HKVCA - Summer 2022 - Contents


"Never Forget"

National Newsletter of the Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association

Winter 2022

President's Message

Every year at this time – as do many of you - I reflect on the events of December 8, 1941 and what followed. What I think about is how my father, Alfred, and his colleagues were able to engage in action against an enemy they knew next to nothing about, in a place that was completely foreign to them. Imagine, if you will, driving an ambulance to pick up the wounded and dead in the midst of enemy machine gun fire. Or following an order to crawl through a drainage ditch rifle in hand and meeting an enemy soldier head on. Or countless other acts of courage in the face of hostile action. I sincerely doubt that I would have had the toughness and mettle to do it. Fortunately for us, the soldiers of 'C' Force and their hundreds of thousands of Canadian colleagues who fought for the Allies in World War II did.

We were all very saddened at the passing of Phil Doddridge in early October. Anyone who knew Phil recognized his dedication to the cause of the Hong Kong Veterans, and his willingness to talk about his experiences to anyone who asked. He was an educator, and it showed in his passion for telling Canadians the story of 'C' Force. He will be missed.

I never cease to be amazed at the ingenuity and creativity of our members. In this issue you’ll find a number of super ideas on commemorating 'C' Force members and educating the public, ranging from grave markers to plaques to tracking sets of brothers; Pam Heinrich is constantly pushing ahead with our Indigenous Veterans project, and is making excellent progress; the Prairie Region is creating new pop-up banners which highlight local recruits. And many more. Check these all out!

And please consider volunteering to help with these efforts!

A great educational tool is about to be released by the Canadian Research and Mapping Association (CRMA). Read Nathan Kehler’s article below to learn more about this incredible resource. And tune in to our January virtual event on Monday, January 16 at 7:30 pm ET to hear about Nathan’s work and a related project from Dr. KWONG Chi Man at Hong Kong Baptist University. Register here.

In her article below, Lori Atkinson Smith speaks about our plaque program. As she mentioned, we can now make this very popular item available in French and Chinese, which should enlarge the opportunities to place them. We have well over 60 installed across Canada and would like to have many more, so please look for opportunities in your community!

Let me take this opportunity to wish you and your families all the best season’s greetings, and for a very happy and prosperous 2023.

We will remember them.

In Remembrance

Last Post

Phillip Doddridge, E29986, RRC, on October 5, 2022.

In Memoriam

Agnes Fehr, widow of Victor Fehr, RRC in September 2022.

Web Updates

The Second Mission…

We’re pleased to announce that a thesis written by Matthew Schwarzkopf as part of his Postdoctoral Studies is now available online on our website. Titled The Second Mission: Canadian Survival in Hong Kong Prisoner-of-War Camps, 1941-1945, it focuses on the POW experience, rather than the battle. A quote from the abstract:

This thesis explores Canadian survival in Hong Kong prison camps and the various methods these captives used to overcome boredom, violence, disease, hunger, loneliness, and hopelessness. Using as a research basis clandestine diaries, journals, memoirs, and letters to and from family members, this thesis argues that the Canadians survived due to strong leadership, commitment to duty, creative ingenuity, and a firm determination to return to their families. Uncertainty was an unyielding enemy from day to day and the Hong Kong POWs had to rely on themselves and their compatriots to keep mentally sharp and physically fit. Canadian prisoners in Hong Kong were abused by their captors, fed meager rations, suffered a myriad of tropical diseases, and lived in appalling conditions. The fact that so many survived is a testament to their courage and resilience.

Matthew's analysis of the literature written over the years could act as a guide for those wishing to expand their knowledge of this miracle of survival.

Highly recommended!

Dickies From Gunton

Author Liz Katynski has finished writing her first book Dickies From Gunton Canadian Brothers in Two World Wars

Of special interest to us is the story of Earl Dickie:

Book cover

Book Cover

Younger brother, Earl Dickie serves in the Fort Garry Horse militia between the wars and volunteers with the Winnipeg Grenadiers at the onset of the Second World War. In 1941, he is sent to defend the doomed British colony of Hong Kong against the Japanese. Earl will spend nearly four years as a prisoner of war, enduring what he describes as “inhuman treatment” as his family struggles with uncertainty about his fate.

We’ve added this book to our Suggested Reading list.

Sgt. Gander Film

Regular readers will remember that our friend JP Bear was working on a film commemorating Gander, the Newfoundland dog which sacrificed himself during the battle. We’re pleased to inform you that a short film on YouTube is now available and it shows the dedication and care that Bear has brought to this project. More details can be found later in this newsletter.

