In the last week of May, in conjunction with Foundation Day 2016, the Association honoured our most senior member and the last of our former prisoners of war, Robert Lapsley, to mark his 95th birthday earlier this year. Chairman, Patrick Cheung, presented Robert with a formal letter summarising his war service and a medal commemorating the disbandment of the RHKR (The Volunteers) in 1995.
Robert was thrilled with the tribute and delighted to accept the letter and the medal. The brief presentation ceremony at Robert's home was attended by several family members, including Robert's brother, Harold, also ex-RHKR. After the presentation, everyone enjoyed morning tea and a good chat.
Robert's story and that of his brothers is described in Occasional Paper no. 14 of our series.
See our Gallery for more photos of the presentation to Robert.
A enjoyable evening spent in the beautiful surroundings of The Adam Room at the NSW Masonic Club, Sydney. Our Chairman, Patrick Cheung, paid tribute to our late Patron, Col Solomon Bard, and to retiring Committee Member, Dr James Hayes.
During the dinner, a slideshow was displaying picture from the recent visit by some Members to Hong Kong on the occasion of the 160th Anniversary of the Foundation of the Regiment.
These are the words of Benjamin 'Ben' Moy Ling, one of over two hundred Chinese Australians who enlisted to fight in World War One and great-uncle of Serena, one of our Association members.
Ben's story is one of those being featured on ABCTV and ABCNews24 during this week of the centenary of ANZAC. Serena was interviewed by the ABC and the story will be broadcast on ABCNews24 this Thursday April 23 from 9am and then throughout the day on the ABC and ABC News 24.
Ben was also featured in the current exhibition Chinese Anzacs at the Chinese Museum. The exhibition is open until July 2015. He is also featured at the Domain tram interchange (stop 20 on St Kilda Road), near the Shrine of Remembrance. His quote is on display - 'If Australia is good enough to live in, it is good enough to fight for. I hope to live in it again after the war.'
Ben tried many times to enlist in 1915 but was rejected each time. His application for July 1915 says - 'unfit for active service - Not of substantial European background or descent.' Only white people were allowed to join the army in those days. He eventually overcame the bigotry and was allowed to enlist. Ben was in France when the war ended.
Ben's older brother Josiah had two stepsons - Reginald and George Garratt. Both joined the army and went to France. Reginald was killed in the Battle of Bullecourt in 1917, he was only 20 years old. George was about 18 years old when the war ended. He returned home but took his own life in 1924, for some the war never ended. Lest we forget.
It is with great sadness that the Hong Kong Volunteer and ex-PoW Association of NSW has learnt of the passing of our Patron and former Chairman, Col Solomon M Bard (Solly), overnight on Friday, November 7, 2014.
Solly passed away peacefully in his sleep, after a long illness. It is poignant to note that Solly's passing coincided with the gathering in Hong Kong of all the overseas branches and sister associations of the RHKR The Volunteers Association to mark the 160th anniversary of the foundation of the Regiment.
Solly will be remembered by our Association with enormous affection and respect. His own fondness for the Association was demonstrated by his participation every year in the ANZAC Day march, his most recent attendance being in 2013, at the age of 97. Photos of this event appear in the Galleries section of this website.
In the words of our Chairman, Patrick Cheung, "Solly will be very much missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him".
A private funeral will be held for Col Bard on Monday, November 17, 2014, in Sydney.
Members will be informed at a later date of a memorial service to remember and honour Solly in his capacity as Colonel of the Regiment.
It is with great sadness that the Association has received news of the passing of our Member, Cecilia Greaves, on 22 September, 2014.
Cissy was a longstanding Member of our Association and until recent years was a regular attendee at our luncheons.
Cissy had a number of connections to the the HKVDC. Her brother, Algernon Ho, was killed in action with the Volunteers in December, 1941. Her husband, John Greaves, was a member and before he passed away some time ago always attended our gatherings.
Cissy came from a long-established Eurasian family in Hong Kong. Her grandfather was Ho Fook, brother of Sir Robert Ho Tung. She is survived in England by her sister, Pam, and brother Eric who before retirement was a very senior member of the Administrative Service in Hong Kong and an officer in the Hong Kong Regiment.
Held in the beautiful heritage Adam Room in the NSW Masonic Club, this evening event was thoroughly enjoyed all who attended. The BGM was conducted first, followed by a dinner that all agreed was of a very high standard.
After the Loyal Toast, our continuing Chairman, Patrick Cheung, proposed the toast to The 99 on behalf of our Patron, Col Solomon Bard, who was unable to attend for health reasons. The Toast to The Volunteers was concluded with an enthusiastic Nulli Secundus in Oriente.
We were then treated to a thoughtful and informative after dinner talk by Robin Hutcheon, former editor of the South China Morning Post. Robin spoke about coming to Hong Kong in 1953, a time of great tension in the Asian region. Pressures on Hong Kong were due not only to the post-war and post China revolution restructuring of alliances but also the crisis of the Korean War.
