A Day of Mourning – Dec 5, 2004

On December 5th, the Canadian community in Hong Kong took time out to remember the fallen Canadian soldiers in World War Two for Hong Kong. It was a beautiful sunny day in December, when the weather was bearable and the air was fresh. The choir from the Canadian International School sang lovely tunes to the otherwise very quiet Sai Wan Bay Cemetery. A representative from the Hong Kong Police played the bagpipe.

The memorial service was hosted by Mr. Patrice Cousineau, Director and Consul for Political and Economic Relations, and Public Affairs Section, of the Consulate General of Canada for Hong Kong. Mr. Gerry Campbell, Consul General, gave the opening speech followed by short speeches by various military and community representatives. Rev. John Chynchen said the prayers. There was a two-minute silence in remembrance of those brave soldiers who died for the freedom of Hong Kong. Wreaths were laid by various Canadian community organizations including Chinese Canadian Association, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Club, Canadian International School, Delia School of Canada, and other representatives. Michael Ma and Frederick Kan represented CCA in laying a wreath. The event concluded with refreshments on the entrance platform at the top of the hill.

In Canada, Remembrance Day is held each year on the 11th day of the 11th month, which is November 11, at 11:00 AM. However, in Hong Kong, the ceremony is held in early December. The reason is that it was around December 6 that the Canadian forces were first attacked by the Japanese forces. It was that day the first Canadian soldier died in Hong Kong. There were a total of 550 brave Canadian soldiers who gave their lives in defense of Hong Kong. Hence, the Canadian community chose the closest Sunday to December 6 each year to hold the memorial service.

Michael Ma
Vice-chairman (External Affairs)

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