Coming Soon to Facebook!

In the New Year you will notice changes to our Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association page. The daily birthdays honouring ‘C’ Force members that Dan James has been diligent in doing will no longer happen on the Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association page. 

We have 2 official identities on Facebook:

The Hong Kong Veteran Tribute group, and 

The Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association page.

The Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association page will become our 'business' identity where only important information about the business happening of the HKVCA will appear. The page will be driven by information from our Board.

We invite you- EACH OF YOU, to post on the Hong Kong Veterans Tribute group on Facebook….especially to honour your veteran on their birthday.

Join in the discussions. Invite your friends to the Hong Kong Veterans Tribute group. 'See you there!'

Forgotten Fronts - The Battle of Hong Kong

In 2021 Project ’44 began a new initiative called Forgotten Fronts. The project’s goal was to tell the story of Canada’s role in the Second World War which is less known by the general public. This includes our already released project on Canada’s role in Operation Cottage: the invasion of Kiska Island, and our upcoming projects on Canada’s home front during the war, and a project on the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan in Canada. The last component of Forgotten Fronts is our project on the Battle of Hong Kong.

To tell the story of the Battle of Hong Kong, our team took a web map-based approach. Working in collaboration with Dr. Kwong from the Hong Kong Baptist University we were able to map out where all the major units were fighting during the battle. We then created a web map showing the defenses of Hong Kong as they were in 1941, as well as a story map animating the battle as it happened. Using the excellent database on Force C available on the HKVCA website, we were able to create a digital web map showing where every soldier was from before the war. Lastly, we worked with Dr. Brad St Croix from Ottawa who helped us write the history and story map for the project.

Project ‘44’s Battle of Hong Kong website will be launching in early December and will be freely available to the public. Please sign up to our mailing list at to get the latest update on when it goes live, or you can follow us on Facebook at or on Twitter at

Watch the HKVCA virtual event on January 16 to learn more. Register here.

Indigenous Veterans of 'C' Force

On November 8, 2022 – Indigenous Veterans Day – I, along with five other representatives of our Hong Kong veteran families, attended at the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada for the first Indigenous Veterans Day service hosted by the Manitoba Métis Federation, the government of the Red River Métis. The service had a distinctive Métis flair complete with 'O Canada' and the Last Post played on the fiddle along with poems, prayers, speeches, and wreath layings. Minister of Métis Veterans, Shawn Nault, and Colonel David Grebstad, a Red River Métis citizen, spoke at the service, honouring all veterans. 

 (l-r Colonel David Grebstad, Minister Shawn Nault)

(l-r Colonel David Grebstad, Minister Shawn Nault)

The service was followed by self-guided tours of the Museum, a delicious luncheon of bannock with a variety of stews (beef, bison, deer) and of course, visiting. Métis hospitality was evident throughout! While at the event, Colonel Grebstad recognized my Hong Kong Veterans pin and struck up a conversation with me. He told me of a friend of his, Brad St. Croix, who wrote his thesis on the Battle of Hong Kong. His thesis, called Fighting it Out: Canadian Troops in Hong Kong and in Memory, is available online. There is also a podcast on the website Juno Beach & Beyond called ‘C’ Force to Hong Kong with Brad St. Croix”. I haven’t had a chance to check either out yet, but they should be interesting!

Our work to identify the Indigenous members of ‘C’ Force continues to move along. At the time of writing this, we have permission from the families of six more Métis veterans to add their names to our Indigenous Veterans page. We are in the process of contacting the communities of four First Nations veterans in hopes of communicating with their families. Our list continues to grow. If anyone has any information that would be of assistance to us, for either the Grenadiers or the Royal Rifles, please let us know.

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.

Gravestone Marker Mapping Project

Season's greetings to all my fellow HKVCA members. The Gravestone Marker mapping project is slowly getting back on track after a long summer break. I hope to have a sample of the mapping of the cemeteries that have been completed to date early in the new year. It is very helpful when families, relatives or friends send information of the deceased’s cemetery location. Using Google Earth, I locate the cemetery then pin it. The goal is to locate as many gravesites as possible and hopefully increase the number of HK Veteran gravestones that bear the unique HK Gravestone Marker.

Peace and good health to all.

Plaques Update

Have you looked at the HKVCA Commemorative Plaque lately? The plaque artwork has been tweaked and updated. Plaques are now available in both vertical and horizontal orientations. They are available in both official languages and soon they will be available in Chinese as well. The Hong Kong Commemorative Association offers commemorative plaques for installation in publicly accessible venues. If you are interested in more information, see full details here.

