HKVCA - Summer 2022 - Contents


"Never Forget"

National Newsletter of the Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association

Autumn 2022

President's Message

The days are rapidly getting shorter and it’s clear that summer will soon give way to fall. Kids (and grandkids) are back in school, and we’ll all be getting back into our regular routines.

Virtual Events

The imminent arrival of fall means we will be restarting our virtual events series. The first of the season will be on Monday, September 19 at 7:30 pm ET. You should have received an emailed announcement by now which contains a link to register. If not, you can register by clicking here. Our speaker is Fred Hurd, the son of Capt. Lionel Hurd, who was the Quartermaster of the Royal Rifles. It promises to be a very interesting story about this Hong Kong Veteran. Please plan to attend!

We’d like to feature more of these kinds of reminiscences in our virtual events. If you’d like to speak about your Hong Kong Veteran, please let me know at

V-J Day Commemorations

I’d like to thank everyone who participated in a V-J Day service. There were several across the country, some of which are written up in this newsletter. They take a lot of effort to organize! Kudos to our members who undertook to arrange them, and to those who attended to honour our Hong Kong Veterans.

Indigenous Veterans

I was very pleased that many of these V-J Day events were attended by representatives of Indigenous groups, who joined in honouring all members of ‘C’ Force. Métis and other First Nations people were part of ‘C’ Force.  Pam Heinrichs continues to lead the HKVCA’s project to identify them and record their details on our website. She provides an update on her progress elsewhere in this newsletter.

We non-Indigenous Canadians can reciprocate by in turn observing Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30. Wear your orange shirt that day to honour the lost children and survivors of residential schools, their families and communities. In fact, the entire week of September 26-30 will be recognized in our schools as Truth and Reconciliation Week, with special programs for students. 


George MacDonell recently celebrated his 100th anniversary. Debbie Jiang and Eric Brunt collaborated to produce a video of birthday wishes. Watch it here! And in case you missed it, here’s a video wishing Phil Doddridge the best on his 100th birthday back in April. And for those who missed it, earlier this year Hormidas Fredette celebrated 105 years. Watch a video here. They are all amazing!

Thank You

A huge “thank you” to all of our HKVCA members who volunteer so much of their time and energy to keep the memory of our valiant Hong Kong Veterans alive. You can see the evidence of their work in this newsletter. It’s truly impressive.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me at with your questions or with ideas about how we can make the HKVCA even more effective.

Happy fall!

We Will Remember Them

In Remembrance

  Last Post

E30338 Eugene Lapointe, RRC on June 17, 2022. 

In Memoriam

Gertrude Bliss, widow of Philip Bliss H6906 Winnipeg Grenadier, on August 21, 2022.

Normand Menard, great supporter and worker of the QC HKVCA, on August 3, 2022.

Linda May, granddaughter of Marcien Lafortune, Winnipeg Grenadiers, on July 5, 2022. Linda was our first webmaster and was responsible for creating our HKVCA web presence in 2001.


From the Editor

Extending Our Coverage

You’ll notice two articles in this edition that highlight the work that is ongoing elsewhere to educate the Canadian public on the sacrifices made by our citizens in war. Thanks to Rachel Dell from Bay Chaleur Military Museum, and Sean Seumas Wilson, from the Remember November 11 Association for contributing.

So… What Do You Think?

I have a favour to ask: as you browse this newsletter make a mental note of things you like and others that detract from your enjoyment.

Now to the most important step: fire up your email app and send along these thoughts to your editor. Without feedback our volunteers don’t know what’s working and what needs work.


More Thanks

Thanks also to our contributors, whether you are a “regular” or have filled in by reporting on a special event. Your efforts make this newsletter possible and help to document all the HKVCA-related activities.

Want to be a contributor? It’s easy and fun!

And, last but certainly not least, a big “thank you” to our newsletter proofreaders: Barbara, Lori, Kathie and Anne.

77th Anniversary Ceremony - Ottawa

It was a warm summer’s day in Ottawa for the Hong Kong Veterans memorial service held at the ‘C’ Force Memorial Wall in Ottawa on August 13, 2022. This was the 77th anniversary of the end of the war in the Far East.

