President’s Report - June 2018
Seeing a military parade, with its brass band, colours and precisely marching soldiers, always tugs at my heart and fills me with pride. My father, like so many of your fathers, grandfathers and uncles, once marched too. They marched in Canada, Newfoundland and Jamaica. And upon their arrival in Hong Kong they marched up Nathan Road to their quarters at Sham Shui Po barracks. Little did they know that those barracks were soon to become their prison, and the start of so many years of privation and suffering.
I was reminded of this recently at the dedication of the newly rebuilt Manège Militaire de Québec. You can read more about this event in Lucette Mailloux’s article elsewhere in this newsletter. But as I watched the soldiers marching in time to the band and reacting to the commands of the Sgt. Major, I couldn’t help but think of “C” Force, and what lay ahead of them as they marched in Hong Kong.
We were asked recently by the Hong Kong Government to refurbish a plaque at Sham Shui Po which has become faded with time. The plaque commemorates the site of the barracks, of which nothing remains today. Instead of simply refurbishing the existing plaque, we’ve requested that a new plaque be created that provides a description and context for visitors to the site. They have agreed to this, and work is now under way to design one.
A different sort of plaque is finding its way into Legions and other locations across Canada. Spearheaded by Lori Atkinson Smith, this program enables HKVCA members to request a descriptive plaque that gives some background on the Battle of Hong Kong to viewers. It makes a wonderful addition to Legion branches, schools, retirement homes and other locations where Hong Kong Veterans have had a presence across our country. More than 35 are installed and planned so far. Contact your Regional Director for more information on how to obtain one. Let’s see how many we can place across Canada!
Nobody likes paying bills! Our goal is to at least make it as easy as possible for you to pay your HKVCA membership dues. Hard work by Jim Trick and Barry Mitchell has resulted in the implementation of our new online system for dues payment. Now instead of writing a cheque, putting it in an envelope, putting a stamp on it and dropping it in a mailbox (it makes me tired just thinking about it), you can pay your dues with just a few clicks at your computer. Easy peasy! Of course, you can still use the old-fashioned way to pay, too. This page is where you can learn more about each option.
And we do need your membership dues! If you’ve visited the Memorial Wall you’ll know that there is no parking adjacent to it. The closest spots are across Sussex Drive in the NRC parking lot. Randy Wing and Derrill Henderson are working on a project to provide a small number of spots right beside the Wall that will make it more accessible for dropping off visitors, and for disabled parking. While we are hopeful that a substantial part of the cost will be covered by grants from VAC and other government bodies, the HKVCA will still be on the hook for some of it.
Call for Nominations: It's time once again for our elections. These are now an annual event, and Kathie Carlson has kindly agreed to head up this year’s elections committee. Please take a moment to read her article later in this newsletter and send in your nominations for our Board of Directors.
I’d like to close by thanking everyone across the country who has donated their time to the HKVCA. The events that you have put on, the articles you’ve written, the students you’ve spoken to and all of the other activities that our members participate in are what helps to keep the memory of the Battle of Hong Kong alive. If you’ve been thinking about contributing your time, please contact your Regional Director or me. We need you!
As always, please contact me at email@example.com if you have ideas or suggestions.
"We will remember them"
Edward Albert Campbelton, RRC, on March 12
We Will Remember Them
Jake E. O'Donnell - Jan 2017 (friend of HKVCA)
Jean Rolfe, daughter of James Downie, WG, and sister to Phyllis Downie - Apr 27, 2018
Bette Dewey, widow of Ralph A. Dewey, RRC, passed away March 17, 2018
Dennis Bell, HKVCA, on Apr 10, 2018
Alice Harrington, widow of Wallace ("Red") Harrington, WG, on April 2, 2018
Catherine Penny, widow of Don Penny (RCCS) on March 3, 2018
Pearl Leblanc widow of Leopold Leblanc RRC E30725 on Nov 10, 2017
Greetings from New Richmond to all friends of HKVCA.