Have you looked at an individual's ‘C’ Force report lately? Did you notice updates or changes to the format? See here.

There are volunteers constantly adding information and trying to share and streamline the HKVCA workload. One new added section to an individual's ‘C’ Force report is titled "Other Military Service". It always amazes me that some members of ‘C’ Force also fought in WW1 or stayed in the armed forces after WW2. We want to acknowledge this. If you have information pertaining to this new Other Military Service section, send us the details using the “Contact Us” link on any web page, or mail to our postal address which appears at the bottom of this newsletter.

We are always looking for volunteers to help. Whatever time allotment one has. Current projects and some future projects on the back burners are: tracking brothers (so far we have over 80 sets of brothers who fought with ‘C’ Force). Did you know some members of ‘C’ Force became blind either during their prison camp days or after returning home to Canada? Did you know many Royal Canadian Legions honour veterans with street post flags? If any of these projects interest you, connect with us and we can explore what might work for you.

Sgt. Gander Film Update

Hello and Howdy to All – Well, I want to let you know that I have completed the SGT Gander Short Film and I am pleased to announce that I am proud that the first place to show the film will be the, (this is very fitting and proper) the North Atlantic Aviation Museum (NAAM) which I had the privilege to visit when we visited Gander. The NAAM President, Dean Cull, after viewing the film, informed me that the NAAM, which is renovating the museum and in it they have a separate display for SGT Gander and they would like to show the film in their theater.

I am very proud that the NAAM will have a separate display in the museum and will plan on selling DVDs and Flash Drives of the film, in the gift shop. They also plan on selling the SGT Gander shirts that I have had available for sale.  I mentioned that I would like a percentage of the sales and to come my way so I can donate funds to assist the HKVCA in the building of the Remembrance Wall parking lot in Ottawa. 

Over the last 6+ years I have had the pleasure and honour to meet, speak and visit with many acquainted with Gander’s story. My passion has been to work on seeing that his story is told throughout Canada, the USA and the world. I am proudest of all that I have had an extremely Super time putting this film together.  I am not saying it was easy, to say the least, but it definitely was rewarding. 

For the places and people I met, the presentations I did and the information/photos I found, I truly feel that my work was not in vain. I remember, when I was speaking with Derrill Henderson, I mentioned that “This is a Story That Needs to Be Told!” I also said when I found Pal/Gander’s birthday was April 15, 1935, “God wants this story to be told” and Derrill said it is “Serendipity!”

I agree that this film represents a serendipitous action and I want to say how proud I am, not that I did anything special, but that I have had the pleasure of seeing this project to its end.  I want you all to know that I treasure the friendships I have acquired with all of you at the HKVCA. I would like to take a moment to express my simple desire of wanting to complete my project before all of the Hong Kong Veterans have passed on to be with their fellow brethren. I did have the opportunity to send a copy of the film to Phil Doddridge for his viewing, before he passed. 

I want to say Thank You to Sue Beard and SGM George MacDonell for all their assistance when I first got started. I was proudest when I was informed by Jim Trick, editor of the HKVCA Newsletter that he was going to place the film on the Facebook page of the HKVCA.

I have mentioned the people who assisted me with the film and I want to give out a special Thank You to the Narrator of my film, Jon Ted Wynne.  His advice throughout “My Journey” has been so inspirational. 

So, if you get a moment please view the film and contact me to let me know your thoughts. I truly hope you like it and know that this is Not my story it is Gander’s and the entire HKVCA Family!

Battle of Hong Kong Veterans Honoured at RCMI

Over the past several years, the Museum of the Royal Canadian Military Institute (RCMI) has become a premier destination for objects and archival materials related to Canadian prisoners of war. In particular, the RCMI has built an impressive collection related to the Battle of Hong Kong 1941. As the Museum Director & Curator of RCMI, it has been my privilege to work directly with the HKVCA on several collaborations related to our shared mandates. The HKVCA’s fall newsletter featured our most recent collaboration of June 2022 – an unveiling event and ceremony for the dedication of a new POW gallery at RCMI. Of the four medal sets dedicated in the new gallery, two were named to notable Battle of Hong Kong veterans and POWs – Lieutenant (Nursing Sister) Kathleen ‘Kay’ Christie and Sergeant George MacDonell. Profiling these individuals in the new gallery is where this short article now turns. 