Memorial Wall after Laying of Wreaths

Memorial Wall after Laying of Wreaths. Photo by Richard Lawrence.

The ceremony was well attended by approximately 50 people. Once again, the event was well supported by the National Research Council (provided free parking) and the National Capital Commission (Memorial site upkeep). 

The master of ceremony was Brian Tang, Lt.-Col (Retired) Royal Canadian Air Force. 

Live music was provided by bugler Marion Lajoie,  and the RCMP Pipes and Drums band which consisted of pipers John Virag, Graham Muir and Catherine Mackinnon with Daniel Mandin on the tenor drum. 

Derrill Henderson provided the Prayers and Benediction. 

MP Yasir Naqvi laid a wreath on behalf of the Government of Canada, Robert Loken on behalf of Veterans Affairs.  It was an honour to have Lieutenant-Colonel Montgomery D. Price lay a wreath on behalf of the Canadian Armed Forces, as his grandfather, John H. Price and his great uncle, Charles Price both fought in Hong Kong. Mitzi Ross laid a wreath on behalf of the Hong Kong Veterans Association and Gail Angel laid a wreath on behalf of the Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association. 

The Acts of Remembrance were given by Mary Tang, Brian’s youngest daughter.

The Acts of Remembrance given by Mary Tang

The Acts of Remembrance given by Mary Tang

Ian Englehart laid a wreath on behalf of Debbie and Kevin Jiang in honour of the three surviving Hong Kong Veterans; Philip Dodderidge, Hormidas Fredette and George MacDonell. Both Philip Dodderidge and George MacDonell provided a message to be passed on at the ceremony.

Wreath laid by Julie Carver

Wreath laid by Julie Carver

Twelve family wreaths were laid. One of these wreaths was laid on behalf of an Indigenous member of 'C' Force, Robert Blanchard, who was killed in Hong Kong. It was laid by Julie Carver, his grand niece. Mitzi Ross laid a wreath in memory of Gander

Following the service, attendees went to the Lord Elgin Hotel, Grill 41 for a luncheon.

The ceremony was Livestreamed and recorded via Facebook by Deborah Tang and can be found at this link. Please note due to technical difficulties, the beginning of the ceremony is missing. 

Photos were graciously taken by Richard Lawrence Photography and many more can be found on his website.

Online News

 Web History

A vital tool in support of our mission- “to educate all Canadians on the role of Canada's soldiers in the Battle of Hong Kong and on the effects of the internment of the battle’s survivors on both the soldiers and their families” is our web presence. Thanks to the efforts of Linda May, granddaughter of Marcien Lafortune, Winnipeg Grenadiers, HKVCA’s first website was created back in 2001, 21 years ago! Not that long ago in years, but a lifetime on the World Wide Web.

Over the years, our websites have become a main source of information on the Canadian involvement in the Battle of Hong Kong, and the POW years. We expect that researchers, educators and family members will visit and learn for many years to come.

Want to see how we’ve evolved over the years? I’ve created a page that shows our changes and expansion over the years. Please pay a visit.

And The Work Goes On

Thanks to the input of HKVCA members and the public, our online library continues to expand and improve. Our home page is a good source of news, ongoing and upcoming events, and also provides the road map to all of our information holdings.

One specific area that is constantly changing is our ‘C’ Force site which hosts our Individual Reports. On a daily basis we receive new photos and information on ‘C’ Force members, and our team of volunteers makes the changes in our reports.

Why not check out the ‘C’ Force website and see if you can add to the information there.

Special thanks to Lillian, Lori, Jana and many others for their research and sharing.

One major source of new information and corrections for our ‘C’ Force records is Facebook. Members there have created  dynamic meeting places, and there are lots of discussions and updates, many including old photos and media clips. Why not pay a visit to:

The FEPOW questionnaire.


A valuable resource, brought to our attention by Mitzi Ross, is the Far East POW website. The COFEPOW database contains thousands of liberation questionnaires filled in by returning POWs. Accessing these will help families (and us) to verify and validate various POW details of returning ‘C’ Force members, and allow updates and corrections to our records.

Pay a visit and search - you may learn something about your ‘C’ Force family member!

