President's Message

The days are getting shorter, and the feeling of Fall is in the air. Across most of our country, it has been a very hot and dry summer, and I hope that you were all able to escape the effects of the extreme heat and the forest fires that plagued many Canadians over the last few months.


A major part of the HKVCA’s mission is to educate Canadians on the Battle of Hong Kong. An excellent avenue for doing this is with our plaque program. Elsewhere in this issue, you can read about plaques which have been installed recently in Royal Canadian Legion branches across the country. There are over 275,000 Legion members in Canada, many of you among them. And there are more than 1,400 Legion branches. Most, if not all, Hong Kong Veterans were Legion members, too. Approaching your local Legion to install a plaque is a wonderful way to commemorate the Battle of Hong Kong, and through the associated media coverage of the event, to help to fulfill our mission of educating Canadians. Please visit this page to learn more. Remember: there is no cost to you or the Legion for the plaque.

Annual General Meeting and Lunch

Please mark Saturday, December 8, 2018 on your calendars. That day we’ll be holding our annual commemorative ceremony at the Memorial Wall, followed by our Annual General Meeting and a luncheon. There will be more detailed information published about the event on our website in the next month or so, so stay tuned!

Wall Parking

I’ve mentioned in previous newsletters about our quest for parking at the Memorial Wall in Ottawa. It will likely be spring before we hear whether we can expect funding assistance from Veterans Affairs to help defray the cost of the project. I’ll keep you informed!

Paper and Postage

Which brings me to another area of substantial costs: our national newsletter. Many of you receive this newsletter via email, which carries a very low cost. But we mail out over 260 paper copies to our members, each of which costs us $4 for printing and mailing. We publish up to four editions per year, which means we are spending upwards of $4,000 per year on printing and mailing. When you consider that we only collect around $5,000 per year in membership dues, this means we are spending virtually all our membership dues on sending out the newsletter! This restricts our ability to carry out other important projects. The Board of Directors is concerned about this and is now considering whether we should ask those who receive paper copies to pay a fee to defray the cost. Veterans and Widows would not be required to pay this fee, but it would apply to all other members who receive a paper copy. The Board will decide on this soon. In the meantime, though, I ask that each of you who receives a paper copy consider switching immediately to an emailed version. Save trees and save money!


Finally, I’m constantly learning new things about the Battle of Hong Kong and 'C' Force. A journalist and author, Ellin Bessner, has recently published a book called "Double Threat: Canadian Jews, the Military and WWII", which documents the experiences of Jewish Canadian soldiers during WW II. Her book features stories on a number of Jewish 'C' Force members, and looks at the war through a different lens. You can learn more about it here.

As always, please contact me at if you have ideas or suggestions.

We will remember them

In Memoriam

Gladys Marion Brazel, widow of Ervin Arnold Brazel, RRC, on Aug 17, 2018
Mary Prairie, widow of Alex Prairie, WG, on July 22, 2018
Mona Allister, widow of William Allister, RCCS, on July 5, 2018
Lynne MacWhirter, wife of William (Bill) MacWhirter RRC, on April 9, 2018
Mary McIntyre, widow of Alfred McIntyre, WG, on March 20, 2018
Ann Maze, widow of Richard Maze, WG, 2018
Daphne Caruso, widow of John Caruso, WG, on May 3, 2017

HKVA Report

Phil sends greetings from New Richmond to all friends of HKVCA and he's told us that he'll be submitting his thoughts for our Winter edition. You can catch Phil on our HKVCA Facebook page and our Hong Kong Veterans Tribute group as he participates on a regular basis.

Phil has also submitted his suggested reading list for those looking for more detail and depth regarding the Battle of Hong Kong. Why not stop by?

(Read Phil's memoirs on our website)

From the Editor

I’m excited about the content in this issue, especially our feature article focused on plaque presentations. Our mission is to educate Canadians and our plaques have proven to be an effective tool to achieve that. I hope that you’ll take some time to see where we’re already making a difference, and be inspired to take the initiative in your neck of the woods. Don't forget to take photos for our next newsletter edition!

Another article is by Hong Kong veteran, Gerry Gerrard, as he recounts some of his experiences as a POW. Not easy reading, but it’s a reminder of the terrible conditions that our POWs faced.