Image of Kay Christie's uniform

Lt Kay Christie (1911-1994), one of only two Canadian nurses captured during WWII, has long been associated with the RCMI. Prior to the new POW display, the RCMI has long maintained a dedicated gallery centered on Christie’s wartime experience. This longtime display includes her original Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps (RCAMC) uniform, portrait, nursing kit and other associated militaria. Christie herself, born in Little Current on Manitoulin Island, graduated as a Registered Nurse from Toronto Western Hospital in 1934. Christie joined the RCAMC at the outset of war where she was commissioned as a lieutenant in November 1940. In November 1941, Christie arrived in Hong Kong as a part of the Canadian’C’ Force, where she served as a nurse at Bowen Road Hospital. On 25 December 1941, Christie, taken prisoner by the Japanese Army, continued to provide medical care to other Canadian POWs… servicemen that she would affectionately refer to as “my boys.” In September 1943, Christie was released from captivity with 1,530 other Western prisoners considered to be civilians (though she was military personnel and not a civilian). For her devotion to duty and overseas service, Christie was awarded the Royal Red Cross Class II in 1945. In the new POW gallery, we re-dedicated Christie’s complete medal set with her army wristlet and badges, and additional small objects (rings, lapel pins, cufflinks) related to her long nursing career.  

Image of George MacDonell's medals

Sgt George MacDonell, one of the last surviving Canadian veterans of the Battle of HK, only recently selected RCMI as the destination for his medal set. MacDonell joined the Royal Canadian Regiment in September 1939,nd was posted to the Royal Canadian Rifles in 1941. By November 1941, MacDonell departed with the regiment for Hong Kong where he served in the Canadian ‘C’ Force. 

During the 17-day defence of Hong Kong, MacDonell distinguished himself by leading ‘D’ Company in attacks on Japanese infantry and artillery command groups. While facing the brutality of Japanese captivity, MacDonell was reportedly an inspiration to other Canadian prisoners of war, reminding them of their military discipline, duties and that they were only temporary captives. Upon release at the end of the war, MacDonell explained “we must not see ourselves as victims… we are victors… we defied our enemies to the best of our abilities until we were ordered to lay down our arms…” In 1946, he was awarded a mention-in-despatches for his gallantry in the Battle of Hong Kong. In addition to his complete medal set, George’s cloth badges are also on display. Shortly before the dedication event on 17 June 2022, George expressed the following to the author: “I’m honoured to be associated with such distinguished company” – modest and honourable to the end. 

Both the gallery and this short article are dedicated to the service and memory of all Canadian Battle of Hong Kong veterans. 

We look forward to the next collaboration with the HKVCA.

For any questions, please contact: 

For those who missed the event, the dedication video can be found on our RCMI Toronto YouTube channel here:

BC Report

After a three-year lapse in public attendance, the BC remembrance day crowds returned with full force. In our capital city, Victoria three generations of HK veteran Signalman Horace Gerry Gerrard's family laid their wreath. It was positioned alongside the lieutenant governor and the province of British Columbia wreaths. Gerry would be pleased indeed to see his family continue this time-honoured tradition and we are also thankful they are there to represent our Hong Kong veterans.

From L to R Correna, Brian, Pat, Brody, Tanner, Alastair, Kelly, 
		Kevin and Asher

From L to R Correna, Brian, Pat, Brody, Tanner, Alastair, Kelly, Kevin and Asher

At Victory Square in downtown Vancouver, our representative Mr. Phil Mondor son of Winnipeg Grenadier Paul Emile Mondor laid the HKVCA wreath on behalf of our membership. More about Phil's ongoing activity further in this report. 

Elsewhere in the lower mainland at the Forest Lawn memorial cemetery in Burnaby Mr. Richard Liu from the St John's ambulance and our other HKVCA representative, Mr. Edmund Wu continued their “No Stone Left Alone Service”. This ceremony is where all the headstones of veterans receive a poppy and a full military salute. Very touching and appreciated indeed by all those who for whatever reason cannot visit the graveside of their favourite veteran. 

Mr. Wu also visited the Cousteau French International School in Vancouver for their annual Remembrance Day Commemoration. Among the dignitaries in attendance was the Consul General of France, Mr. Nicolas Beaudoin. Mr. Wu had prepared a short introduction to the Defence of Hong Kong and followed this up with a question and answer session. After this well-received talk, Mr. Wu was approached by a young girl who introduced herself as the great, great-granddaughter of the well-known doctor Major John Crawford, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps. A truly delightful connection to the Hong Kong story.

We thank and appreciate all other members throughout BC who took the time to make a personal appearance at their cenotaphs. 

Departure locale of 'C' Force.

Have you ever wondered where exactly in Vancouver 'C' Force boarded their ships and sailed away into Canadian military history? Phil Mondor has and his ongoing project is to place the HKVCA commemorative plaque on or near that location on the dock and a short description of what took place on that spot. 