Indigenous Veterans Project

Well, I am pleased to say that the Indigenous families of ‘C’ Force had representation at the VJ Day service in Winnipeg on August 14, 2022! A number of the Indigenous Veterans were represented by their families, many proudly wearing their Métis sashes. The Manitoba Métis Federation was invited to send a representative of the Red River Métis government and that they did - our service was attended by Shawn Nault, Minister of Métis Veterans; Stephanie Meilleur, Program Coordinator for the Métis Veterans Legacy Program; and Sierra Hill, the Provincial Coordinator of Culture and Heritage. Minister Nault laid a wreath for Métis Veterans and addressed the attendees at the reception afterwards.

Minister Shawn Nault and Stephanie Meilleur at the wreath 
				laying ceremony. (photo by Pamela Poitras Heinrichs)

Minister Shawn Nault and Stephanie Meilleur at the wreath laying ceremony. (photo by Pamela Poitras Heinrichs)

In undertaking a project such as this, it’s important to consider the wishes of those being honoured to ensure that what you are doing is something they want. At the beginning of this project we consulted with some of the Indigenous families already known to the Association. That resulted in the start of our project - identifying the Indigenous Veterans and listing them on the Indigenous Veterans page of our website. This is ongoing and we will be adding to the information about these Veterans. In the time since we started I have connected with many more of the families - each and every one is proud to have their family member shown as Indigenous - something that wasn’t always possible in the past. This was evident by the attendance of some of the families at VJ Day.

L-R Angel Delorme Stoyko, Diane Delorme Hykaway, Brenda 
				Neufeld-Lapointe proudly wearing their Métis sashes on VJ Day.

L-R Angel Delorme Stoyko, Diane Delorme Hykaway, Brenda Neufeld-Lapointe proudly wearing their Métis sashes on VJ Day. (photo by Pamela Poitras Heinrichs)

Some of us are now discovering connections between our families, whether blood ties or other kinship bonds - connections that in some cases started over 200 years ago but had been lost in the not so distant past due to the effects of colonialism. We are discovering and rebuilding our kinship ties - and that is very exciting and so very important.

This project, which started out as a way to recognize the Indigenous members of ‘C’ Force, is now expanding in scope - helping to reconnect and rebuild family and community.

Did You Know...

Did you know that the Manitoba Museum houses many items regarding the Hong Kong Veterans? And did you know that you can make arrangements to attend at the Museum, meet with a curator and view those items? Yes, you can! And we did!

At the beginning of July, one of our Association’s new members, Robert Alan Ouellette, made a trip to Winnipeg from his home in British Columbia. We made arrangements to attend the Museum while Robert was here. Roland Sawatzky, the Museum’s History Curator, prepared for our visit by searching for any information the Museum had about Robert’s grandfather (who died in the Battle) and about my dad, and by pulling certain items from the archives that he thought we would find particularly interesting. In addition, he took us into the climate-controlled vaults to view where the items are stored. I was very excited (and emotional) to see items used by veterans I had met, items used by men in the same camp as my father, and pictures drawn by someone in that same camp! Roland expressed a few times how being able to share the collection with others, particularly families of the Veterans, makes their work so very worthwhile.

Roland Sawatzky, Pamela Poitras Heinrichs, Robert Alan 
				Ouellette view items at the Manitoba Museum

(L-R) Roland Sawatzky, Pamela Poitras Heinrichs, Robert Alan Ouellette view items at the Manitoba Museum. (photo by Brielle Beaudin-Reimer)

If you would like to visit the Museum and see the Hong Kong collection, don’t hesitate to contact the Museum and set up an appointment. Visit alone or with friends - groups of up to 6 people can be accommodated. Contact information is as follows:  Roland Sawatzky, Curator of History, The Manitoba Museum – email , telephone 204-988-0634.

Exciting Things at the Bay Chaleur Military Museum

Bay Chaleur Military Museum Logo

The Bay Chaleur Military Museum was founded in 2004, in no small part by Philip Doddridge who served with the Royal Rifles in Hong Kong. Phil has helped shape the museum’s vision for almost 20 years, and he is one of the museum’s key financial supporters (see photo). Our small museum’s mission is to preserve and share the rich military history of the Gaspe Coast, and we have a national focus on the story of the Canadian soldiers who served in Hong Kong. 