News is pretty scarce now with so few of us HK Vets remaining. But I would like to pay homage to Lillian Roesch and Lori Atkinson-Smith for their unending pursuit of the records of Hong Kong Veterans and their families.
Recently I had a very pleasant visit from Emmie Flanagan and her mother, Clara. They brought me a copy of the HK Plaque. Much appreciated! I will place it in the Chaleur Bay Military Museum.
With so little to write about, perhaps the reader will be amused with a bit of doggerel verse I composed in an idle few moments. If it offends, please consign it to the circular file.
I’ve called it “Ode Written on a Liquor Store Bag”.
Within this bag there once was placed a 40-ounce of gin. The label on the face of it said “Gordons here within”.
I took it out so gently, caressed its silken skin. I turned the cap toward me. Gordons here within.
A thousand bottles later, my bankroll getting thin,Still my thirst persisted for Gordons there within.
Some trickled down my gullet. Some trickled down my chin. My bloated nose proclaimed the fact, “Gordons there within”.
While lying in my coffin, far from the madding din, My friends with shaking heads will say “Gordons there within”.
And then upon my tombstone, an epitaph they’ll pin, “Beneath this sod there lies a man, Gordons did him in.”
That will be all for this time. Thankfully.
Be good to each other and may God Bless.
(Read Phil's memoirs on our website)
This “summer” edition contains quite a variety of stories and columns. The most important event was the re-dedication of the rebuilt Manège Militaire de Québec. Lucette and Gerry were there and have submitted reports.
As Mike has mentioned in his President’s Report, installations of our Commemorative Plaques are ongoing. We hope to make this activity our main focus for our Fall edition of this newsletter. If you’ll be attending these events, feel free to take photos and forward them (along with captions) to yours truly.
Want to read something with a unique slant on Hong Kong? Make sure you allocate some time to Rebecca Day Reynolds’ account of her visit to Hong Kong last December.
In May I received a note informing us that representatives of HMCS Vancouver would be placing a wreath at Sai Wan Cemetery during a stop in Hong Kong. Thanks to WO Richard Dean Ivey, Canadian Defence Attache Assistant in Beijing for forwarding the photo and caption below.
Crew of HMCS Vancouver paying tribute at a ceremony at Sai Wan Cemetery. On left facing cenotaph Coxswain Chief Petty Officer First Class Steve Wist to his right is the CO, Commander Chris Nucci and behind him is Mr. Jeff Nankivell, Consul General at the Consulate General of Canada in Hong Kong. In the foreground are selected officers NCOs and NCMs of the ships company.
And, as always, many thanks to our crew of eagle-eyed proofreaders: Kathie and Anne.
Saturday May 12 in Quebec City was a clear sunny day.
Unfortunately due to health problems and travel distance, our veterans were unable to attend for a very long “one day only” event. They were remembered!
Representing our Veterans were: Mike Babin, HKVCA National President, yours truly Quebec Director, Gerry Tuppert BC Director, Major Ret’d John Russell son and nephew of HK Vets. and their guests. The number of people present exceeded 1,200 and many had to be refused at the door.
The day began with a church service at the Notre-Dame Basilica and parade through old Quebec to the Manège Militaire.
Parade, entering the drill hall
Parading in the rededicated drill hall of Les Voltigeurs de Québec
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau inspecting Les Voltigeurs de Québec
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau named Honourary Member of Les Voltigeurs de Québec. Presentation by Commander Les Voltigeurs de Québec LCol. Jonathan Chouinard CD (left) and Honorary Col. Claude Gagnon
L-R Joanne- Lucette’s daughter, Lucette Mailloux Muir, Louise- John Russell’s sister, Major (Ret’d) John Russell, OMM.CD and Gerry Tuppert BC Director
Manège Militaire Voltigeurs de Québec Armoury
In the newly rebuilt drill-hall, 10 years after the fire that destroyed the building in April 2008, the Parade entered with the Voltigeurs Colours, the change of command ceremony and the inspection of the Troops by the Honourable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He was then named Honorary Member of Les Voltigeurs de Québec. After speeches and the departure of the Prime Minister, the new historical site with its German cannons captured by our Canadians during the battle of La Crête de Vimy (1917-18). was inaugurated
After a short rest VIP guests and dignitaries were invited to cocktails followed by the blessing of the Gala-Dinner by the QC Bishop Céprien Lacroix to celebrate the return home to the Manège Militaire Voltigeurs de Québec Armoury.