He has walked the waterfront many times and explored archival records of that period to see if there is any written specific documentation of the vessels and their departure. Given that the soldiers themselves were never informed as to their destination until they were way out to sea it’s become evident that there is precious little information about the last few hours of 'C' Force soldiers on Canadian soil. During the lazy days of summer, thousands of walkers stroll by this very spot. A high-profile location for our plaque will be a significant tool to educate the public on the Defence of Hong Kong and where it all began for those eager young soldiers so many years ago. 

So if anyone out there has any photographs or interesting information regarding this part of the departure please contact us

A Giant has Passed.

When laying the HKVCA wreath in Duncan this remembrance day I thought of the passing of Philip Doddridge, a long-time president of the Hong Kong Veterans Association and friend to all. 

 I had met him several times and each time was unique and memorable. Known affectionately as Mr. Phil he was quite simply an amazing yet very humble man. A consummate advocate for all our Hong Kong veterans, the words he spoke on the occasion of the memorial wall dedication in Ottawa will forever resonate with our membership. His work establishing the New Richmond Military Museum in Quebec will be there as a gift for all of us to enjoy for generations to come. I am truly grateful for his long fulfilled life and wise leadership all these years.

A la prochaine Mr Phil.

We Will Remember Them

Also a warm shoutout and collective hug to our Hong Kong widows. May they continue to enjoy good health and many family visits throughout the New Year. 

 In closing, I would like to wish all our members the happiest of holidays and the very best for 2023. 

Prairie Prose

Greetings from Prairie Region. 

We hope all our members have had a good summer soaking up lots of energy as winter approaches as we need all that energy to go forward. If you are a snowbird, please enjoy your time away and be safe. We send best wishes to all our members and families for a peaceful Holiday season and a joyous, healthy New Year.

Manitoba has had some relaxed regulations for gatherings however many still wear masks and are careful to protect those who have health issues.  

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. It is a great tribute to C Force and their service. Please take time to visit and remember these heroic Canadians.

Prairie Region continues with the monthly lunch meetings at Smitty’s Restaurant in Winnipeg on Pembina Highway at Grant Ave. Due to distance, the attendees are mostly from Manitoba, but everyone is welcome to attend just let me know to arrange seating.

Indigenous Project Update – Pam Heinrichs 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 – Thank you to Lori Atkinson Smith for sending in the names of 2 veterans in unmarked graves. The appropriate paperwork has been submitted to the Last Post Fund to have the graves marked. 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 in Russell who is coordinating this project still has a few lawn signs. We may not see the lawn for a while, but it would make a good holiday present and anticipate the spring. She can be reached by email - and the cost can be sent to her by e-transfer or cheque as the postage and handling charge will need to be added. She will deliver the Winnipeg orders when time and travel make it possible. Thank you, Judy, for looking after this project! 

Plaques – Thank you to George Romick, 2nd Vice President of Port Arthur Branch #5 of the Royal Canadian Legion in Thunder Bay, Ontario who submitted this information and picture.

The Legion was approached by Darlene Gilmore who is a member of the Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association about having a Hong Kong 

Darlene Gilmore and George Romick

Darlene Gilmore and George Romick

Veterans Plaque displayed at the Legion. Of course, the legion agreed to this idea. On the afternoon of the 30 October 2022 in the clubroom of Port Arthur Branch #5 of the Royal Canadian Legion, the legion hosted a HK Veterans Plaque Dedication. There were about 20 persons at the dedication, which were attended most by family members of Hong Kong Veterans and a few legion members.

George Romick was the MC of the plaque dedication and gave a brief account about the plaque, mentioning the history of the Battle of Hong Kong. He had Darlene Gilmore, whose father was William Axent, who was a member of the Winnipeg Grenadiers at the Battle of Hong Kong and spent four years in a Japanese POW Camp, to come up and unveil the plague. The plaque is now installed and displayed on the wall at the top of the main stairs going into the clubroom of the legion. Thank you, Darlene, for arranging for this plaque.

Education - Alex Taylor and Stan Lopata attended MSSTA conference in October and had the opportunity of using our new banners. It made an impressive display.

New display at the MSSTA conference

New display at the MSSTA conference

The event was well attended by teachers/student teachers, and they were supplied with information on the Battle of Hong Kong to encourage the teachers to use it in the classroom. Thank you, Alex and Stan.

Remembrance Week

November 8, 2022, was Indigenous Veterans Day 

There were 2 services in Winnipeg.