Burke Penny, author of Beyond the Call is requesting your assistance in his article asking: What Happened at East Brigade Headquarters?

And, as always, many thanks to our crew of eagle-eyed proofreaders: Kathie and Anne.

Plaques Across Canada

A Quick Introduction

Have you been to one of the HKVCA Commemorative Plaque Dedications yet? This new HKVCA National initiative is sweeping across Canada. Not sure what the plaque is? Check out this page on our web site for all the details.

The plaque presentations have generated many photos, more than we have room for in the newsletter. We have set up a special showcase area in our Photo Gallery that features other photos from the events. Please visit, and if you've attended an event and taken photos feel free to send them to us with a caption so we can add them to the gallery.

The events below are just the latest, as we've been placing plaques in various locales for some time now. Check out our earlier newsletter editions to read up on earlier presentations such as Port Credit, Victoria, and Niagara Falls

The History

Around 2011- Bud Mann, son of James Burnett Mann, RRC, was approached by the Ontario HKVCA executive of the time, to develop 3 banners to be used as marketing tools for the Ontario HKVCA region at teacher conferences, HK Ontario reunions, HK National Conventions- anywhere our membership were gathering or where we could 'spread the word and our Mission'.

In 2016, the family of Lawrence Ross, RRC, asked the Ontario Region what could be put into the Parkwood Veterans Hospital in London, Ontario to honor those Canadians who had fought the Battle of Hong Kong. The hospital has many tributes to many battles in WW2. Out of the family's request, one of the original banners has been incorporated into the HKVCA Commemorative Plaque. Since the first plaque dedicated in Parkwood Veterans Hospital, the Ontario Region has had 11 installed or in the planning stages.

This past spring, 2018, the HKVCA National Executive decided to make the HKVCA Commemorative Plaque a national project. Up to this time, 31 further plaques have been purchased by our executive. HKVCA Commemorative Plaque dedications are happening across Canada, in many different venues as you'll see below.

Would you want to have one in your community public library? Sports centre or arena? Royal Canadian Legion branch? School? Hospital? Retirement community? Really- anywhere we can educate Canadians and further our Mission of educating Canadians. Connect with your region. Contact your Regional Director to find out more information on how you can have a HKVCA Commemorative Plaque in your community.

Keep reading to see photos and insights of our completed plaque dedications in various communities.

The photos and reports below will help you to understand the plaque dimensions and various styles of dedication services. On the HKVCA website there are specifics and guidelines to follow.

Upcoming Events

  1. Estevan, Sask. on Friday, September 14th, at 2:00 p.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 60. The address is 1317  4th Street.
  2. Calgary, AB. on Friday, September 21st, at 1:00 p.m. at the Royal Canadian Centennial Legion Branch # 285.The address is 9202 Horton Road.
  3. High River, AB. on Monday, October 22nd,  at 10:30 a.m., at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 71. The address is #25 – 8th Ave South East, (Veterans Way).

Plaque Presentation: Chesley, ON

About 30 people were at the Chesley Legion Branch 144 on Saturday, June 9th to witness the unveiling of a commemorative plaque honouring the Canadian soldiers who fought at the Battle of Hong Kong during the Second World War. Ray Jackson, who grew up near Desboro, was a member of the Royal Rifles of Canada, and he died during the fighting. Another Canadian soldier, Syd Street, survived but was taken prisoner of war and spent nearly four years in a Japanese internment camp. After the war, Street moved to Chesley and worked at the Post Office eventually becoming Postmaster. He raised his family here, including a son, Peter, who was at the unveiling. His son explained how he learned of the horrors of war. “When we were kids we got to see the horror of the war when my dad removed his shirt at the beach....he had tuberculosis scars and burn marks all over his body.”

The plaque, honouring the almost 2000 Canadian soldiers including 290 that were killed in the mountainous terrain of Hong Kong, 500 who were wounded and 264 soldiers who died in captivity, was presented to the legion by Lori Atkinson-Smith on behalf of the Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association. Atkinson-Smith’s father, a member of the Winnipeg Grenadiers was himself a survivor and she is carrying on her father’s mission to educate people about the Battle of Hong Kong and the terrible cost. The Association exists, she continued, to “help ensure that this part of Canada’s military history is not forgotten.”

