Hong Kong Veterans' Association of Canada
Manitoba Branch

Box 381 Winnipeg, MB R3C 2P4

October, November, December

Editor: Carol Hadley, (204) 837-6754


What a Reunion!!

Gee, I wish I was there! From all accounts, it sounds like everyone had a good time .... Well Done to the Quebec folks for all their hard work. There were many exciting things that have happened at the reunion.... More to come.

President's Report

- George Peterson

I sincerely hope this finds you well and in good spirits and that all have enjoyed a good summer. We have lost some of our good comrades and associates since my last report and our thoughts and condolences go out to those of you who have lost a loved one.

At our National convention in Granby, Quebec this year, the main topic was the disposition of the Hong Kong Vets. Association of Canada. After much discussion and debate Derrill Henderson, was asked to draw up a much thought out motion to put before your Executive Committee for approval or disapproval. This motion was put before the committee by myself and seconded by Gus Bitzer. The Executive unanimously approved this. It was then put before the General Meeting the following day. Here again it was unanimously approved. A copy of the motion is attached to this news letter.

At Brookside services this year, both Harry Atkinson and myself attended and laid a wreath on your behalf. Our Colour Party consisting of Vince and Stan Lopata and Don Thompson were also in attendance. I spoke to Vince about the delivery and pick up of our colours to the Winnipeg Cenotaph for the flying of same each & every month of August & December each year. He has kindly stated that this will be looked after. Alvio Veto, the former manager of the Veteran's Manor, has been doing this service for us for a number of years and my sincere thanks go out to him and now to Vince for this service to us.

Our Annual Reunion Dinner will probably have come and passed before you read this report. Don't forget the Remembrance Day Services at the Convention Hall on November 11th .

One last word regarding the motion there will still be a Manitoba Branch of the Hong Kong Veterans of Canada. The only thing that will change is that the Commemorative Association will be doing most of the work. For which personally I would like to extend to them my grateful thanks.


- Barry Mitchell

We hear again from Barry Mitchell, our Treasurer & Membership Guy, that your dues are arriving in a slow and steady fashion, but not nearly as regularly as he would like to see. Last year (1998) we had a total membership in the Manitoba Branch of almost 300 people while the 1999 numbers are lagging with just over 200 Veterans and Associates paid to date. It was anticipated that the Annual Reunion would shake a good number of membership dollars loose and while some of you did step forward, we need many more to sign up by the end of the year. Our total mailing list is still at about 300 names which means we are looking forward to making out about 75 membership cards in the next few weeks. But that will only address matters for this year, which is almost over, so please think ahead when you get out your pen and cheque book and remember that we want you as members in the year 2000 as well. Are you Y2K ready? Well, about three dozen of you are as that's how many have sent us their dues for the coming year. Thank you!! Remember, annual dues are $15.00 for Veterans and $7.50 for Associate Members. Those in the Commemorative Association can also forward their dues to Barry and your fees are $10.00 for the coming year. Let's support our Association---donations over and above your dues are most welcome as well!!

Bill C-61

This bill has received Royal Assent and the two main changes affect former prisoners of war and surviving spouses of disability pensions:

Former prisoners of war who have serious health problems would have greater opportunity to access monthly allowances to obtain attendant care and to compensate them for exceptional incapacity.

The Pension Act would be amended to permit increases in pensions of survivors of disabled veterans where those disabilities have been reassessed. Survivors of disability pensioners would be able to benefit from assessment increases within the 0% to 47% disability range (survivors of disability pensioners assessed above 47% already receive the maximum survivor pension.)

In addition to these two changes, Bill C-61 proposes that veterans legislation would clarify the types of Merchant Navy service that quality for veterans' benefits. The amendments will also ensure Merchant Navy Veterans are directly included in Canada's main veterans' legislation to remove any doubt as to their status as war veterans.

Notes & Phone Calls

A note from Abram Peters, with an address correction, mentioned that he has been under the weather.

Emile Van Raes was in St. Boniface Hospital hospital in May and appreciated visits from his comrades.

I had a nice visit with Leo Berard in August. He was here for a vacation. He dropped off more of his books, folks - so if anyone is interested - let me know and we will arrange to get you a copy.

John Pollock called about the Annual Dinner and we had a nice chat. I'm glad you are well.