Phil Doddridge at the museum

Phil Doddridge at the museum

This summer, with the support of the board of directors, I have undertaken a project to reorganise the museum’s collection reserve room. I have a Master of Arts in Anthropology, post-graduate certification in museum curatorship, and more than 20 years of experience working with heritage collections. Returning to the military museum this summer has felt like a homecoming (I created the museum’s exhibit when it opened). New shelving units were purchased, new clothing racks, as well as a storage unit for our large framed photographs. Every artifact (and its location) has been inventoried, and more than 400 new artifacts have been catalogued into the collection. Every artifact in the reserve room now has been carefully stored in custom-made boxes (see photo). 

Custom-made storage box

A number of special artifacts have been added to the collection this summer. To list a few of the exciting new additions – in August Jim Simons donated a samurai sword which his father Reginald (Reggie) Simons collected as a keepsake on being liberated. Maureen Rodrigues donated her father Edwin T. Rodrigues’ possessions – his secret diary written in 1942, his POW # tag, and a small cardboard record which holds a message Edwin sent to his family while he was a POW, are just a few highlights. Another very noteworthy addition is a handkerchief which belonged to Dr. Chak that was signed by 96 POWs from Sham Shui Po POW Camp (most of whom served with the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps). The signatures date to 1942 when the POWs in the camp of Asian descent were released.

The museum has been able to reach out to a much wider audience this year through our Facebook Page. Every week we featured a Veteran and an artifact. This has allowed us to showcase many stories not currently displayed in our exhibit space. We have enjoyed a wonderful response connecting with Veterans and their families. A completely unexpected result of the postings on our page is the international connections we have formed (gaining partners in Hong Kong - Dr. Kwong Chi Man and his research project, who have been helping to discover the stories behind the signatures on Dr. Chak’s handkerchief). Through our page we have also gained new volunteers – Maureen Rodrigues and her partner Gary Pitts have both committed to volunteering for the museum from their home in Montreal (see photo).

Maureen Rodrigues and her partner Gary Pitts at the Memorial Wall

Maureen Rodrigues and her partner Gary Pitts at the Memorial Wall

Our museum is a small, independent, largely volunteer-run, non-profit organization with a registered charitable number. We do not enjoy government funding. We operate almost solely off private donations, and the foresight and clever investments made by the board of directors. Please help support this special museum and the multitude of rich military history and veterans stories in our care. All donations over $20 will be issued a tax-deductible receipt.

Stay tuned with us for more exciting developments in the coming months and years. Check out our website: and find, like, and follow us on Facebook.

I would like to extend thanks to the HKVCA for including us in their newsletter.

Remembrance Gardens, London ON

Sean at the Remembrance Garden

In 2009, I started the Remember November 11 Association in response to some concerns I heard from older Veterans. They were very afraid that the history of the wars would be forgotten and that future generations would make the same mistakes. Our mission is to honour our Veterans, remember our fallen, and teach our children.

In 2014, I decided to plant a large poppy Garden in honour of the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I. It was a good learning moment and it helped us bring together Veterans and children and families of the fallen. After witnessing this, I decided to start adding the monuments and the walkways. Over the last 6 years, I have had some amazing help from many people and businesses in our community. We have no government funding of any kind so we rely on our community to support us with these projects.

Once the park started being developed and we started to have ceremonies, the local Veterans started to become very attached to our little park, called “Remembrance Gardens”. In 2017 we started having our annual Peacekeeping Day ceremony and we usually also have two other events to honour the Battle of Vimy Ridge and Remembering World War II. This year we have added two new ceremonies. We will now celebrate the Liberation of the Netherlands at the start of May, and we will also have a remembrance ceremony to memorialize the Battle of Hong Kong and the Dieppe Raid. We will also be doing a Remembrance Day ceremony at the park every year.