Canadian troops were sent by the government at the request of Great Britain to “bolster the garrison there as they were expecting an attack from Japan” Atkinson-Smith said in her introduction. The Canadian and British forces of about 12,000 soldiers were vastly outnumbered by 50,000 Japanese troops when the attack took place less than 8 hours after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour Dec. 8th, 1941. Survivors, like Syd Street, spent 3 years and 8 months in captivity. Japan was not a signatory to the Geneva Convention and conditions for prisoners of war in Japanese internment camps were brutal and inhumane.

Larry Miller, MP for Grey-Bruce-Owen Sound, attended the unveiling on behalf of the Canadian government and presented Street with a framed plaque recognizing his father’s service and sacrifice in the Battle of Hong Kong. Miller stated that it was a “pleasure and an honour to be here”. He admitted to not knowing about this tragic battle and appreciated being enlightened by Atkinson- Smith as “recognition of our history is very, very important.” As he gave the plaque to Street’s son, he said “What can you say – so many people lived through hell and so many didn’t come home.”

Former Arran-Elderslie mayor, Ron Oswald, recalled as a child taking a drink of water to Ray Jackson as he worked in their fields. He remembers Jackson’s skills stooking hay and at 85, he still remembers his mother telling him the news two years later that Jackson had been killed in the war. Seventy-six years after the Battle of Hong Kong an archeological historical group found Jackson’s watch on the battlefield. It was identified by an inscription and the Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association was instrumental in returning it to his great-great nephew. The Canadians who died there are buried in the Sai Wan Bay War Cemetery which to this day is well looked after. The Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association has been placing plaques all across Canada stated Atkinson-Smith and “We are grateful to the Chesley Legion for accepting this one.”

Left to Right - Margaret Lamon, Past President of Chesley Legion, Cathy Lamon, President of Chesley Legion 144, Larry Miller MP Grey-Bruce-Owen Sound, Mae Smith, Legion Secretary, Peter Street, son of Sydney Street, RRC and Lori Atkinson Smith (Photo by Jim Carson)

Plaque Presentation: Swan River, MB

Judy Preston, daughter of H41803 Riley Erwin Prieston was MC for the dedication and unveiling of the plaque on Sunday, June 17, 2018 at Swan River Legion Br. 39

Helen Prieston, widow of Riley Erwin Prieston, and daughter Judy Preston"

Families of veterans from Swan River attending presentation

Plaque Presentation: Edmonton, Norwood Legion, AB

We were delighted to have 50 people attend, with 11 HKVCA members in attendance, who we focused on in our pictures.

The President Wes Hyshka welcomed everybody. It was a thrill to have young cadets to hear the history. The plaque unveiling was represented by HKVCA member Chiara Gurney, great-granddaughter of Veteran Leonard Corrigan, WG, and Jeff McGee, son of Veteran John McGee WG.

Refreshments followed with lots of visiting and shared stories. We were so welcomed by the Legion members. The plaque will be hung in the main entrance to the large meeting room in the foyer.

The 12 Cadets who formed a Colour Party represented the 395 Edmonton Griffin RCACS, the 27 Warriors Royal Canadian Sea Cadets), and the 2551 Princess Patricia Cadets.

The plaque unveiling with HKVCA member Chiara Gurney, great- granddaughter of Veteran Leonard Corrigan, WG, and Jeff McGee, son of Veteran John McGee WG

The ALPHA group, (Association for the Preservation of the History of WW II in Asia), (photo 133) was well represented by President Dominic Chang( 3rd to right), Paul Kam (left of plaque) and John Yee far right). Their spokesman Cam Fahlman, (left)a retired history teacher, indicated his goal as a member of ALPHA, is to encourage more history to be written in the curriculum in our schools. The ALPHA group also donated two books to the Legion President, as well as a video, “The Rape of Nanking”.

Presentation: Moose Jaw Legion, AB

We arrived at the Legion prior to noon, and found that the luncheon was recognizing the “100 years of Remembrance, 1918 to 2018.” There were 109 Veterans, and family members, representing Veterans from WW II (2), Korean War (1), Afghanistan Veterans, RCMP Veterans, as well as the Mayor of Moose Jaw, local RCMP, Armed Forces, MLA and MP, and the Legion Provincial Executive.

