idea what I had to do to be able to come out golfing this weekend. I had to promise my wife that I will paint every room in the house next weekend."

Second Guy: "That's nothing, I had to promise my wife

that I will build her a new deck for the pool."

Third Guy: "Man, you both have it easy! I had to promise my wife that I will remodel the kitchen for her." They continue to play the hole when they realized that the fourth guy has not said a word. So they asked him.

"You haven't said anything about what you had to do to be able to come golfing this weekend. What's the deal?"

Fourth Guy: "I just set my alarm for 5:30 a.m. When it

went off, I shut off my alarm, gave the wife a nudge and said, 'Golf Course or Intercourse?' and she said, 'Wear your sweater.'"

A blonde was driving home after work and got caught in a really bad hailstorm. Her car was covered with dents, so the next day she took it to a repair shop.

The shop owner saw that she was a blonde, so he decided to have some fun. He told her just to go home and blow into the tailpipe really hard, and all the dents would pop out.

So, the blonde went home, got down on her hands and knees and started blowing into her tailpipe. Nothing happened. She blew a little harder, and still nothing happened.

Her roommate, another blonde, came home and said,"What are you doing?"

The first blonde told her how the repairman had instructed her to blow into the tailpipe in order to get all the dents to pop out.

Her roommate rolled her eyes and said, . . . "HELLO . . You need to roll up the windows first.


Monthly lunches at noon at Rae & Jerry's Restaurant on Portage Ave. every 2nd Thursday of the month; except June and December.

- Convention 2001 AUGUST 15 - 19, 2001 Registration packages will be out at the beginning of February and we would appreciate your immediate attention

Your Branch Council Phone Numbers - Keep Them Handy:

George Peterson, President 256-7174

Borge Agerbak, 1st Vice 897-3213

Roy Robinson, 256-3756

Carol Hadley, Secrtry/Newsletter 837-6754

Barry Mitchell, Treasurer/Membership 269-1497

Juliet Lafortune, Social 338-3354

Terence Jackson, Memorials 452-1460

Harry Atkinson, Nat'l President 1-613-392-8074