Bill Nicholson, called with a change of address, and to say they were headed South soon. He called from Arizona as well, and will be sending me some good things for the newsletter. So stay tuned. He mentioned that his wife had the flu and was under the weather - hopefully she will be back on her feet soon.

Pat Simcoe, daughter of John Simcoe (formerly Zinko), called to say he had surgery and was in St. Boniface hospital. Sorry to say John passed away the day he was to be discharged from the hospital.

I heard that Fred Poitras was going to Concordia hospital for surgery - hope all goes well - we'll be thinking of you.

It was nice to George Harbour and his wife out to the Reunion. Mrs. Harbour had been in the hospital for about 3 months with a stroke. Glad you are out and about again.

We missed Roy Robinson (Robbie) at the Dinner, he does such a fine job of being MC. Hope you are feeling better soon.

Reunion Dinner

- Juliet Lafortune

Well the October 23/99 Reunion Dinner & Dance was great. There was good food, music and lots of fun. It was so nice to see so many family & friends come out and support this "Special Evening". I would like to thank Helen Prieston for her donation of the centrepieces. Thank you to Bridget MacDougall, Teresa Smith, Lora Wachtendorf, Millie Britton, Judy Preston & Helen Prieston for all their help. Thanks to Vince & Stan Lopata, Tim Klumper (Colour Party), Craig Munnoch (Piper) and Jon Publow (Bugler) - I know I can count on you to help me out.

Special thanks to all the people who donated gifts & cash which made the evening a better success.

Next Reunion, October 21, 2000- so keep that date open.

Happy Birthday to Bob Lytle and Cliff Matthews. Congratulations to Borge Agerbak on the plaque that was presented to him by the Masons for all the work he has done.

Now on to something else. WE NEED YOU! - the HKVCA needs people who are willing to give some of their time to the preservation of the Hong Kong association. "We will remember them".

If you are interested in coming on board, please contact: Carol Hadley - 837-6754

Barry Mitchell - 269-1497

Juliet Lafortune - 338-3354

Also, if anyone has a fax machine or a computer that they are able to donate to the Commemorative Association, we could sure use it.

Well I guess I've said enough. Keep well over the winter and stay in touch. You can call me anytime.


I was notified in June of the passing of Thelma Morrow, wife of Desmond Morrow, of Rancho Cucamonga in a note from her daughter Carol Rosenthal. My apologies to the family for misplacing the note.

To Soren Paulson on the passing of his wife in August, 1999.

To the Rollick family on the passing of Peter, of Portage La Prairie, MB on August 13, 1999.

To the Agerbak family on the passing of Rose, widow of Taige Agerbak, from Pilot Mound, MB on September 18, 1999.

To the Sadova family on the tragic passing of Mary, widow of Frederick, of Winnipeg, MB in September, 1999.

To the Block family on the passing of Edna, widow of Robert, of Valparaiso, CA on May 1, 1999.

To the Harrison family on the passing of George, of Winnipeg, MB on September 20, 1999.

To the Militaire family on the passing of Henry of Winnipeg, MB on October 2, 1999.

To the Simcoe family on the passing of John of Winnipeg, MB on October , 1999.

Our sincere sympathy to those bereaved.

We will remember them.

Winnipeg Veterans Liaison Committee Meeting

September 1, 1999 - Veterans have received 60 additional long term beds in Manitoba. The Veterans Affairs annual review of these Long Term Care facilities will be commencing soon and will continue until the end of March, 2000. The areas of review will be safety and security, food quality, access to clinical services, medication regime, access to spiritual guidance, socialization-recreation, ambulation, personal care, activation, sanitation, and access to specialized services.

Long Term Care accommodation and meal rate has increased by $7.27/month - now $734.47.

Veterans Manor has 24 veterans still residing there, but the Manor has been turned over to Manitoba Housing Authority.

The City of Winnipeg and the Last Post Fund will be constructing a columbarium in the shape of a Latin Cross at Brookside Cemetery - Field of Honour. The 178 units will cost $1500.00/unit and may be pre-purchased and location requested. More information to follow.

The Manitoba International Tattoo will be held Saturday, November 6, 1999 at the Winnipeg Arena.


As the Commemorative's role within this Association changes, so do the responsibilities. There are many jobs that we would like to see tackled, if there were more people involved.