Marion and Dwaine Pho from Regina, and John and I, were provided with a wonderful lunch, and prior to our presentation, Veterans were honoured with the “Table for Fallen Soldiers”, which is represented in a picture in the HKVCA Gallery. This ceremony is generally done at formal Legion events.

Due to limited time, we provided a shortened version of our unveiling, including information on HKVCA, Marion read out the greeting from our National President, Mike Babin, and we read the history of the “Battle of Hong Kong”. We also highlighted the Veterans Flag and the Commemorative Association flag. Marion and Dwaine unveiled the plaque. People were so impressed with the Plaque, which has now been hung in a very special place near their ceremonial table in the lounge, which is full of memorabilia and pictures even of the “Snow Birds” which are based in Moose Jaw. The Legion members could not have been more hospitable.

A local radio station "Discover Radio" covered the event with an interview.

I think I speak for the four of us, in that we had a wonderful experience.

Marion and Dwaine Pho unveiling the plaque.

Legion members including the President of the Legion, Roy LaBuick, the 1st Vice President Sharon Erickson and the 2nd Vice President, Rene Lachance.

Plaque Presentation: Colonel Belcher Veterans Residence, Calgary, AB

What a great afternoon we had at the plaque unveiling, which started at 2:00 pm. We were not sure how many people could join us, as our RSVP’s were few. Surprisingly, we ended up with about 80 people, a lot of whom were Veterans, and included 19 HKVCA members.

As MC, I took a few moments to describe HKVCA, providing information on our role as the sons and daughters of HKVCA Veterans, to educate our communities about the “Battle of Hong Kong”.

We had guests to provide a welcome/greeting to our group. They were Calgary Mountainview Constituency MLA Dr. David Swann; Director of the Colonel Belcher, Lesley Myles; Veterans Affairs Representative Jennifer Cherniwchan; and ALPHA President Thomas Chow. The Chief Operating Officer of the Colonel Belcher sent his regards.

A brief orientation was provided on our HKVCA organization, and our focus on education of the “Battle of Hong Kong”. We also mentioned how the “Commemorative Plaque “ was developed.

Norma Fuchs read the Greetings from our HKVCA Board President Mike Babin.

A History of the “Battle of Hong Kong” was read by Kathie.

Next, and most important of the day, was the introduction of Veteran Ralph Maclean, a Royal Rifle, who received a standing ovation. His presence made the focus of the day real.

Attention was drawn to the HKVCA Veterans flag, and its history, and the Commemorative Association flag, which were placed on each side of the plaque.

The Commemorative Plaque was then unveiled by Norma Fuchs and her 17-year-old grandson Ian McMitchell.

Refreshments were served, but for this occasion we had a cake with HKVCA on it, as Ralph MacLean had celebrated his 96th Birthday two days before. With HKVCA members and others help, it turned out to be a great afternoon!

A special HKVCA cake, celebrating Ralph's birthday

Norma Fuchs and her Grandson Ian McMitchell unveiling the Plaque

Blake and Marilyn Pridgen with Hong Kong veteran Ralph Maclean, and Gail Richoz, daughter of Hong Kong veteran Ed Shayler (deceased)

Blake and Marilyn Pridgen with Hong Kong veteran Ralph Maclean, and Gail Richoz, daughter of Hong Kong veteran Ed Shayler (deceased)

Plaque Presentation: Selkirk Legion, MB

We wish to extend our deep appreciation to Pat Atkinson and Dennis Stewart for their work in arranging to have the plaque presented to Selkirk Legion in Selkirk Manitoba.

There were 25 Manitoba HKVCA members with family and friends who attended the Selkirk Legion presentation as well as the members of Selkirk Legion and community. We were pleased to have our Colour Party (Vince and Stan Lopata, Alex Taylor) – our executive – Barry Mitchell, Treasurer/Membership; Marleen Bell, Secretary. (Marilyn Gilinas) and the Atkinson family; Sinclair/Peebles family; and the Still family.