Short speeches by the President of the Fondation Voltigeurs and others, along with historic videos were enjoyed during the meal.
The evening closed with beautiful music by Les Voltigeurs Band and dancing.
It was a beautiful day and a memorable occasion.
RRC Veterans you are back home with the RRC plaque in it’s proper place and your Banner hanging from the rafters in Le Manège Militaire des Voltigeurs de Québec..
December 25 - 27, 2017
When our son, Sam, moved to “The Orient” four years ago to work in the IT sector—first in Shanghai and now in Taipei—we vowed that we must visit. On December 21st, we made good on that pledge, and boarded Boeing’s majestic Dreamliner in Vancouver; 12 hours later, we were greeted by the most easily spotted fellow in Taipei: at 6’3”, Sam can’t hide.
On Christmas Day, having spent three nights at the bizarrely named, yet sumptuously appointed Proverbs Hotel, we left Taipei for Hong Kong. The significance of this date will not be lost on anyone reading this newsletter; indeed, we had arranged the trip so that we could be on hallowed ground on this very day.
My mother spoke little of the experience of losing her father, Bertram Gilbert (Royal Rifles of Canada), shortly after his return to Quebec, a former POW of the Japanese. In an era before it was permissible to vomit one’s woes onto the shoulder of the information highway, stiff upper lips hardened hearts and suppressed emotion. Her favourite cousin, Murray Goodenough, also of the Royal Rifles, died at the age of 18, two years after the Fall of Hong Kong. He is buried at Yokohama, and would have been 16 when he was taken prisoner with my grandfather. Grief strangles words.
Sam is not bereft of pals from Canada in his Asian home. In 2007, he and Ronald Cheung graduated from Brentwood College School, Sam as a day student, Ron as a boarder from Hong Kong, and both as fast friends who continue to visit one another as often as time and circumstance permit.
Ron, now an importer of tea and British goodies for hungry ex-pats, met us in Kowloon. He treated us to such tourist destinations as the Tian Tan Buddha, at his polite insistence, paying for our admission and all the road tolls that were concomitant to our travels.
It was no different at dinner: we drove back to Hong Kong and Ron hosted us to a feast. I insisted that he finally use my first name. “Go on, Ron. Rebecca. Try it.”
And so he did. “Rebecca, duck is a specialty of this restaurant. May I help you to some?” Between courses, he asked how we had enjoyed celebrating Christmas Day on foreign soil. “Rebecca, you and your husband must find this odd?” As I began to explain that the celebration had been purposely planned to collide with the anniversary of the Fall of Hong Kong, the signature merriness drained from his face. He dropped his head, his eyes, and any pretense of familiarly: “Mrs. Reynolds. It would be my family’s honour for me to take you to Stanley.” Dorothy was quite suddenly no longer in Kansas.
Memory Box of Murray Goodenough, RRC, on display in the Heritage Gallery of the Museum at St Stephen’s College
As an academic, my path has crossed those of folk who know of the Fall of Hong Kong. Those crossings have been rare, and usually limited to academe, so Ron’s immediate default to shock and honour came as a jolting surprise. Everyone knows.
He arrived early the next morning, conscious that our 3:45 PM flight to Shanghai was imminent, but that this visit was paramount. It was not one we expected to take: the cab fare to Stanley is a torturous as the twists and turns that finally yield to one of Hong Kong’s oldest, prettiest, and wealthiest playgrounds.
Ronald, worker of miracles, had arranged for the museum at St. Stephen’s College to be opened for us, and he brought gifts for the openers. Tourists need to book such events well in advance: the venerated are ushered through different doors.
