Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

October 24, 2005 14:41 ET

VAC/Media Advisory: Media Invited to Participate in Hong Kong Overseas Events to Mark the 60th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Hong Kong Prisoners of War

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 24, 2005) - From November 29 to December 7, 2005, an official Government of Canada delegation will travel to Hong Kong to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Hong Kong prisoners of war. The delegation will consist of 37 members, including Veterans, caregivers and parliamentarians.

Media are invited to be a part of this overseas event. Those interested should contact Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) at the number below by November 1. Please note that spaces are limited. Transportation and accommodation expenses from the Canadian point of departure to Hong Kong of media delegates are covered by VAC; for those outlets with pay policies, these expenses are estimated to be approximately $8,900 per person.

Members of the Hong Kong overseas event will gather in Vancouver on Monday, November 28 for the Tuesday departure. While in Hong Kong, the group will participate in ceremonies of remembrance at the Sai Wan and Stanley Military Cemeteries, in plaque dedication ceremonies at Jardine's Lookout and Lawson's Bunker, and will visit various points of historical significance. On Wednesday, December 7, the delegation will return to Vancouver.

Two other groups will also be travelling to Hong Kong to participate in early December events. More than 200 students, parents and teachers from the Durham Remembers Group will be in Hong Kong to enshrine the Hong Kong Memorial Capsule. Also attending is a group of 35 family members of Hong Kong Veterans who are travelling with the Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association.

Of the 1,975 Canadians who served with a small British garrison in Hong Kong, 290 would die in the hard-fought, 17-day battle. The Allies surrendered on Christmas Day, 1941 and the remaining Canadian troops, including two nursing sisters, were taken prisoners of war. They would spend nearly four horrific years as prisoners. In total, 264 Canadians died as prisoners of war in Hong Kong and Japan.

2005 is the Year of the Veteran: Celebrate. Honour. Thank. Remember. Teach.

Contact Information

  • Veterans Affairs Canada
    Patsy Bolger Gallant
    Director, Communications Divison
    Advice and Planning Directorate
    (902) 566-6857