Our veteran George Peterson was unable to attend but he was included in the Regional Directors opening remarks. The Protocol service was done with the assistance of Marleen Bell reading the Honour Roll, Barry Mitchell and Dennis Stewart doing the chairs.

Thank you to Mayor Larry Johansen for attending, his support and appropriate remarks to the occasion. Thank you to Legion President John Austin for his remarks and with his wife Heather for their hospitality and arranging a reception following, to the Selkirk Legion Colour Party with Sgt-at-Arms Len Johnson and to Padre Steven Sharman for his devotions.

The plaque was mounted on the Honour Wall and the brass plate with the names of the Selkirk 'C' Force members will be mounted when completed.

Unveiling plaque with Mayor Johansen, Carol Hadley and Dennis Stewart

Atkinson family - Pat, son Daniel, Bill, Dennis and nephew Kyle.

Combined Colour Party with Selkirk and Stan Lopata carrying HK colour

Plaque Presentation: Nutana Legion, Saskatoon, SK

Nutana Legion Executive Branch # 362, Saskatoon, Sk

left to right – Elsie Hanel Jones and Lillian McAuley, widows.

left to right- Clifford Pateman, Elsie’s brother, Elsie Hanel Jones, Dorothy McLeod, Jean Pateman (Clifford’s wife sitting) , Denise and Ken Pateman, Elsie’s nephew and his wife, holding Veteran Joe Hanel’s memorabilia.

Plaque Presentation: Legion Branch #159, Russell, MB

Helen Prieston (widow of Riley Prieston) and Judy Preston (daughter of Riley Prieston) unveiled the HKVCA plaque on Aug. 19, 2018 at the Russell Legion Br# 159, Russell Memorial Multiplex Concourse.

Community members of Russell, MB checking out the unveiled plaque. There were 30 people attending, half of which were WWII Veterans and Legion members from Russell Branch # 159 and 2 members from Swan River Legion Br# 39. August 19, 2018

Reminiscing by Gerry

Insights into life at Camp 3D Nippon Ko Kan Shipyard located in Tokyo Bay. P.O.W. # 375

At age 96, I find I have memory problems and you may find items I have mentioned in other articles.

The day after arriving we were sent to work, and the first thing we were divided into various work groups. My group's job was construction, bolting the parts of the ship together ready for riveting. We were divided into smaller groups and mixed with Jap workers who were not too bad to work with, but soon after getting the hang of their type of work, we talked the boss into letting us have our own crew.

We never knew when we were getting a day off, which probably averaged every three weeks. We received one toothbrush, which I should have soaked in water first as it had a wooden handle and all the bristles fell out the first time I used it. We never had soap, but found a type of grease- used on the skids of the slipway, when launching a ship worked not too badly, but sometimes burnt the skin.

My health was good and, fortunately, I could eat anything but I did find camp food sometimes hard to swallow. I did have an infected tailbone, which got me three days in hospital in Victoria B.C in 1940. It was never fixed, so now in camp it would flare up again. I would just bend over get it cut and drained, and put a rag over it. Later on, it would just pop on its own. Somehow infection didn't happen.

One day, we had a visit from the Red Cross, so we had to tidy the camp up. The shipyard gave us some of the money we had earned less the cost of our food. We were offered five items we could buy. The most expensive was a straight razor which surprised me so I ordered one and I got it. I don't recall what the other items were but they were useless to us. However, the money came in handy buying cigarettes from the workmen.

Later on, we received 200 pairs of boots (Red Cross) and the Japs gave them out according to the number of work days you had worked. Shoes always lasted me and I took good care of them. I was called in for a pair of boots. I told them to give them to someone who badly needed them, but, no, I had to take the new boots and turn mine in. I got some wax from the slipway and really gave my new boots a good protection. Lo and behold a few months later some more boots arrived and I was made to accept another pair.

Every once in a while things would come up, one was boils, and the Doctor would have you sit with a tin of hot water and try to bring it to a head, then he would sink a scalpel to the bottom, make an x, then you squeezed it.

Another problem was worms. A person would cough them up and they would be the size of your middle finger. There must have been a lot of it in Japan as they had plenty of the powder to cure it. The cure was to go without dinner or breakfast (which is hard when your stomach is growling) take the powder, and stay in camp. We would come back from work and these guys would be drunk. It was sad but comical. I was lucky and did not get them.