Indigenous Veterans held a ceremony at Minto Armouries with Alex Taylor attending for HKVCA.  There were about 200 people in attendance with dignitaries. Our new mayor, Scott Gillingham and Wab Kinew, MLA Fort Rouge were at the service. 

This report from Devin Beaudry -

Indigenous Veterans Remembrance Day service

Indigenous Veterans Remembrance Day service

Indigenous Veterans Remembrance Day service

Due to the ongoing concerns with COVID 19 and the students of Neeginan Centre, the Indigenous Veterans Remembrance Day services were held at Minto Armouries 962 St. Matthews Ave Winnipeg MB. This event was organized by the Aboriginal Veterans Autochtones and the Indigenous Veterans of Manitoba Inc.

The Service was well attended by many Federal, Provincial and Municipal government personnel. As well, members from 17 Wing Winnipeg, 38 Canadian Brigade Group, HMCS Chippawa, RCMP and Winnipeg Police Service were in attendance. We had the honour of welcoming Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Grand Chief Cathy Merrick to lay a wreath on behalf of the AMC. We also had many from the local community and other Veteran groups attend.

This year the Indigenous Veterans Remembrance Day Service was more in line with the Indigenous Culture where all the visitors were seated in a circle vice the traditional seating with separation for the flag party to march in. The Flag party entered the circle from the East and traversed clockwise and exited the East door, then placed the flags behind the MC in the North. There was a table in the centre of the Circle where members were encouraged to bring pictures and mementoes of deceased Veterans. There was also a Sage Smudge bowl smoldering during the ceremony. 

Marching in and off the Colors was accompanied by Sons of the Drum from Sagkeeng First Nation. Last Post, Reville, and Lament were performed by 38 CBG Piper and Bugler. Laying of the wreaths was accompanied by 38 CBG Drum Group led by WO Robert Falcon-Ouellette.

Sitting everyone in a circle is in line with the teachings of the Anishinaabe where, being in the circle no one is above, below, behind or in front of anyone else. All hear the MC talk, but their focus is entirely in the centre of the circle where we commemorate our fallen comrades, brothers and sisters of past conflicts with mementoes and pictures.

Thank you Devin for your report.

The second ceremony was for the Red River Métis, and it was held at the Royal Aviation Museum. Pam Heinrichs and I attended this service, and she will do a bigger write-up. Please look for it in the newsletter.

 November 11, 2022

Wreaths laid at the Joint Veterans Remembrance Day service

Wreaths laid at the Joint Veterans Remembrance Day service

The Joint Veterans Association conducted the main service in Winnipeg. This was held at the RBC Convention Centre downtown. 

There were about 2000 people present with Her Honour, Anita Neville, Lt. Governor; Premier, Heather Stefanson; Mayor Scott Gillingham as well as many military representatives, veteran groups, and other civilian representatives. A wonderful ecumenical address was given by Dean Paul Johnson citing present day circumstances.

Our Colour Party was part of the Colour guard and Barry Mitchell, and I laid the HK wreath. 

We were permitted to have our expanded display at the entrance to the main room where the service was being held and it was used as a backdrop for several media interviews.

From Kathie Carlson (Lethbridge)

Calgary - Norma and Glenn Fuchs attended a service in Calgary held at the Jubilee Auditorium, organized by the Legion Poppy fund. It was well attended with the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, Salma Lakhani and the Mayor of Calgary Jyoti Gondek in attendance. The HKVCA wreath was presented by Daniel Sakamoto, grandson to veteran Ralph Maclean, Royal Rifles. The War Museum service was also well attended.

Cardston – Cynthia Melanson, Area rep, attended the service at the Cardston High School, the first indoor service since 2019. There were several RCMP, EMS, Fire and Customs representatives along with the Legion Color Party. All special guests and Legion members were invited to a dinner at the Legion after the service.

November 11th Remembrance Service at Cardston Alberta High 

November 11th Remembrance Service at Cardston Alberta High School with L to R Cardston Legion Veterans: Andy Strang, Q. Quan. Jerry Scott

Lethbridge- A sunny but chilly day for the Remembrance Day outdoor service attended by at least 1500 people of all ages. At the same time, an indoor service was held at the Exhibition center with even more people in attendance. The parade and outdoor service was organized by the General Stewart Legion and the 20th Independent Field Battery. The crowd also enjoyed a flypast by a Hercules transport plane and a WWII Harvard MK 1V.

This is a busy time of year as we remember our service men and women for their duty and sacrifice for our rights and freedoms. I’m sure there are many other Remembrance services that our members attended. We always like to hear from you – with pictures if possible.

