Remembrance Day Speaker Series and Display

Remembrance Day Banner

The Rare Books and Special Collections has sponsored a series of talks in honour of Remembrance Day. The talks will all be held in the Lillooet Room (301) of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

Tragic Bravery: Canada and the Battle of Hong Kong

When: November 4, 2016 12:00-1:30 p.m.

Speaker: Cameron Cathcart, President of the Royal United Services Institute – Vancouver Society (RUSI) and director of Vancouver’s Remembrance Day ceremonies at Victory Square

A trench bridge (World War I 1914-1918 British Press photograph collection, BC_1763_0955)

A trench bridge (World War I 1914-1918 British Press photograph collection, BC_1763_0955)

When asked if he thought the British Colony of Hong Kong could be defended against an invasion by the Japanese in 1941, Winston Churchill replied, “not the slightest chance”. This prediction forms the background to the fatal decision by Ottawa 75 years ago to send Canadian troops into the maelstrom that became known as the Battle of Hong Kong. As the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Hong Kong approaches, Cameron Cathcart will provide an overview of the battle, its aftermath, and delve into the personal lives of the brave Canadians whose lives were changed forever.

Canada’s Secret Sailors: Asian Crewmen and Canadian Vessels in the Indo-Pacific Theatre

When: November 8, 2016 12:00-1:30 p.m.
Speaker: Clifford J. Pereira, FRGS, Independent researcher, curator, and museum consultant

Based on research gathered over the last two years from national, provincial, and naval archives in Canada, Australia, and the U.K, Clifford J. Pereira will tell the forgotten story of hundreds of non-resident Asian seamen on vessels of the Canadian Pacific Railway deployed by the British Admiralty in the Pacific and Indian Oceans during the First World War.

Remembering the Great War with Canadian Writers and Artists

Sailors and Chinese labourers abroad the Empress of India (Chung Collection, CC_PH_02426)

Sailors and Chinese labourers abroad the Empress of India (Chung Collection, CC_PH_02426)

When: November 10, 2016 12:00-1:30 p.m.
Speaker: Sherrill Grace, OC, FRSC, Professor Emerita of English and University Killam Professor

While Canada has been surprisingly low key about commemorating the Great War since 2014, we do have a wealth of artistic material that does important work in reconstructing and remembering the war. Dr. Sherrill Grace will consider how Canada remembers the war, and why it is important to do so, focusing on works by Canadians writing about the war from a late-20th century perspective.

In conjunction with the talks, a special display, Empires and Empresses at War, will be featured in RBSC’s Chung Collection exhibition room from November 4-November 30, 2016. The display, curated by Clifford J. Pereira, with curatorial assistance from Katie Sloan, showcases the importance of Canadian shipping vessels and the role of Asians and Asian-Canadians serving on Canadian vessels during World War I.

For more information, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at 604 822-2521 or rare.books@ubc.ca.


The talks are free and open to the public.

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