There is nothing I can tell you about Stanley that you have not already heard or read. You know how the innocent were slaughtered, and how the troops were taken prisoner. What would knock you sideways is how that same history will resonate through the soles of your shoes, the palms of your hands, and the averted gazes of those who understand the magnitude of your family’s indescribable loss.
Upon our return to Canada, and with the permission of my cousins, I set to dismantling the shadow box that my uncle, Bruce Gilbert, had lovingly assembled in memory of Murray Goodenough; its contents now reside in the museum at Stanley (see photo)
Requiesce in pace
(Rebecca is the daughter of Gwen Day, and granddaughter of Bertram Gilbert, RRC)
Summer Greetings from the Pacific region
There has been a little bit of activity here on the coast to report. The Chinese Cultural Centre in downtown Vancouver will be hosting an ongoing display later in the summer. They will be highlighting the Chinese Canadian soldiers who fought in the far east theatre. The “C Force story” will be a small but significant part of their exhibit so stay tuned for developments on that front.
Our very own HK Vet Gerry Gerrard RCCS, who is still going strong has expressed interest in making an appearance to check it out. Way to go Gerry!
Les Voltigeurs parading in the historic RRC parade uniforms
A small group of our HKVCA family travelled to Quebec city to witness the Rededication festivities for the newly rebuilt armoury. A very special guest at our table was the venerable Royal Rifles historian Mr Francis Corbett. Francis was a member of the non-active permanent force at the start of WW2. He joined the Royal Rifles militia at the tender age of 13! It was indeed a treat to hear his stories of the regiment he was so proud to be affiliated with. He was the single driving force responsible for the French explanation of the Plaque dedicated to the 262 members of the Royal Rifles who did not return.
Inside view of the refurbished Quebec city armoury
The plaque survived the fire was polished up and unveiled again by The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau in attendance at the week-end ceremonies.
The refurbished facility was completely unrecognizable from the spartan drill hall where my grandfather, my father, and yours truly paraded way back when. Our hosts “The Voltigeurs Regiment”, highlighted a small group of their soldiers wearing the historic RRC dress uniforms performed their intricate manoeuvres to the beat of a well rehearsed marching band.
Topped off with an evening gala it was certainly a first class event that will be remembered for some time to come.
The expanded building will also house a museum room. If you have any Royal Rifles memorabilia and are willing to donate it to be displayed at their location please contact Mr Eric Godbout (418-648-4422) Loc-2415 for more information.
(more photos are available in Facebook at this link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/HongKongVets/ - scroll down to May 27)
The following week-end I was very pleased to host a classroom display of “The Defence of Hong Kong” at a very well attended function in Quebec city (1200 plus attendees). The remarkable occasion was the 175th anniversary of the founding of St Patrick's school (1843 to 2018).
The exhibit featured the Royal Rifles story and their role in the battle. Many thanks to the Morrin Centre which kindly lent us their 18 interpretive panels in English and French.
This as well as our own Hong Kong commemorative panels and some personal memorabilia made for a complete and informative account of our Royal Rifles history in WW2. Many who took time from the tight week-end schedule to walk through and browse the exhibit expressed a poignant family connection to the Regiment. At least 5% of the Rifles originated from the immediate Quebec city location so many visitors knew the names and neighbourhoods of these young lads.
We know of at least seven RRC Veterans who attended this school, volunteered and ended up in those far east POW camps. The two FitzPatrick brothers did not survive to come home.
In alphabetical order:
Patrick Commerford E22816
Charles Dallain E30434
J Paul Dallain E30264
Charles FitzPatrick E30684
John FitzPatrick E21822
John Kelso E29815
William G Tuppert E22892
We Shall Remember Them
The Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association Plaque which will be installed permanently in the school corridor is dedicated to their memory and their sacrifice so long ago.
Many thanks to the current Principal Mr Andre Gosselin for his assistance in making this happen.
We also take a moment to reflect on the passing of BC resident Catherine Penny, widow of Don Penny (RCCS) on March 3.