With the Convention in 2001 being held in Winnipeg, this opens the door to opportunity for many of you to get involved. Some of the other areas requiring assistance would be with the Remembrance Video, Plaques, Communications and the Pilgrimage 2000. It doesn't matter if you are out-of-town, if you have email. We conduct a lot of work, all across Canada and Hong Kong, by email.

I was sent the following poem that I would like to share with you all, to explain how I feel about this HK group of people:

My Special List

I have a list of folks I know ... all written in a book,

And every now and then.. I go and take a look.

That is when I realize.. these names ... they are a part, not of the book they're written in ... but taken from the heart.

For each Name stands for someone ...

who has crossed my path sometime,

and in that meeting they have become...

the reason and the rhyme.

Although it sounds fantastic ... for me to make this claim, I really am composed ... of each remembered name.

Although you're not aware ... of any special link,

just knowing you, has shaped my life ... more than you could think.

So please don't think my greeting ... as just a mere routine, your name was not ... forgotten in between.

For when I send a greeting ... that is addressed to you, it is because you're on the list ... of folks I'm indebted to.

So whether I have known you ... for many days or a few days, in some ways you have a part ... in shaping things I do.

I am but a total ... of many folks I've met,

you are a friend I would prefer ... never to forget.

Thank you for being my friend!

Whether your role is an active one or not - its great to hear from you and share your history or relationship with these HK Vets. Please contact the Editor, Carol Hadley, (204) 837-6754 (email: cahadley@videon.wave.ca) if you would like to help or just to get to know us.

Silver Cross

The Silver Cross is only awarded to those families of veterans whose death can be attributed to a condition for which the veteran was receiving a disability pension. The percentage of the pension contributed to the particular disability does not matter.

It is important that the death certificate clearly indicate the cause of death and the disability factor leading to it. (IE - Cause of Death - pneumonia caused by influenza [where the veteran had a disability pension for influenza]). This type of death certificate will see the Silver Cross immediately shipped to the family. If the death certificate is not completed in this fashion, and the family believes that the root cause was due to a pensioned disability, they should immediately have the doctor reissue a corrected copy.

If anyone wishes to apply for this medal, please call me and I will send you the form.

Member's Contributions

Editor: I received the following article from Bill Nicholson, presently in Arizona. It was composed and given to him by his children, Josie and Max. And so he shares with us:

Father's Day 1999

William Charles Nicholson,

This year may have been difficult, but not so much when compared to other years. Each step of your life has been different from most. To see and compare one time to another does not always translate, fore you have seen shores and attitudes far removed from society's mainstream. And so it is onerous at best to ask those of today to see the roots of their heritage. Without doubt, this is equally painful for your failing eyes to watch, but you have given today's epic the right to live in ignorance -- an odd translation of "Freedom from Fear".

Time is not something to fear, each day held precious. So many days we have had that others have not. "Earn this," lost voices speak of, and this you have. Fore living longer also brings great responsibility, with equal years of hardship unknown to those cut short. These two worlds you have traveled bring a contrast to our trials and tribulations of today. This would be our lesson from you this year --- something to guide us throughout difficult times, a lesson that no one else could have given, because no one else is you.

Editor: This was also sent by Bill and I thought it was appropriate for two reasons, seasonal - close to Remembrance Day, and because of the changes in the HKVA and the HKVCA structures. Here is


Oh! Sleep in peace where poppies grow;

The torch your failing hands let go

Was caught by us, again held high,

A beacon light in Flanders sky

That dims the stars to those below.

You are our dead, you held the foe,

And ere the poppies cease to blow,

We'll prove our faith in you who lie

In Flanders Fields.


-Cadet Maj. Kelly Strong

Air Force Junior ROTC, Homestead (Fla.) Senior High School, 1988

I watched the flag pass by one day.

It fluttered in the breeze.

A young Marine saluted it, and then

He stood at ease.

I looked at him in uniform

So young, so tall, so proud,

With hair cut square and eyes alert.

He'd stand out in any crowd.

I thought how many men like him

Had fallen through the years.

How many died on foreign soil?

How many mothers' tears?

How many pilots' planes shot down?

How many died at sea?

How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?

No, freedom is not free.

I heard the sound of taps one night,

When everything was still.

I listened to the bugler play

And felt a sudden chill.

I wondered just how many times

That taps had meant "Amen,"

When a flag had draped a coffin

Of a brother or a friend.