One day, I thought I was getting another boil but it didn't seem the same so I checked with the Doctor and he ordered me to the hospital right away. The hospital was just an area marked off in one of the huts, - no beds just 1-1/2 inch straw mat.

The next morning the Doctor said I had cellulitus, which is an infection under the flesh, and he must make an incision to drain it. Unfortunately, he had no painkiller, so out came four orderlies to hold my hands and feet. I could not believe the amount of infection that came out. The next day our Doctor. had the measles so an American navy Doctor was brought in. He examined the area and informed me there were several pockets of infection and in order to drain them, he must break away the flesh between them. Also, his policy had always been, if you make an incision, make it large enough to work in, so out come the four orderlies again.

There was no medication for this and just when it was about healed another pocket came above the knee so out come the orderlies again. You know when you are laying on the floor those guys looked like giants. This took a month to heal so was put on light work in the camp making welding rods, as I could not march to work.

A few years later, at a reunion in Penticton, the Veterans Affairs agent called me up and said he had been reading my documents and figured I would be having knee problems by now. Dammit that may have been an invitation to apply for a pension, but to this day that knee has not bothered me.

What Happened at East Brigade HQ?

When I wrote my book, Beyond the Call, about the men of the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals (RCCS) in Hong Kong and Japan, one aspect of the battle that I was never able to find much information on was which of the Signal Corps operators were assigned to East Brigade Headquarters, and what were their experiences during the battle and eventual surrender. None of the RCCS diaries or reports provided any of these details.

I am particularly interested in finding out more because from what I can gather, my uncle, Don Penny (K34027), was one of those who didn’t accompany Captain Billings (RCCS CO) and fourteen others who left the Island Signal Pool at Casa Bianca near Deep Water Bay on about December 14th for West Brigade Headquarters at Wong Nei Chong Gap. Most of the remaining Signallers would have been assigned to East Brigade Headquarters which was the area of defence for the Royal Rifles and the Rajput regiment. Initially, Brigade HQ was located near the Royal Rifles HQ at Tai Tam Gap, but on December 19th it was moved to the shelters at Stone Hill. There, BHQ set up “in a house just below the fork in the road running south to Stanley.” (Denison War Diary, RRC)

When my brother was in Hong Kong in April, 2017 he went with a guide up to the original EBHQ location and took a number of photographs. Two of those included here show the general location, and two show a specific shelter that his guide thought could have been the Signals location. (Click on the thumbnail for a larger image)

Any suggestions as to sources I might investigate or specific information about RCCS activity in the East Brigade sector would be much appreciated.

D. Burke Penny

BC Region Report

Greetings from the Pacific Region.

Well it has indeed been a summer to remember in British Columbia. With wildfires raging throughout and still no end in sight every region in the province has experienced some sort of threat and discomfort from the smoke and haze. Even in downtown Victoria tourists and locals alike experienced what the rest of the province is living with. Our BC membership list shows that our organization has loyal members in virtually all of these affected areas. Clearwater, Kelowna, Penticton, lower mainland Vancouver and southern Vancouver Island to name a few. We trust and hope that when autumn appears on the horizon it brings relief in the form of cooler breezes and gentle soothing rainfall.

Amid all of this there are still some things that remain constant and unchanged. Which is

We Will Remember Them.

The Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association plaque program continues to fulfill its mandate of honour and remembrance to our veterans.

RCCS veteran Gerry Gerrard's granddaughter, Tracey Campbell works as a recreational therapist at the George Derby Centre in Burnaby, BC.  Inspired by her Granddad's Victoria Ceremony, Tracey framed a poster of the plaque along with the HK Emblem and a photograph of Gerry receiving the plaque. Two resident WW2 Veterans at the care home had their picture taken with the frame alongside the facility's new Cenotaph. We thank Army Veteran Henry Garneau and Navy Veteran Cliff Barry, who know what it is to remember comrades who served and sacrificed so much.