Hong Kong Monument

Hong Kong Monument

Currently, Remembrance Gardens has 14 large memorial stones. There is one for the dedication of the park and it is the keystone. We also have memorials for the following: Battle of Vimy Ridge, three stones to commemorate the Royal Canadian Army, the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force. Also memorials to commemorate D-Day, The Liberation of the Netherlands, victims of chemical warfare and another monument in honour of all of our Prisoners Of War and Missing In Action for all wars. Recently we added our monuments for the Battle of Hong Kong and the Dieppe Raid. In our peacekeeping section of the park, we have a monument for the Korean War, Peacekeeping Dayan, a stone dedicated to the Canadian Army Veterans motorcycle group. We have a large boulder that is dedicated to August 9th, which is Peacekeeping Day and is the centrepiece of our ceremony. Next to that is a monument for Canadian Army Veterans for UN Peacekeeping (CAVUNP). 

We have installed 22 trees, and each one is dedicated to a Veteran or fallen soldier that has some connection to the park via a relative or myself. We started a program to outline our large poppy Garden with paving stones carved with individuals who had served Canada. Right now we have about 70 of those installed. And normally the main focus of the park is the enormous poppy Garden. It is 5,625 square feet and has thousands of poppies when it is in bloom.

Monument Honouring Canadians from all Wars

Monument Honouring Canadians from all Wars

This park and the poppy Garden are a true labour of love and everybody that comes out to help is doing it to honour our fallen soldiers, but more so to create a place for our Veterans to come and have ceremonies and contemplate. It is also turning into a great place for teaching, and we hope to re-engage with the schools and start learning programs based on the park. It was very meaningful to me and our group to have our two new monuments, but also to work with Deb Legg and the Hong Kong Veterans Association, to see the dedication and pride your group brings to a park like ours.

Sean Seumas Wilson had a career as a computer programmer and accountant. In his spare time he also worked with the Master Gardeners of Canada and in 2008 he decided to start working with Veterans and families of the fallen and to find out how they wanted their history presented to everyone, including children. Since then his group has grown and they do many meaningful events to honour and celebrate our military history and the people who serve Canada. It is an all-volunteer organization and the size of these projects takes some real commitment from all involved. You can find out more by visiting or find us on Facebook at The Remember November 11 Association.

Gravestone Marker - Update

Gravestone marker image

Our Vision: Every one of our men’s graves has a marker

With the battle of Hong Kong holding such a unique part of history, the HKVCA created this stunning grave marker some years ago to be placed on the gravestones of those who fought in the battle of Hong Kong. They were created as a way to identify, recognize, and honour ALL those who fought. As one can imagine, our association went to great lengths to ensure the gravestone markers matched our vision. The markers themselves are high-quality discs that have been custom forged and are then treated and painted with industrial paint in order to stand the tests of time, weather and wear. These gravestone markers have been available through our organization for several years, and we are happy to report that they have found their intended place, marking history on gravestones across the country. These stunning markers have generated enough interest that we had to have more made! We are so pleased that through great research and effort, these shiny new gravestone markers are back in-stock, made in Canada, and available TODAY, to be shipped directly to you, so our mission of every grave having a marker can continue to unfold. Orders can be placed today (shipping included!) with our resident merchandising officer - Barry Mitchell. 

Options to order: 

 • Send a cheque for $75.00 made out to Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association and send it to: PO BOX 381, Winnipeg MB, R3C 2H6 

 • Send $75.00 by e-transfer to


About the author - First-time article writer Stephanie Mitchell, (grand-daughter to Lt. William Vaughan Mitchell, daughter of HKVCA National Treasurer Barry Mitchell), and newest member of the HKVCA Board of Directors, has been a proud member for many years and you can find her at our Manitoba events and conventions.

Prairie Prose

Greetings from the Prairie Region. 

We hope all our members are enjoying the summer months to renew our energies for the coming winter. We’ve had some nice weather and some terrible weather but we’ve managed to enjoy it all. As I prepare this report, Manitoba has had some relaxed regulations and people have started to travel so we are probably as normal as it gets.

HKVA Flag at MB Legislature

We are grateful to the Manitoba Legislature which allows us to have the Hong Kong Veterans flag fly in August and December at the Cenotaph on Memorial Blvd in Winnipeg. Thank you to Stan Lopata for transporting it. It is a great tribute to ‘C’ Force and their service.