I thought of all the children,

Of the mothers and the wives,

Of fathers, sons and husbands

With interrupted lives.

I thought about a graveyard

At the bottom of the sea

Of unmarked graves in Arlington.

No, freedom is not free.

Mini Medals

For those people who have inquired about where to get miniature medals made or a presentation plaque for the regular medals, please contact, Tim Klumper 342 Melbourne Ave, Winnipeg, MB R2K 1A9, (204) 669-4690; he does a fine job. His email address is "Tklumper@freenet.mb.ca".

**George Peterson sent this along .... **

Come Walk With Me

I walked though a DVA hospital today,

I could not hurray, I had to stay.

I searched the faces of the young and old

To see if the truth I could be told.

Then I saw for myself, these men so brave -

Whose hearts, spirits and bodies they gave.

Men wrapped in plaster, eyes covered with gauze

Fought a battle with courage, and they fought for a cause.

They fought for freedom, and for a land to remain free,

They fought for you and they fought for me.

They fought with courage, faith and hope,

Through mud, filth, and hunger they had to cope,

Through the heat of the day, and the noise of the bombs at night,

They struggled and they fought with all their might.

They return daily, these men so brave,

Whose hearts, spirits and bodies they gave.

Now what do they do, they surely ask,

They did their best to do the task?

Are we to forget and let them be,

Some never to walk, talk or see?

Or do we try to do our part,

To show them we care and that they can make a new start?

We cannot leave them alone, and from loneliness to die,

These men who survived war, that fought for you and I.

We must give our time and dollars, too,

Their new beginning can come from me and you.

If this message you cannot conceive,

Please come and walk through a DVA hospital with me.

- By Juanita Woloshyn


A Guy goes into the store and asks the clerk, "I'd like some Polish Sausage."

The clerk looks at him and says, "Are you polish?" The guy says, "Well, yes I am. If I had asked for Italian sausage would you ask me if I was Italian??? Or if I had asked for German sausage, would you ask me if I was German?? Or if I had asked for a taco would you ask if I was Mexican?"

The clerk says "Well, no."

The guys says, "WELL, why do you ask me if I'm Polish just because I ask for Polish sausage????"

The clerk says "Because this is a hardware store."

Miscellaneous Signs

On a ski lift in Taos, NM:

"No jumping from the lift. Survivors will be prosecuted."

Official sign near door: "Door Alarmed."

Hand printed sign nearby: "Window frightened."

"Guys: No shirt, No service

Girls: No shirt, No charge"

At a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant-

"Women are not served here.

You have to bring your own."


Signs You're Broke

American Express calls and says: "Leave home without it!"

Your idea of a 7-course meal is taking a deep breath outside a restaurant.

You're formulating a plan to rob the food bank.

You finally clean your house, hoping to find change.

You think of a lottery ticket as an investment.

You know it's going to be a bad day when...

your twin sister forgets your birthday.

you wake up face down on the pavement.

you put your bra on backwards and it fits better.

you call suicide prevention and they put you on hold.

the woman you've been seeing on the side begins to look like your wife.

you wake up to discover that your water bed broke and then you realize that you don't have a water bed.

your horn goes off accidently and remains stuck as you follow a group of Hell's Angels on the freeway.



Monthly lunches at Grapes Restaurant on the corner of Route 90 (South) and Ellice, where Leon's Furniture store is located., 2nd Thursday of the month.

**The semi annual meetings to be held the 3rd Thursday of the month December 16, 1999 at 1:30 p.m. at John Osborn A.F. & A.N., Ellice and Empress. **

October 23 Reunion dinner at Holiday Inn Airport West.

The Manitoba International Tattoo will be held Saturday, November 6, 1999 at the Winnipeg Arena.

As this is the final newsletter in this century, on behalf of your Executive, HKVA & HKVCA, we wish you Good Health, and the Best of Everything in the year 2000. God Bless!!


George Peterson, President 256-7174

Borge Agerbak, 1st Vice 897-3213

Roy Robinson, Sick Visiting 256-3756

Carol Hadley, Secrtry/Newsletter 837-6754

Barry Mitchell, Treasurer/Membership


Juliet Lafortune, Social 338-3354

Gerald McArthur, Liaison Officer


Terence Jackson, Memorials 452-1460

Harold Atkinson, Nat'l President