80th Anniversary - Battle of Hong Kong

We observed the 80th Anniversary of the  Battle of Hong Kong on Sunday, December 4, 2022, at 1:30 p.m. at Neil Bardal Centre.

HKVCA Colour Party with a cadet with the Winnipeg Grenadier 
				Cadet Colour

HKVCA Colour Party with a cadet with the Winnipeg Grenadier Cadet Colour

There were about 50 people in attendance down from the 80 we were expecting due to the weather being very blustery and whiteout conditions on the highway.

Display of Artifacts

Those in attendance were able to view the many displays of artifacts from the Manitoba Museum, St. Vital Historical Association as well as the Frederick Lavallee family items that Gord Crossley researched and had on display. Gord is a heritage officer with the RCAF 17 Wing, and Curator at The Fort Garry Horse Museum and Archives. He is generous with his support to the HKVCA in identifying and researching the provenance of our artifacts. Other items of interest for people to review were supplied by our members. We had representatives of the Portuguese Veterans, 283 Anavets and some members of the Joint Veterans Association. We are grateful for their support. Several members of the Winnipeg Grenadier Cadets were present with commanding officers.  They assisted with serving food and drink and reviewed the displays.

Dwight MacAulay 
				former Chief of Protocol for Manitoba

Dwight MacAulay former Chief of Protocol for Manitoba

We were pleased to have as our guest speaker Dwight MacAulay former Chief of Protocol for Manitoba. He spoke on some of the many memories of his 35 years in office and related humorous and not so humorous events over his term of office. He continues to serve Manitoba in many capacities - swearing in new Canadians, serving on several boards both civil and military and many boards of various other associations. 

We recognized the efforts of Brian Mayes, St. Vital councillor and Bob Holliday, a journalist who assisted George Peterson, Winnipeg Grenadier HK veteran with dedicating a park in 2014 to the memory of  7 young men off of Arden Avenue - the project name was Arden 7. This park was dedicated to Fred Abrahams (also known as Fred Harding), Bill Lancaster, twin brothers George and Morris Peterson, and brothers Alfred, Edward and Harry Shayler.

There were several members of the Winnipeg Grenadier Cadets present and we discussed getting their help with the research we are engaged in for a couple of more banners - one for the POW camps in Japan; one for the Indigenous/Métis of ‘C’ Force and one to identify the many memorials in the Prairie Region dedicated to ‘C’ Force.

Any of our members can help with this project to ensure a listing of the memorials to the Canadians who fought in Hong Kong is available when the “old” kids are no longer here. This list can reside on the website for future generations and as a banner for a display.  If you know of a site or plaque or memorial, etc please supply a picture and a note of explanation.

We are truly thankful to Eirik Bardal for giving us the use of the Neil Bardal Centre for our events and staff to help us with set up and take down.

We’ve had a request for a picture of  B company and C company of the Winnipeg Grenadiers in the 1941 time scene.  Please let us know if you have one and if we can borrow it to replicate it.  Thank you.

From all the members of Prairie Region we wish all our HKVCA members and families a Merry Christmas and Best Wishes in 2023.  God Bless you all.

Ontario Offerings

Veterans in Cobourg Ontario were not forgotten on November 11, 2022. A huge crowd gathered in Victoria Park. Rev. King lead the prayers and Jay Bevan as MC read the names of those honoured, so many wreaths that they were laid in series of 3 at a time.

Donna Drimmie, Victor Oliver Fehr, RRC, had a special remembrance on November 11. Donna makes cards and would send one to her mother every year. Mrs. Fehr passed away on November 16th and Donna’s cards were returned. Each one with a special note from her mother marking the occasion.

Oda Barlow, Edwin Barlow, RCASC, has sent all her memorabilia from Hong Kong to the museum at the Bay Chaleur. The late Phil Doddridge had a special interest in the museum which honours the Hong Kong soldiers sent from Canada in 1941.

Mavis Martin, John Martin, RRC, is doing well with lots of help from her daughter. She is starting to think of Christmas now that November 11th has happened. She appreciates good connections with her church.

Irene Firlotte, Lawrence Firlotte, RRC, is in a LTC home and will be 97 in January. Her daughter Susan says her mom recently lost her brother who had kept in touch with Irene and she misses him.

Susan Ewing, Ken Ewing, RRC, thinks it is a bit early for Christmas but will get busy soon mostly with cards. She is still feeling the effects of hip surgery a year ago.

Seeing the picture of veteran Robert James Fleming in the Toronto Star on November 11 prompted Jim Hurd (Edwin Lionel Hurd, RRC) to look in the roster he has. Fleming was part of the RRC and it brought back memories of other RRC men.