Prairie Region has continued with the monthly lunch meetings but we have moved to Smitty’s Restaurant on Pembina Highway and Grant Ave in Winnipeg. Everyone is welcome to attend but please let me know to arrange seating.

Pam Heinrichs

Indigenous Project Update – Pam Heinrichs, daughter of Fred Poitras, continues to work on the Indigenous Veterans of ‘C’ Force Project. Many thanks to Pam for all her dedication and research on this project and look for further information in this newsletter.

Last Post project – Please let us know of any unmarked HKVA Veterans graves or damaged gravestones, as they can be replaced at no cost in this program. Also, the addition of traditional names for indigenous Veterans can be included with the wives’ names. Please contact me if you know of any gravestones that need attention.

Lawn Signs – Judy Preston, (daughter of Riley Prieston), in Russell coordinating this project, reports she had 13 signs left. She can be reached by email - and the funds can be sent to her by e-transfer or cheque as the postage and handling charge will need to be added.

Plaques – The Plaque initiative has been very successful in our Region with 7 in AB, 4 in SK, 22 in MB, and 3 in NW ON for a total of 36 plaques. A list of the sites that have plaques can be found on our website.

Education - Alex Taylor and Stan Lopata will be attending MSSTA conference in October and possibly Pam Heinrichs with some information on the Indigenous/Métis members of ‘C’ Force.

Colour party at Brookside

VJ DAY - August 14, 2022 - We had about 80 people attend our service observing the 77th Anniversary of the end of WWII. We began in the Field of Honour in Brookside Cemetery with piper George Morrison bringing in the Colours to act as an honour guard at the ‘C’ Force monument. 

VAC Area Director, Lina Matos

Padre - Rev. Murray Still, son of Joseph Oige, WG HKV, presided over our devotions. VAC Area Director, Lina Matos (daughter of a Portuguese Combatant) said a few words reflecting on this day.

Wreaths laid at Brookside Cemetery

Wreaths were laid by HKVCA – Pat Peterson, daughter of George Peterson, and Pat Atkinson, daughter of Harry Atkinson; Lina Matos, Area Director for VAC; Marty Morantz, MP; Shawn Nault, Minister, Red River Métis Veterans, Manitoba Métis Federation; Councilman Scott Gillingham and Veteran Associations: 283 ANAvet, Portuguese Combatants and Judy Bradley, IOOF.

Bugler, Ray Vance and Piper George Morrison performed the Last Post, Lament, Reveille.

FEPOW Prayer – Barry Mitchell, son of Vaughan Mitchell.

We closed this service with prayer and adjourned to the Neil Bardal Centre for the balance of the program.

Shawn Nault, Minister of Red River Métis Veterans

We began the program with the Indigenous statement, prayer and opening comments. Pam Heinrichs introduced our guest speaker, Shawn Nault, Minister of Red River Métis Veterans. Minister Nault has served in the Canadian military and respects the service all Veterans give to this country. He gave an inspiring speech on their association with the hope of working together. Several of our Métis members were present and pleased with these comments

We continued with the Protocol assisted by Donna Remillard, daughter of Ray Sellars and Stephanie Mitchell, granddaughter of Vaughan Mitchell, removing the chairs, and Colleen Stebbe, daughter of Larry Stebbe, reading the Act of Remembrance.

The Regional Director, Carol Hadley (daughter of Borge Agerbak) reviewed the mission that the Veterans gave to the HKVCA when it was formed and our progress in addressing this promise. Many of the projects are ongoing and listed above.

Lunch at the Neil Bardal Centre

The meeting concluded and refreshments were enjoyed with great conversation and many questions from our guests.

We are grateful for the interest and support of our political officials; the connection with the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) to help support our Métis members; the support from the other Veteran Associations and our members. Big thank you to Eirik Bardal, (grandson of Nijall Bardal, WG) of Neil Bardal Centre for the use of their facility, staff and equipment - we couldn’t do it without you. They made this day a success.

From Kathie Carlson (Lethbridge)

We had a beautiful warm summer day for our flag raising and wreath laying at the City of Lethbridge Cenotaph on Monday, August 15th for the 77th Anniversary of VJ Day. The HKVCA Commemorative flag was raised at the front of City Hall at exactly 11 a.m. and was flown for the week.