Have a great summer everyone,
Greetings from the Prairies!
We hope that everyone is enjoying the wonderful weather as Mother Nature renews our environment and our spirits.
We are saddened to inform you of the passing of Dennis Bell on April 10, 2018. Dennis was a valued member of Prairie Region locally and the HKVCA generally. His relationship to the Association was through his father William and his uncle Gordon who both served their country in the Battle of Hong Kong. Dennis and Marleen have been active members assisting with the Education committee, doing considerable research in the Mitsubishi issue and headed the 2013 convention in Winnipeg. We will miss his warm smile and friendly manner and our deepest sympathy is extended to Marleen and his family.
We were also saddened to learn of Jean Rolfe passing on April 27, 2018. She was a sister to Phyllis Downie and daughter of James Downie, H6070, WG, HK vet.
Prairie Region has 186 regular members, 30 widows and 3 veterans for a total 219 members. We hold regular monthly meetings in Winnipeg and special lunch gatherings in Alberta under the direction of Kathie Carlson and her area reps, with regular quarterly communication with our members through the national newsletter; monthly minutes and random e-notes of special timely information.
In Manitoba we continue to hold monthly meetings at NOON on the second Thursday of the month at Viscount Gort Hotel on Portage Ave, near Polo Park and welcome anyone who wishes to attend.
We continue to work on the National Plaque project with coordination through Lori Smith. We would like to be informed if there are other areas that would like a plaque which costs about $100 when we order in bulk. In Manitoba arrangements are in the works for plaques to be placed in Selkirk, Swan River, Russell, Mafeking and will broadcast the dates of dedication when we receive them from the members in these areas. We are looking into Pilot Mound, Beausejour, Lac du Bonnet with dates to be announced as plans are completed.
Many follow up conversations among various organizations in Alberta and Saskatchewan, have been occurring over the last month, since the Commemorative Plaques arrived on April 19th in Alberta. Our first Alberta plaque presentation is scheduled for June 15th in Cardston at the Royal Canadian Legion. Our next presentation is on June 29th in Calgary, at the Carewest Colonel Belcher Veterans Residence, and July 20th in Edmonton at the Norwood Legion. The Centennial Legion in Calgary recently asked to have their Commemorative Plaque presentation on August 4, 2018. We are waiting to hear from the High River Legion. In Saskatchewan, the Moose Jaw Legion requested June 27th, Nutana Legion #362, Saskatoon, requested August 10th, and the Regina Legion 001 and Museum have asked for a plaque presentation on November 4th. We are hoping to schedule a date for the Saskatoon and Estevan Legion soon. What a Team!
Congratulations and best wishes to Veteran Ralph Maclean, who will be celebrating his “96” Birthday with his family on June 27th in Calgary. All our best wishes Ralph for a wonderful day!
Jason Kelly, from the Order of St. George
At the Ottawa HKVCA Convention on August 15, 2015, we all remember a very special ceremony occurring. It was the “70” Anniversary of VJ day, and the members of the “Order of St. George” honoured our living Hong Kong and Burma Veterans by presenting the St. George’s Medal to each veteran, in a very personal and private ceremony. Unfortunately, several HKVCA Veterans were unable to attend this convention, and did not receive their medal at that time.
What’s important to know, is that this medal and ceremony can only be presented in person by a member of the “Order of St. George,” and not sent through the mail.
Jason Kelly, a member of the “Order of St. George,” who lives with his family and works in Hong Kong, has over the last 2.5 years, taken upon himself to personally travel across Canada, at his own expense, to present these medals to the remaining living Veterans. His organization sanctioned this noble effort, and Jason chose to see this through on his own. When his work would allow him to take a hiatus, he would arrange to meet with Veterans across Canada.
Recently he notified us that he was arriving in Calgary, from Hong Kong, on May 2nd, to present the last St. George’s Medal to a HKVCA Veteran.
