A Pillar of Strength - Remembering Phil Doddridge 1922-2022
October 13, 2022 – It is with great sadness that we note the passing of Phil Doddridge, President of the Hong Kong Veterans Association (HKVA), on October 5, 2022. A tribute can be read on the “Gaspé Remembers - Gaspé se souvient” Facebook page, and his obituary can be found here.
Phil was a pillar of strength for the HKVA, and his leadership will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
It is noteworthy that the HKVA joined the National Council of Veteran Associations in Canada (NCVA) shortly after the conclusion of the Second World War and has remained a strong member organization in support of the NCVA cause, ably represented for many years by our long-standing Vice-Chair, Derrill Henderson.
The War Amps and the Hong Kong veterans have a long history of collaboration. Indeed, The War Amps Service Bureau has handled the majority of VAC disability, health-care and Last Post Fund claims on behalf of individual Hong Kong veterans. It has also
successfully fought for legislative reform and increased pensions for the Hong Kong veterans’ community due to their horrific treatment by the Japanese as prisoners of war during the Second World War.
In partnership with the HKVA, The War Amps found it necessary in the 1990s to take their historic claim for compensation against the Japanese government for gross violations of human rights and crimes against humanity to the UN Commission on Human Rights
and the UN Human Rights Committee. This precedent-setting legal initiative eventually culminated in a payment of compensation from our own government in recognition of Canada’s failure under international law to protect the interests of the
Hong Kong veterans with respect to the “grave breaches” of the Geneva Conventions committed by the Japanese.
We have had the privilege of working with past presidents and senior officers of the HKVA, including Bill Mayne, Kay Christie, Harry Atkinson, John Stroud, Roger Cyr and Phil Doddridge, to protect their rights as veterans and to ensure their courageous
stories will never be forgotten by Canadians.
Brian N. Forbes, B.Comm., LL.B.
Chairman, The War Amps Executive Committee
Chairman, National Council of Veteran Associations in Canada
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