VJ Day at Lethbridge

We had a small group in attendance, but delighted that HKVCA members from Calgary, Norma and Glen Fuchs, Cynthia Melanson from Cardston and her daughter Terra from Picture Butte, and member Chiara Gurney from Lethbridge, who is the great-granddaughter of Len Corrigan.

We were honoured to have families from the Kainai Nation attend, especially Elder Newton Bull Shields who sang an Honour Song with his drum, composed specifically for Veterans, and Elder Charley Crow Chief, who said a Prayer and did a Smudge honouring our Veterans (Warriors). Warrant Officer Glenn Miller, retired, who is the historian for the Legion, and a strong supporter of HKVCA, also helped with the program and arrangements. Five wreaths were laid at the Cenotaph. Our local media coverage was excellent. Lunch followed for those who could stay.

 We received coverage on Monday evening news on Global TV and CTV. We also had additional coverage that was sent by Glenn Miller (see link below) with Norma Fuchs from Calgary being interviewed. Our Lethbridge Herald article was on our front page. If you go to both CTV (about 7 minutes into the newscast) and Global Lethbridge, about 9 minutes into the broadcast), under local news, their HKVCA coverage is on the 5:00 pm Newscast for August 15th . The Bridge City Newscast is here. It was a great day with great coverage!

Veterans Banner Example

Salute Our Veterans Banners - The Royal Canadian Legion General Stewart Branch No. 4 initiated a project, in cooperation with the City of Lethbridge, to place Memorial Banners for all Veterans that will be hung on city light standards around the City of Lethbridge, during the month of October and November each year. Their target was 91 banners, and they reached 81 by the deadline. To develop a Banner for my father Len Corrigan (see photo), they required a picture, an application to be filled out, and a biography. Cost is $225 dollars. If interested, contact your local Legion to see if they would consider a similar program in your community.

We wish you all a wonderful, colourful Autumn as we prepare for Thanksgiving, Remembrance Day and Christmas. May we always remember those who served and be thankful for their sacrifice for our rights and freedom.

Take care and God bless the Prairie Region.

Ontario Offerings

London Ontario VJ Day Celebration

VJ Day in London, Ontario

In our last newsletter, you will remember that Debbie Legg announced the unveiling of a monument in memory of her father, Lawrence Ross (RRC E29339), on VJ Day 2022, in London, Ontario. During the service at the Remembrance Gardens on Sunday, August 14th, 2022, the "Battle of Hong Kong" memorial stone was dedicated to all Hong Kong Veterans. In addition, there was one in memory of Lawrence Ross. 

Lawrence Ross Memorial Stone

We gratefully thank the Ross family and in particular Lawrence's daughter Debbie Legg and Remembrance Gardens Sean Wilson for bringing this together for us. It is truly an impressive and significant tribute to all of 'C' Force. We thank:

for helping to make the service complete. Also in attendance were present and past HKVCA members, guests and family members. We will never forget.

Both of the memorial stones were commissioned by the Ross family in their effort to continue educating the Canadian public about this little-known battle.

(Read more about the Remember Nov 11 Association and the Remembrance Gardens in a related article, above)

Ross Family

Ross Family - From left to right....Rachel, Bill, Brian, Mary, Lana, Debbie, Yvon, Sheryl, Mike, Dylan, Cherie, Pat, Willy

Ontario News by Shelagh Purcell, Ontario Rep

Mavis Martin and her family honoured John Martin, RRC, with a wreath at the memorial wall on August 13th, 2022. Following the ceremony they joined others at the Lord Elgin hotel for lunch.

Frank Miller, David Miller, RRC, thinks being a member of HKVCA is important and a way for families to keep in touch.

Barbara Cunningham Drew, Winston Cunningham, RRC, has had a busy summer being grandma. Now realizing summer is almost over she still misses HK gatherings.

Grace Thornton, Howard Thornton, RRC, finds the TV news difficult to watch these days. Wishing things could be more what we used to think of as normal, but she's carrying on. 

Irene Firlotte, Lawrence Firlotte, RRC, is doing well for her age at 96. We talked with her daughter Susan about the Ottawa ceremony for VJ day.