What captured our hearts was the emotional response Jason experienced, as he acknowledged his mission was complete and he no longer would be meeting these courageous men and hearing their stories. He shared with us his personal joy and pride in meeting each Veteran.
The HKVCA National Board is recognizing his personal dedication and commitment to ensure that every living Veteran received this honour, and it is sending him a token of their appreciation.
We salute and sincerely thank Jason Kelly, a member of the “Order of St. George,” for his commitment, dedication and a job well done!
By the time you receive the newsletter the Red River Heritage Fair on May 3, 2018 will be history. This is the 15th Anniversary of this event which has 300-400 students from all over Manitoba attend with a diorama of a concept of Manitoba history. Alex Taylor and Stan Lopata, from our Colour Party, were involved in a Scavenger Hunt, talking to students with the large display that has information that the students need to complete the task. We judged the dioramas on military history and gave an award to the winners. We are trying to encourage the students and teachers to have an interest in the Battle of Hong Kong. We will be attending the Manitoba Social Science Teachers (MSSTA) conference in October and Vince Lopata will give a presentation to the approximate 300 teachers attending this event. We hope this will motivate teachers to discuss this important part of our history.
In Winnipeg planning has begun to have an Annual Dinner in October 21, 2018 at Neil Bardal Centre, 3030 Notre Dame, Winnipeg. More information to follow.
Hope everyone enjoys the nice warm weather.
Placement of the plaques depicting the Battle Of Hong Kong was the subject of a conversation with Mary Jane Bickell (niece of Joseph Micheal Whalen, RRC) and I. We discussed locations in the Peterborough area that might be appropriate. Now that our weather seems to be more agreeable, it’s something to be followed up on.
John Russell (son of Albert James Russell, RRC) says that after their trip to Europe this spring, they are going to continue travelling, this time in Canada. John’s wife, Bernadine will celebrate a very special birthday in Calgary this summer.
Irene Firlotte is doing well for someone 92 years of age. She is the widow of Lawrence Firlotte, RRC, now living in a retirement home. She now lives in Amherstview.
Also reported to be in good spirits is Dorothy Soper, widow of George Soper, RRC, in hospital in Toronto.
Greetings everyone from Quebec Region.
Following our regular communication with our executive members, things are moving well.
Earlier we were busy with regular communication with Les Voltigeurs de Québec and HKVCA QC publicity, invitations etc. to all members concerning the Official Re-Opening of the Manège Militaire de Québec Drill-Hall on May 12 in Quebec City. It was a great event and a very memorable one. You will have a full report elsewhere in this edition of the newsletter.
We are currently working on the HKVCA Plaque Project with the possible installation of these plaques in local and regional RC Legions, museum and/or others.
HKVCA Quebec Region will be celebrating it’s 20th anniversary of official participation in the HKVCA of Canada. In the next few days there will be a special mailing to all our Veterans, Widows, Regular Members and Friends of the Hong Kong Family with a walk down memory lane of the past 20 years. We sincerely thank all our Hong Kong Veterans of the Quebec-Maritimes Branch for their confidence in us, their great support and help through the years. Thank you for believing in the Hong Kong Commemorative Association.
For August 1998, as friends of the veterans QC-M Branch, a small group of family members organized their bi-annual reunion in Sherbrooke, QC at the same time a new group was born, the HKVCA, to help our veterans and the rest is history. With the great satisfaction of being of some help in many ways to our veterans and widows, we will continue to be there for them and their families helping to keep the memory alive hopefully for years to come. All this will be possible with everyone’s help and participation. WE WILL REMEMBER THEM!
That is it at this time from Quebec. Take care and have a wonderful and safe summer.
This year, the National Board of Directors have initiated a campaign focusing on Education across Canada. The “Commemorative Plaque” has been developed by the Ontario HKVCA, and is a wonderful pictorial of our Hong Kong Veterans, and the ‘Battle of Hong Kong”. As a family, you can make an impact by acting as a representative on the HKVCA National Board to ensure your stories and your history, are part of this initiative, and support education in your local and provincial region. It’s up to all of us as family members of HKVCA to carry the message forward.