Henry Garneau (standing) and Cliff Barry

Henry Garneau (standing) and Cliff Barry

While attending a huge class reunion this summer a HKVCA Plaque was also provided to St Patrick's HighSschool in Quebec City. It will be accompanied with a bilingual inscription dedicated to the seven young men who volunteered with the Royal Rifles Regiment from that school. More on this at a later date.

Mona Thornton of Penticton, daughter of RRC Joseph Frenette E30329 has an extensive collection of artifacts and letters. All of her father's diary has now been transcribed and some memorabilia is now on display at her local museum. The HKVCA Plaque will be front and center at a dedication ceremony later on during the November Remembrance week. We look forward to seeing that Mona.

The Chinese Cultural Centre in down town Vancouver has expressed interest in dedicating a plaque to honour those Canadians involved in the Hong Kong defence story. They have translated some battle details and the role of 'C' Force and it will soon be a part of their display planned some time this fall. More on this when it happens.

Translation of 'C' Force story

Translation of 'C' Force story

I would encourage all members who may know of 'C' Force soldiers who lived, and or retired in your community to consider this type of memorial. The plaques are available free of charge from our National Executive and delivered to the closest Staples store to your location. We understand that the particulars of your own dedication ceremony could look some what different than the suggested format. The goal is to have a lasting and poignant memorial of the huge sacrifices that these young men were part of, whatever form that may take.

Please folks, it would be much appreciated if you would take a few moments to send our executive some feedback regarding newsletter content and what you might want to see in future.

Wishing you all beautiful fall colors and clear skies.

Prairie Prose

Photo of Carol

Greetings from the Prairie Region.

As fall approaches, we begin a busier schedule, so I hope everyone is rested from a wonderful Prairie summer. Our prayers go out to those who have had adverse conditions to deal with, but hopefully that will improve.

On June 3, 2018 the 526 Winnipeg Grenadier Cadet Corps held their 71st Annual Review at Minto Armouries. The Corps has about 30 members and meet on Wednesday nights at Minto. At this review several cadets received awards for their skill and accomplishments.

The Winnipeg Grenadier, Hong Kong Veterans created this trophy and below you see 97-year old George Peterson (the last Winnipeg Grenadier, Hong Kong Veteran) presenting the Most Efficient Trophy to Cadet Chief Warrant Officer (C/CWO) S. Fleming.

George Peterson (the last Winnipeg Grenadier, Hong Kong Veteran) presenting the Most Efficient Trophy to Cadet Chief Warrant Officer (C/CWO) S. Fleming.

George Peterson (the last Winnipeg Grenadier, Hong Kong Veteran) presenting the Most Efficient Trophy to Cadet Chief Warrant Officer (C/CWO) S. Fleming.

George now resides in Deer Lodge in the Veterans section.


Our Colour Party participated in local community parades in Pinawa, Lac du Bonnet, Selkirk, and for the Belgium Legion in Winnipeg.

Plaque presentations

We wish to thank Kathie Carlson for coordinating the plaque presentations in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Thank you to all the Area Reps for the presentations in Calgary, Cardston, Edmonton, Moose Jaw, Saskatoon and soon for Estevan, Calgary Centennial and High River; Sask. Also to Saskatchewan Area rep Marion Pho and her husband Dwaine from Regina; to Pat Atkinson and Dennis Stewart for Selkirk, Manitoba and Helen Prieston and Judy Preston for arranging Russell Manitoba AND most of all to Lori Smith for all her efforts to have the program distributed nationally.

Check out the Upcoming Events block in the Plaques Across Canada article and plan to attend if possible.

There are pictures and write ups on these presentations on the website and in other areas of the newsletter. We appreciate the efforts of our members in helping with the arrangements to have the plaques placed in various parts of the Region so that it brings the memory of 'C' Force closer to the families and friends.

Dominion Command, Royal Canadian Legion

Barry Mitchell and I had the privilege of representing the HKVCA by attending the Welcome Reception of the 47th Dominion Convention held in Winnipeg. Dignitaries representing government, VAC, District Presidents and other Veteran Organizations were present.

The Legion business meetings will deal with many business items, elections and other matters to take their organization forward.

As a reminder to the Prairie members we hold monthly meetings at the Viscount Gort Hotel over lunch and social time. Please join us as you are able. Time is 11:30 a.m., building is accessible, and the meeting room is on the 2nd level. We are planning other plaque presentations this fall in the Winnipeg and local areas. If you wish to assist us that would be wonderful.