Robin praised the resilience and tenacity of the Chinese people of Hong Kong in seeing the Colony through this difficult period and acknowledged the contribution of The Volunteers during this time.
As is the custom, Jeremy Hutchins, of the UK Branch, has sent a message of loyal greetings to Her Majesty the Queen, on all of our behalves, on the occasion of the 160th anniversary of Foundation Day of the Regiment
Her Majesty has been pleased to respond and below is a copy of her letter.
November 2-9, 2014 The Hong Kong Branch of the RHKR (V) Association is organising a range of activities in Hong Kong to commemorate this anniversary. Members from Australia and worldwide are encouraged to attend.
The Hong Kong group is very keen to see as many people there as possible - Association Members or anyone with an interest in this occasion. For further information or to express interest, get in touch with Ron Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org
It is with deep regret that all members of the Hong Kong Volunteer & Ex PoW Association of NSW are advised of the death of our our Member, Kenneth Stone, on Monday, 29 July, 2013. Ken Stone was a committed and active Member of our Association, which he joined to honour his brother, Geoffrey, who was killed at Stanley in Battle of Hong Kong in December, 1945. Ken joined the Merchant Navy before coming to settle in Sydney. He became a popular announcer on radio station 2UE in Sydney in the 1950s and later was the first general manager of NBN Newcastle television. He was a regular attendee at Association events and the ANZAC Day March. Ken usually marched twice each ANZAC Day - once with the Merchant Navy and then rejoined the March behind the banner of the Volunteers. A warm personality and a true gentleman, Ken will be very much missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him. Tribute and funeral notice can be found by clicking here.
Our Foundation Day Luncheon will be held on
FRIDAY 31 MAY 2013 at noon for 12.30
DRAGON BOAT RESTAURANT
HARBOURSIDE, DARLING HARBOUR
Cost $35 @ head
Transport and parking close by.
Members are advised of the following details for the 2013 ANZAC Day March:
Date:Thursday, 25th of April
Time of reporting for our unit: 11.15 a.m.
Form up point: in Hunter Street between Pitt and George Streets
Dress: blazer preferred, or lounge suit and tie; ladies: appropriate
Military headgear (berets, etc) with badges may be worn
Medals: full-sized preferred
The March will start from the form up point, past the Cenotaph and end at the junction of Bathurst and Elizabeth Street.
At the conclusion of the March we will gather for Yum Cha at the Campbell Restaurant, 1/F, 102-108 Hay Street, Haymarket. The cost is approximately $25 per person
The Association expresses its sympathy and sends condolences to our member Robert Lapsley, on the loss of his wife, Glen, who passed away on March 28, 2013, in Manly Hospital, after a long illness.
It is with deep regret that all members of the Hong Kong Volunteer & Ex P.O.W. of NSW are advised of the death of our our Member, Richard Coleman, on February 23, 2013. Dick Coleman served in the Welsh Guards and in D Company of the Hong Kong Regiment. He was a regular attendee at Association events and the ANZAC Day March and will be sadly missed.
The Association expresses its sympathy and sends condolences to our member Harold Lapsley and Clare, his wife, on the loss of their daughter, Denise, who passed away on February 1, 2013, in Perth, after a long illness.
Guest speaker Michael Hambrook, author On the Front Line. This book is a collection of personal stories from wartime of people now living in Australia. It includes a chapter from our own member, Robert Lapsley.
Date: Friday, 15 Feb 2013
Venue: Zilver Restaurant, Level 1, 477 Pitt St (CNR. Hay Street), Haymarket
Room: Private room
Parking: Basement car park under Market City. Entrance at Quay Street - opposite to UTS Sydney Building 5. $3.00 between 5:00pm and 12:00am (this 'THREE DOLLARS' special rate only applies to vehicle entering the carpark after 5:00pm)
Cost: $35 per head (incl. 2 bottles of red wine for each table)
On the Front Line by Michael Hambrook was published by New Holland, in late 2012. It is a collection of tales of the experiences of individual men and women who served, before emigrating to Australia, in conflicts in which Australia was involved - "astonishing real life tales are told by witnesses on the ground, underground, in the air and at sea". Importantly for our Association, the collection includes a recount of the experiences of our Member, Robert Lapsley, one of our few surviving PoWs.
The Association expresses its sympathy and sends condolences to our member Mrs Cecilia (Cissy) Greaves on the loss of her son, Stan, who passed away on December 27, 2012, after a long illness. Stan was the son of Cissy and John Greaves (dec), a longtime Member of the Association and a nephew of our Member, Bea Hutcheon
The National and New South Wales Launch of Reserve Forces day 2013 will be conducted at the Boer War Memorial, Observatory Hill Park, Sydney 09:30-10:45.