I have been designated as Election Chair and I and the Committee would love to be overwhelmed with nominations. Please take a moment and visit our page which describes the process, and then check out our nomination options: you can simply fill out and submit the online form or print the PDF copy, fill it out and mail it in.
Please email me if you have questions, or find some of the instructions confusing.
You know that when the word ‘treasurer’ appears in the heading that the subject of money is at hand. You’re right—I want to talk about your money.
In fact we are after your money, exactly $20.00 each year. Doesn’t seem like much but I guess it’s more a matter of getting around to sending it to us. To help you with this chore, we recently installed a payment system online where you can click on our website and pay your annual dues by credit card.
Pretty simple, eh? But we also want to remind you that can still pay by putting a cheque in the mail just as you always have so you now have a choice—either way works just fine. Easy/handy to one person is not necessarily the same to another so we let you pick the one that is most comfortable for you.
And yes, we need your financial support to help tell the story of the Battle of Hong Kong and to honour all those who fought there. For example, last fall the Prairie Region of the HKVCA dedicated a Memorial to the Winnipeg Grenadiers at Brookside Cemetery. The cost was over $10,000 with half of that supported by Veterans Affairs Canada and the balance by the members themselves.
This year we are looking to provide some parking spaces at the Memorial Wall in Ottawa and this will be a costly undertaking. We are currently working on the details of the project and preparing the necessary documents and drawings for the approval process. We don’t yet have a final cost estimate but it will likely be over $50,000.
You can see that our work for the association continues but we need your support so we can make good things happen. Your dues are by far our main source of income and if you haven’t already done so, please send us your annual membership of $20 either by using PayPal on our website (https://www.hkvca.ca/services/index.php) or through the regular mail (see the addresses below).
Thank you very much.
If your family does not have a Memorial Cross, there may be an opportunity to receive one, but only if you take action.
The Memorial Cross (Silver Cross) was traditionally awarded to the mother or widow of a soldier who either died during battle, or shortly thereafter as a result of injury from battle.
In 2001, the requirements were changed so that other family members (ie children & siblings) as well as the mother or spouse, could receive the award. Even if the veterans died after their service ended, as long as death could be attributed to an injury or medical condition acquired during military service, a the Cross could be awarded. Shortly thereafter, it was determined that all HK veterans were qualified because of the conditions and punishment they endured as a POW. If it was established that death was not an accident, or related to a cause for which the veteran did not receive a pension, then the veteran’s family could receive the Cross. Many families applied and received the Memorial Cross.
In 2008, the policy changed again. Now, applications must come from a parent or a surviving spouse. Other family members are no longer allowed to apply, thus eliminating the opportunity for most of the families of HK veterans.
The National Council of Veteran’s Association (NCVA), is an association of 60+ veterans associations that has supported the HK vets over the years. The NCVA has been very successful at lobbying the government to made changes so that veterans are justly compensated in relation to military pensions and benefits. The NCVA Executive feel that any changes to the 2008 Military Cross policy should have been “grandfathered” to preserved the right for any sibling, child, or grandchild of HK Veterans to apply.
Here comes the point! NVCA will undertake the objective to push for the reinstatement of the right for HK families to apply, but only if there is sufficient interest. Consider also that the greater time that elapses, the NVCA will not likely be able to act. This could be your last chance to try.
To determine if there is sufficient interest for the NVCA to pursue it, numbers are needed. Thus far we are aware of only one. If any sibling, child, or grandchild is interested, please contact me in writing either by email (MemorialCross@bell.net) or post (HKVCA., Suite # 164, 1861 Robertson Road, Nepean, ON, K2H 1B9)
On August 1st, 2018, this Trust Fund will be wound up and will close to donations and to applications for education funding.
We advise that applications for Fall 2018 post-secondary programs will be accepted on a first come, first served basis and processed based on available funds. The final date for accepting applications is July 31, 2018.
The Trustees for The Winnipeg Grenadiers Hong Kong Trust Fund
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