Annual Reunion Reception

To be held at Neil Bardal centre, 3030 Notre Dame on October 21, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.

Take care and hope our autumn weather will be mild and enjoyable.

Ontario Offerings

Northern Ontario Report

Here it is September already, almost another year over. Hope everyone had a great summer and enjoyed their relaxation time. Sad news of the passing of Gladys Brazel, widow of Arnold Brazel RRC and mother of HKVCA member Sandra Brazel.

RRC Veteran Fred Cooper is celebrating his 99th Birthday on Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018 and is still living on his own. He likes to work on puzzles and latch hooks and looks after his garden with help from his son Bill. Way to go, Fred, you're showing us younger folk up!

Quebec Region Report

From Quebec, Greetings to all. Hope you all enjoyed a wonderfully warm summer and vacation time in the company of family members and friends.

Since our last newsletter and vacation time for many, things were a bit quiet. I did attend a few local veterans’ gatherings and our regular Board of Directors Meetings. Later in September, we will attend a Plaque dedication ceremony at the Royal Canadian Legion in Bury, QC. Final plans are well on their way. We are expecting many HK family members, RC Legion, ANA Veterans, along with members and friends of our veterans to attend. Other dedications will be announced later.

We are also working on plans for the Poppy Campaign and the November 11th Armistice Ceremonies in memory of all our Fallen Comrades. Quebec members will also be attending these Ceremonies in their local area. More news on these events and others in the next edition of the newsletter.

Take care.

Board of Directors Nominations

The present HKVCA National Board approved an Election Committee on May 23, 2018 for a new National Board of Directors for 2019. The Committee consisting of Jim Trick (Webmaster), Cynthia Melanson, Sharon Kurtz and Chair Kathie Carlson, placed the “Call for Nominations” to all HKVCA members in the Summer (June) Newsletter. HKVCA members were asked to nominate Directors for the HKVCA National Board.

Since the Summer Newsletter, the Elections Committee has been accepting nominations from HKVCA members across Canada. Nominations were to close August 1, 2018, but were extended to August 15, 2018 to allow for additional nominations.

Eight nominees accepted their Nominations. As the number of persons nominated is less than thirteen (13), a Ballot is not included in this newsletter.

The eight nominees who accepted their nomination, represent the following Regions:

  • Carol Hadley - Prairie Region
  • Mike Babin - Ontario Region
  • Barry Mitchell - Prairie Region
  • Lucette Mailloux Muir- Quebec Region
  • Gerry Tuppert - British Columbia Region
  • Mitzi Ross - Ontario Region
  • Mark Purcell - Ontario Region
  • Bernard LeBlanc - Atlantic Region

Thanks to all the HKVCA members for their nominations, and to those who accepted their Nomination.

Respectfully submitted by, Kathie Carlson, Chair, on behalf of the 2019 Elections Committee.


It is truly amazing to see the power of social media such as Facebook. Our group Hong Kong Veterans Tribute is buzzing with updates to our 'C' Force members' information, along with comments and suggestions from over 1000 followers. The dedication of Lillian Roesch continues to drive the conversations, as she posts several updates each day, and engages others, who in turn make their own contributions. Our individual reports on our 'C' Force members are being updated as quickly as possible, but we ask for your patience as we attempt to keep up with the new information.

We understand that Facebook is not for everyone. If you have information on a 'C' Force member that you would like us to include on our web site, just get in touch by clicking on the "Contact Us" link found at the top-right corner of any web page or at the bottom of this screen.

Visitors to our various web sites have been averaging between 50 and 100 per day over the past month.

Treasurer's Report

Thanks to everyone who has paid their 2018 membership dues but to those who haven’t, time is running short. Of late we have been plugging the ability to pay your dues online by going to the website but I want to remind everyone that the traditional method of sending in a cheque still works very well.

While you are at it, consider a donation to the HKVCA. We are a registered charity and can provide you with an official tax receipt for any donation of $20.00 or more over and above your dues. We always have major projects on the drawing board and your financial support is definitely welcome.


Membership Stats

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