For anyone collecting old war stories, the story opposite (see this week’s paper) is about my Uncle Alex MacSween, written by my cousin Donald MacSween. Alex MacSween was about seven years older than my father, Ian MacSween, who ministered at Sylvan Lake Memorial Presbyterian Church between 1943 to 1950. My uncle eventually became Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Canada — the highest attainment for a Presbyterian minister in this country.
My father had ulcers — his mother died while he was a teenager, and I think the stress caused by her illness and death led to the ulcers. Although my Dad tried to enlist in Winnipeg, he was rejected. Many of his schoolmates enlisted into a Winnipeg regiment which was sent in late 1941 to defend Hong Kong after only minimal training and into a hopeless situation, thanks to our shortsighted PM Mackenzie King. Needless to say, those who didn’t die or were executed by the Japanese spent a horrible four years as prisoners of war.
Visiting the war cemetery in Hong Kong (truly a beautiful location) was my homage to those men, as well as to my father and uncle. Thanks to Sylvan Lake News for publishing that article.
Thanks to the Sylvan Lake Legion for a well organized Remembrance Day ceremony this morning – great turnout!