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Vets mark the anniversary of the Battle of Hong Kong

The weather wasn’t very nice to start but did not stop dozens of veterans and supporters from paying tribute to Canadians and allies who fought and died in Hong Kong, some suffering in Japanese internment camps for four years before being rescued after the fateful battle for Hong Kong during WWII.

Hong Kong Regiment member Larry Lau

The ceremony which ended under clearer skies, held at the Markham Cenotaph, acknowledged the 82 anniversary of the Battle of Hong Kong and the ultimate victory over Japan four years later. In addition to political representatives from various levels of government, young cadets and representatives of the Canadian military, were a number of local members of the Royal Hong Kong Regiment including Markham veteran Larry Lau who coordinated the commemoration.

The Hong Kong regiment played a crucial role in the defence and liberation of the territory and almost 1500 Canadian prisoners of war. 290 Canadian soldiers perished in the battle while almost that many died while imprisoned mostly due to abuse and malnutrition.

Senator Victor Oh, was on hand to document the courage of those who fought and included the story of the surprised look on the faces of “skin and bones” Canadian prisoners, when the very first liberator they saw was that of a Chinese-Canadian face who ultimately threw open the doors, giving them their freedom.

Lieutenant William King Lowd Lore, a Canadian naval officer was one of approximately 800 Chinese Canadians who fought for Canada and announced “I am a Canadian Naval Officer and I am here to liberate you guys. Aren’t you glad to see me?”

They were.

Members of Hong Kong Regiment and Canadian Military march
Markham-Unionville MPP Billy Pang with Senator Victor Oh

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