Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Toronto) (HKETO), Ms Emily Mo, virtually attended the ceremony in commemoration of the 81st anniversary of the Battle of Hong Kong hosted by the St. John Ambulance (Burnaby Division) in British Columbia on December 5.
Speaking at the commemoration ceremony, Ms Mo remarked that Hong Kong and Canada, including British Columbia, have established strong ties over the years. “This includes the Battle of Hong Kong where the Canadians helped defend the city 81 years ago, as well as late Dr. Po Tin Chak’s ‘handkerchief story’ in Hong Kong,” said Ms Mo.
Dr. Po Tin Chak was born and raised in Hong Kong, then moved to Vancouver with the family in the 1980s. During the war, Dr. Chak was young and joined the Military Division of the St. John Ambulance Brigade of Hong Kong with a task to drive the wounded soldiers to field hospitals. He later was detained at the Sham Shui Po Prisoner-of-War Camp where he met many young Canadian service members. When they were released from the prison in September 1942, Dr. Chak took along a handkerchief signed by other 99 comrades. This historic artifact is now part of the collections at the Bay De Chaleur Military Museum in Quebec.
Ms Mo noted that people would always remember the stories of these brave fighters and continue to pay tribute to them.
Other guest speakers at the ceremony include the Associate Professor, Department of History of the Hong Kong Baptist University, Dr. Chi-man Kwong, and the curator of Bay De Chaleur Military Museum in Quebec, Ms Rachel Dell.
In Ontario, the Royal Hong Kong Regiment (The Volunteers) Ontario Association and the Hong Kong Ex-Servicemen's Association (Ontario Branch) will also host a ceremony at the Markham Cenotaph of Veterans Square on December 10 to commemorate the Battle of Hong Kong occurred more than eight decades ago. Acting Deputy Director of the HKETO, Ms Ivy Yue, will attend the ceremony to pay tribute to the soldiers who have paid the supreme sacrifice during the battle.
翟保田醫生在香港出生成長，八十年代與家人移居溫哥華。抗戰期間，加入香港聖約翰救傷隊的軍事支隊，負責駕車將傷兵送往戰地醫院。後來他被關押在深水埗戰俘集中營，在營內結識了很多加拿大年輕軍人。一九四二年九月獲釋時，翟醫生隨身帶走了一面有其他99位營友簽名留念的手帕。這件具有歷史意義的文物現在是魁省Bay De Chaleur 軍事博物館的藏品之一。
其他出席紀念儀式的嘉賓講者包括香港浸會大學歷史系副教授鄺智文博士及魁省Bay De Chaleur軍事博物館館長Rachel Dell。