Hong Kong Veterans' Association

Quebec-Maritimes Branch

September 1999


Wasn't that a great reunion? Now that I'm not standing behind a microphone I can take a chance in naming those responsible without missing someone.

First we have to give credit to Ossie Clark, Chairman of the Organizing Committee along with Milton MacDonald and Charlie Gordon. They work quietly behind the scenes,(Ossie not so quiet when he is selling raffle tickets) but their influence and advice kept things on an even keel.

Lucette and Marcel had everything under contgrol. Their planning didn't miss a thing. They seemed to be everywhere, and to all appearances, they enjoyed immensely what they were doing. To them we owe a huge THANK YOU.

Marcel even took time off from the party at the Club de l.Age d'Or (at which he was the MC)to drive some people who had missed the bus, back to the hotel.

Derrill had the answers to all questions and was the guiding light throughout the whole reunion, arranging for speakers, MCing the banquet, conducting the draws, and, perhaps most of all, highlighting the parade with a very moving service at the cenotaph. Our Patron, Cliff Chadderton and his wife were with us, and as usual, Cliff's words of advice were again directed toward obtaining benefits for Hong Kong Vets. Cliff was presented with a plaque, recognizing the gains he has made on our behalf, and thanking him for his long struggle for what he was convinced from the outset, was our just due.

His appointment as Patron of the HKVA was reconfirmed.

Outgoing President Roger is again taking a battery of treatments for cancer, but he again made the effort to be with us. The Q-M Branch presented him with a plaque to thank him for his leadership over the years. Roger has retired from the presidency of the National Council. We all wish him the best of everything .

I need say no more. If you weren't there you missed a great one.

Incidentally, in the year 2001 we'll be meeting in Winnipeg for the National Convention..


Since the last newsletter I have reports of the passing of the Hong Kong Veterans named below.

WILLIAM DERHAK, Manitoba Branch
PETER ROLLICK, Manitoba Branch
DANIEL DUNSEATH, Manitoba Branch
As well, we hear of the death of Mrs. Morris Parker in Victoria. Mrs. Parker was the widow of Major Parker of "D" Coy, RRC. Mrs. Vern Murphy, Sharon, died in PEI. Vern is with Veterans' Affairs, and has been helpful to HK Vets in many ways. WE WILL REMEMBER THEM

While I am on this subject, I must report that due to an oversight, the names of Douglas Martin and Leonard Doiron were omitted from the list of deceased Hong Kong Veterans read at the Convention in Granby. Since both were members of the Quebec-Maritimes Branch, I have to take full responsibility for the error. I offer my sincere apologies to the families of these veterans.


Some letters back I mentioned that there may be a possibility of getting an award for "Gander", our Newfoundland dog mascot. According to Derrill, who has been monitoring the procedure, we now have one witness and are looking for a second person who can vouch for the fact that Gander did pick up the Jap grenade. If it can be verified, then we'll get a medal for Gander.


Our Second Vice President, Reg Law, has done it! We extend congratulations on behalf of the Q-M Branch to Reg and the new missus. May they have a long and happy life together.


Among those of our comrades who are coping with daily pain and nervous conditions, Lawrence Rattie, our membership chairman, and one of the exceptional strengths of the Q-M Branch, has, as of this writing, been admitted to the Montreal General Hospital in severe pain. He, like many of our group, has been fighting cancer uncomplainingly for some time. In spite of his troubles, he has taken the time to write me and send his usual list of donations. We wish him well. Lucien Brunet had an accident in his home. He fell downstairs and was taken to the Montreal General Hospital with brain damage. The last report I have is that he is coming round, sitting up and answering test questions. We hope for a complete recovery. I hear also that Flash Clayton was taken to hospital sufferung from a kidney stone and possibly some other plumbing problems. I was troubled with a kidney stone once, and believe me, it is no fun. Leo Murphy also must undergo some hospital treatment. Good luck to all of them.


From the ladies:Mrs. Rita Bujold, Mrs. Eva Robertson, Mrs. Rollande Miller, Mrs. Barbara Strang, Mrs. Rejane Bourassa, Mrs. Sylvia Lockwood, Mrs. Hazel Martin, Mrs. Cecile Pelletier, Mrs. Lorna MacKay, Mrs. Muriel Court, Mrs. Angele Jessop, Mrs. Marge Dwyer, Mrs. Eva Lebreton, Mrs.Joan Gillis, Mrs. Elizabeth Firth, Mrs. Catherine Irving, Mrs. Alma Wood, Mrs. Rita Ross, Mrs. Mavis Frost.
From the men: Leo Murphy, Charles Brady, Renaud Cote, Charles Thompson, Charles Gordon, Robert Jessop, Elmer Denison, Marcel Oullet, Glenford Gregoire, Thomas Laflamme, Bernard Thompson, Walter Gray, Gray Fair, Alfred Mills, Randolph Benwell, Robert Olscamp, Graham Boudreau, Albert Russell, Edison Yeadon, James MacMillan, Alex Archibald, Kenneth Ewing, Lucien Brunet, Robert MacNaughton, Leslie Stickles, Francis Corbett, Leandre LeBlanc. Many thanks, comrades and friends. We'll use the money wisely. Harold Englehart managed our affairs efficiently for so many years until ill health forced him to stop. Now Allan Marshall is off to a good start and we feel confident that this important part of our organization is in good hands.