Esther Jane Geraghty, Donald Geraghty, RRC, is in a LTC and her daughter Kelly keeps her up to date.

Messages were left for Barbara Drew (Winston Cunningham, RRC), Barry Fair (John Grey Fair, RRC), Margaret MacDonald (Allison MacDonald, RRC), Jean Killoran (John Killoran, RRC), and Grace Thornton (Howard Thornton, WG). Hopefully I will hear from them before the next newsletter.

I hope everyone will have a good Christmas.

Quebec Report

Greetings everyone,

Hope all is well with everyone and back to a more normal way of life. Here great care is still asked of us when in public.

It is with a sense of profound sadness and loss that the death of Philip Doddridge was announced. Phil passed away peacefully in his home on October 5th with his daughter Nancy by his side. Phil was an amazing, gentle man with a keen sense of humour and a great mentor for our Association. You will be greatly missed by all how knew you. We Will Remember Them!

Our region is still holding our meetings virtually and looking forward to soon having gatherings. 

Notices for the renewal of the membership dues for 2023 will be mailed/emailed in the next few days and Season Greetings Cards will be mailed to all our widows.

We thank all our members for their continued support to our association by your memberships, donations and purchases.

The book The Royal Rifles of Canada in Hong Kong by Grant Garneault is still available through Quebec Region at a cost of $ 60.00 including shipping costs etc. payable by cheque or to qc.region.

The November 11 Commemorative Ceremonies were well attended by members and their families in their respective areas. We Will Remember Them!

Hope you all enjoy a festive season in good company of family and friends.

Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy New Year to all.

Take care and be safe.

Atlantic Region Report

Hope all are doing well and had a good Fall season.  Atlantic region was hit hard with Fiona and the damages will be felt for years to come.  But like true Maritimers we clean up and move on.  Covid had been present in our local area for most of the summer, so few things were accomplished. Once the easing of restrictions, things have opened again for us to have some face-to-face reunions.  I have spoken to Mr. Hormidas Fredette a few times over the past few months. He is still living with his son Brian.  

Andy Flanagan’s presentations with collections of books and other 

Andy Flanagan’s presentations with collections of books and other artifacts

Andy Flanagan of Belledune, NB has been very busy promoting the Hong Kong Veterans.   For VJ day Andy, talked to a group of 30 or so about his father's experience and his book.

Andy gave three presentations, where he talked about the Battle of HK and the plight of the surviving POWs. On August 13th, he was at the Dalhousie Museum where he interacted with 30 people. On September 17th he attended a Legion fundraiser where he addressed 70 guests and on the 24th at the Campbellton Centennial Library where there was a small group because the hurricane winds were high and people were afraid it could get worse. Fortunately, the storm was over by that evening. 

banner image

On Remembrance Day, sons, and grandchildren of RRC Joseph Napoleon LeBlanc, placed a wreath at the Legion , Branch 150 cenotaph in honour of the HK veterans.  It was nice to see such a big crowd for the ceremonies since they had been put on hold for a few years.  The week prior to Remembrance Day, the local Legion Branch 150 initiated a banner project to honour those that served.  Banners were strung along the street.  Dad’s banner was hung in front of the local Municipal building since he was the only local veteran that served in Asia. There was a large attendance for the unveiling of the banners (see photo).

Wishing that everyone has a safe and joyous holiday season. 

Dues are Due

Yes, it’s that time of year when we remind you that dues for 2023 are due. Taking advantage of our Interac E-transfer option makes this task simple and convenient, but we also offer our standard option through the post office. Details are on our website.



We have not held a national convention since well before COVID. We have no plans to do so at present, but would like to hear from our members about whether or not there is interest in having one. If you have an opinion one way or the other, please email with your thoughts. If you are in favour, please also provide your suggestions on timing and location.

Mailing Costs

As you know, mailing items these days is expensive! For some time now we’ve offered a cheaper, more immediate option, taking advantage of digital technology. If you indicate that you are happy with reading our newsletter online, you’ll receive your news faster, and in many cases, there will be more detail for you to enjoy. It’s easy to change your preference - just let us know and we’ll make it happen.

Want a Printed Copy of This Newsletter?

You have two choices:

  1. You can print a copy of this newsletter right from your browser (right-click and select "Print" in most browsers, or select from the menu). You may find that there are some layout issues, especially with photos.
  2. You can print an exact copy of the PDF version that was mailed out.

Note: there may be items in the online copy of the newsletter that are not included in the PDF version.