Esther Geraghty, Donald Geraghty, RRC, moved to a long-term care facility in Waterdown.

Jean Killoran, John Killoran, RRC, has had family health problems to deal with. Looking to her community for more help.

Agnes Fehr, Victor Fehr, RRC, is lucky to have four daughters involved with her move to Beamsville. At 97 and a half, she hoped to go to the Warriors parade at the CNE. Daughter Donna Drimmie makes handmade cards for her family and sends them out regularly. She hopes this will help her mom connect to family memories.

An important part of the VJ tribute in Ottawa was the luncheon that followed the official ceremony on August 13th, 2022. It provided an opportunity for HKVCA members to meet and chat about shared memories, something we haven't been able to do when having a convention was not possible during the pandemic.

At the historic Lord Elgin Hotel, Derrill Henderson and daughter Gail Angel, Pat and Bernard Turcotte, daughter Carole Turcotte, myself - Shelagh Purcell and son Mark, and new voice Julie Carver (who had found her great uncle's name, Robert Blanchard, WG, on the Memorial Wall) sat together.

Julie, Carole, and Mark as second generation family members were able to bring a different view to the day.

At another table, Mavis Martin, widow of John Martin, RRC, and her family shared the luncheon with Mitzi Ross, Allen Sandeman, Jo-Anne Scaffidi, Stan Lasenba, Maureen Rodrigues and Gary Pitts.

Ian Engelhardt (one of the day's organizers along with Brian Tang), and Gwen, had organized the group lunch so well there wasn't a place at either table for them, but thank you for bringing us together IAN!! It is greatly appreciated by all attendees!

Can anyone tell us why the Lord Elgin Hotel in Ottawa has a history with 'C' Force?


Shelagh Purcell


Check out our HKVCA postal stamp. Distinctive, Eye-catching.

I have been called “old school”and I am!! I love to write letters, send cards, mail bills - all with HKVCA stamps on them. And I feel if anyone asks about the stamp, it's an opportunity to tell them about the Canadians sent to Hong Kong in 1941. Many people still don't know, so the stamp is also a message.

Available from Barry Mitchell.

POW Medals Dedication

Mike Babin

Nearly 9,000 Canadian soldiers were captured and became Prisoners of War during WWII. Over 1,600 of them, or almost 20%, were ‘C’ Force members captured in Hong Kong.

The Royal Canadian Military Institute in Toronto recently honoured four Canadian WWII POWs by permanently displaying their donated medal sets as part of its extensive medal collection. Two of them were Hong Kong Veterans: Lt Kay Christie and CSM George MacDonell; and the others were Air Vice-Marshal Lawrence Wray (taken prisoner in Germany) and Flying Officer Melvin Garland (captured in Normandy), both of the RCAF.

Ross Family

Peter Middleton speaking about Kay Christie

At the unveiling event each of the former POWs was honoured with a speech describing his or her life before, during and after their POW experience. You can watch all four presentations here on the RCMI’s YouTube channel. Peter Middleton, a nephew of Kay Christie, spoke on her behalf, and Mike Babin spoke about George MacDonell.

The event was very well attended, and although George was not able to attend due to his health, he did watch it from his residence via livestream and spoke afterwards with several attendees. George’s son, Paul, and his family watched proudly in person.

Ross Family

Mike Babin speaking about George MacDonell

The RCMI’s medals collection also includes those of Brig John Lawson and a plaque naming all recipients of the Victoria Cross, including that of CSM John Osborn.


Fall Special Sale

Lapel Pin..................................................$5.00
License Plate Holder (front plate)....................$5.00
Gravestone Marker.....................................$75.00
Winnipeg Grenadier Tie...............................$20.00
Postage Stamps—sheet of 50.........................$65.00


Dark Side of the Sun.....................................$20.00
‘C’ Force—Decorations, Medals, Awards.............$20.00
One Soldier’s Story......................................$20.00

DVD - Slaves of the Rising Sun.........................$10.00

Golf Shirt— XL........................................... $20.00

To order, send cheque to HKVCA, P.O. Box 381, Winnipeg MB R3C 2H6
Interac e-transfer to

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