Lawrence says,"Good start for the year 1999/2000, 198 paid up to date." Dues are $15.00 a year. If you don't have a card, you haven't paid your dues. Please send to : Lawrence Rattie, 508 Thorncrest, Dorval, QC, H9P 2M6



In no particular order from: Ethel Stickles(Les). She tells me that Les is very frail, needing help in most of his daily needs. He is in a nursing home, the old Sherbrooke Hospital.
Fraser Firth, through Lawrence, re change of address. Fraser is now in Iqaluit;
Alfred Babin through Lawrence, re mailing list;
Flash Clayton, with news from Ontario. Jessie has suffered a heart attack and still is not able to whirl around as usual. They missed the reunion in Granby as a result; From Lawrence Rattie, with changes of address and other Branch business; From Roger Cyr, with thanks to the Q-M Branch for the accolades at the reunion; From Cliff and Etta McDavid with comments on the reunion;
From Neil Darrah with a clipping from the NB Telegraph Journal.
Thank you, everyone, for taking the time to write. Your support for the Branch is most appreciated.


A new medication has been put to use for people suffering from arthritis, which includes most HK Vets. It is called "Celebrex", and if I understand correctly, it does the job of previous medication, but without the adverse effects on the stomach. You should ask your doctor about it. I intend to ask mine. Veterans' Affairs have accepted it for payment.


This award was originally called the Silver Star, and was awarded to a selected mother of a veteran or veterans at a ceremony in Ottawa on November 11 each year. Now, I am told the medal can be awarded to a widow of a veteran killed during the war.. I have a number of copies of the application form and will send one to you if you wish. The medal is described as follows: "The Memorial Cross , the gift of Canada, was issued as a memento of personal loss and sacrifice on the part of widows and mothers of Canadian sailors and soldiers who laid(down) their lives for their country during the war.
"The Cross is a Cross patonce in silver suspended by a purple ribbon, at the end of the upright is a crown, at the foot, and at the end of of either arm, a maple leaf, in the centre, within a wreath of laurel, the royal cypher of the reigning monarch."


The M-G Branch held their reunion on August 27 and 28 in Florenceville, NB. As usual, I was impressed by the respect that the community holds for Hong Kong Veterans. The local Legion, at which all of the activities were held, went out of its way to make everyone welcome. The parade and cenotaph ceremony was well attended by local veterans, and at the dinner, the mayor of Florenceville, the MLA for the county, and the Federal MP all spoke in praise of Hong Kong Veterans. It brought a tear to the eye.


Some "Deep Thoughts" from Ernest Murray of Cox news Service:
Never be afraid to try something new.
Remember, amateurs built the ark.
Professionals built the Titanic.

Love is grand. Divorce is a hundred grand.

Politicians and diapers have one thing in common. They both should be changed regularly, and for the same reason.

I plan on living forever. So far so good.

I am in shape. Round is a shape.

A day without sunshine is like night.

The perfect squelch.
A doctor was on the witness stand in a murder trial.
Lawyer: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
Doctor: No
Law. Did you check for blood pressure?
Dr: No
Law: Did you check for breathing?
Dr: No
Law: So then is it possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
Dr: No
Law: How can you be so sure?
Dr: Because his brain was in a jar on my desk.
Law: But could the patient have still been alive nevertheless?
Dr: It is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law somewhere.


I have letters from the Manitoba Branch, the Ontario Branch, and the BC Branch.
As usual, they hold important information for the members and are a valuable link between HK Vets. Another means to keep us together. The Manitoba Branch Newsletter is now prepared by Carol Hadley, a member of the Commemorative Association, and secretary of the Manitoba Branch.This is a welcome development.
The trend is toward handing over responsibilities to our children. The time is fast approaching when other Branches will have to rely on them for getting out the newsletter, along with their other support to us.
Previous to the creation of the HKVCA, my fears that we were slowly fading away and that little would be left to remind the world that Canadian troops went to the Far East to defend a small corner of the British Empire, have now been allayed. The way in which the HKVCA has taken hold of things, and the interest these excellent young people, our children, have shown in the organization, has put my mind at ease. We are grateful.


The other night on the TV program, Court TV, a Dr. Lester I. Tenney was interviewed. Lester Tenney was a POW in Japan working in a coal mine near Fukioka. It seems that now some statute of limitations has been lifted, allowing Tenney to sue the civilian mining company for compensation for slave labour.
He has written a book, "My Hitch in Hell:The Bataan Death March", Edwina and I hunted the information down on the internet and ordered a copy. If you are interested, you can obtain the book from Amazon Book Sales at amazon.com. It is in hard cover and sells for $17.47 US. Published by Brasseys, Inc. ISBN 0028811259
I hope to be able to tell you more about it in the next newsletter.
Another book which I have read is called "Prisoners of the Japanese" by Gavan Daws It traces the stories of several servicemen from enlistment through to captivity and finally release from the prison camps. It is quite interesting, but the narrative caused me to suspect that the author indulged in some fantasy, not in describing the horrors of the prison camps, but in the thoughts, words and deeds of the characters. It can also be obtained from Amazon.com Sales. The cost is $12.00 US. ISBN no. 06881143709 It is definitely worth reading. If you need more information in locating these books, please let me know.


Enough maudlin reminiscing for one newsletter. Perhaps you will forgive the musings of an old man whose memory of past struggles is one of the most important aspects of a failing intellect.

That's all for this time. Be good to each other and may God bless.