By the time you read this, well over half of Canadians will have received their first COVID vaccination, with a great many having been jabbed twice. At long last we seem to be nearing the end of this drawn-out ordeal. Woo hoo!!
COVID has encouraged us to look at new ways of staying in touch. A good example is our Virtual Event Series. We’ve run three of these monthly events so far, with a fourth coming on June 21. Your feedback has been extremely positive, and so we plan to continue these at least through the end of this year, and perhaps beyond. Our aim has been to highlight stories and aspects of the Battle of Hong Kong that many of you may not be familiar with, and your post-event comments indicate that we are accomplishing that goal.
If you have not been able to attend these events, you haven’t really missed them. We’ve recorded each one, and you can watch them on our YouTube channel. Try it!
Make sure you attend our last summer event:
|June 21||7:00pm (Eastern)||Canadian Nursing Sisters in the Battle of Hong Kong, and RCMI Virtual Tour: Details-→
Our fall event schedule will be in the next newsletter and published on our HKVCA home page.
Virtual Mapping Projects
Several exciting projects are underway to use the latest technology to bring the Battle of Hong Kong and the members of 'C' Force vividly to life. One of them is described in “The Passion Project” in this newsletter. Another project, which we hope will be unveiled late this year, will enable anyone to visit the battlefields in Hong Kong virtually, and to learn about how the battle unfolded and who was involved. You can see an example at this website which maps the Allied advance from D Day to VE Day. As interesting as these projects are to us as descendants of Hong Kong veterans, they are invaluable tools to teach the next generation of students about the Battle and what followed. With so few veterans still with us, this kind of technology will help to keep their experiences and sacrifices in the minds of Canadians.
This year’s Annual General Meeting will be on Tuesday, June 29 at 2pm ET. Details are at the bottom of this this newsletter. This year we are using Zoom so that you can see your HKVCA Board of Directors! Those without a computer will also be able to call a toll-free phone number to join in. Please plan to attend!
Last year many of you held your own commemorations for V-J Day. Please consider doing the same again this year on August 15 at your local cenotaph, veterans’ section of a cemetery, or another appropriate location. Send your photos and a brief write-up to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will publish them on our website and include a selection in the next newsletter. Read Pam Newhouse’s article elsewhere in this newsletter about our new lawn flag, and think about ordering one from your Regional Director for your own lawn!
Pension Error Status
A couple of years ago, the Veterans’ Ombudsman revealed that the government had made an error in veterans’ pension calculations beginning in 2002. As a result, the pensions of some 250,000 veterans have been underpaid, likely including those of Hong Kong Veterans. The government says that as of January, around 100,000 of these errors had been corrected, and about $77 million paid out to veterans and their families. Some of you have asked where this stands, and what you should be doing to receive the corrected pension amounts. No action should be necessary, as the government has said it is continuing to work through the list of veterans and will make the rest of these payments in time. In addition to this, a class action lawsuit has been initiated on behalf of pensioners (and their estates).
'C' Force members came from all walks of life, faiths and ethnic backgrounds. Among them were a number of men of Indigenous heritage, whether First Nations, Métis or Innuit. The HKVCA wants to recognize these Indigenous peoples’ contributions to Canada’s military history. Please read Pam Heinrich’s article in this newsletter for more information on what we are doing and why.
Have a Great Summer!
With the likelihood of many Canadians being fully vaccinated in the next few months, the prospects for an enjoyable, family summer are good. Please be sure to continue to follow the government’s advice to stay safe and have a super summer!
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM