FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 24, 2018
Update on National Commemorative Project to Honour Chinese Canadian Soldier
The Chinese Canadian Military Museum Society, Philanthropist Jack Gin and The Hill 70 Memorial Project Team announce update to fundraising and overall tribute effort for Frederick Lee
Vancouver, BC – Three Canadian organizations, the Chinese Canadian Military Museum Society, Philanthropist Jack Gin and The Hill 70 Memorial Project Team, today announced their intention to pay tribute to a soldier of Chinese descent who died in service of Canada during the First World War.
Frederick Lee was among only 300 or so Canadians of Chinese heritage who were permitted to enlist with the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the Great War. After having fought at Vimy Ridge, he was killed in action in August 1917 at the Battle of Hill 70 and has no known last resting place.
Lee’s service to Canada will be honoured in a number of ways by the Chinese Military Museum (CCMMS), the Hill 70 Memorial Project, and the “Finding Fred Lee” Project. This national commemorative effort will include:
- a dedicated walkway and audio vignette at the new Hill 70 Memorial that is currently under construction in France.
- a special supplement to the Hill 70 Educational Program that will be distributed to 3,500 secondary schools across Canada.
- a graphic novel outlining the story of Frederick Lee, that will be included in the special educational supplement.
- a research initiative to trace Frederick Lee’s ancestors
A key volunteer in this effort is Vancouver entrepreneur and philanthropist Jack Gin, who urged all Chinese Canadians to support this commemorative effort.
“Today, I’m reaching out to challenge our community, from coast to coast, to assist us and The Hill 70 Project Team to get the Frederick Lee Commemorative Initiative fully funded by Remembrance Day 2018,” stated Gin.
“This project is significant for Canadians of all backgrounds, but most certainly for those of Asian descent,” stated King Wan, President of the CCMMS. “The unknown story is that there was always diversity in our military history, and Frederick Lee, of Chinese heritage, fought as a Canadian over 100 years ago.”
“This memorial and educational program, focusing on a Chinese Canadian volunteer with the 172nd Battalion (Rocky Mountain Rangers Regiment) of Kamloops, is representative of Canada’s ‘strength in diversity’,” added Gin. “He is another example of the contributions made by many early Chinese Canadians in the building of our nation – all in spite of being denied the basic rights of other Canadians at that time. This is our opportunity to recognize Lee as a Canadian role model to the world.”
Further announcements regarding the Frederick Lee Commemorative Initiative will be made soon.
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About Finding Fred Lee
“Finding Fred Lee” is a volunteer project that aims to complete the full story of Frederick Lee by focusing on three main objectives: 1) to raise funds for The Hill 70 Memorial Project; 2) to find his true life story and trace the full extent of his family across two continents; and 3) to create awareness and educational resources for schools and communities across Canada. www.findingfredlee.com
About the Chinese Canada Military Museum Society
The Chinese Canadian Military Museum Society was created in November 1998. The passion and vision behind its establishment was its founder and our first president, Army Col. Howe Lee.
Chinese Canadian participation in both world wars is not taught in most history classes. And yet the contributions of this group was significant both for Canada’s war effort but also for the Chinese community as a whole.
The role of our museum society is to research, collect, record and preserve stories, artifacts, memorabilia and photographs that help illustrate this important part of Canadian history. Today, we also work to educate a new generation of Canadians on the role the Chinese played in our country’s history. www.ccmms.ca
About The Hill70 Memorial Project
The Hill 70 Memorial Project is a volunteer driven effort with a team of about 75 people, composed of architects, bankers, lawyers, teachers & university professors, ex-military personnel, media experts, property developers, project managers and many others. It has been backed by a number of prominent Canadians who serve as its Honorary Advisors: this group includes the former Gov. Gen., the Past Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Canada, and former astronaut Chris Hadfield. www.hill70.ca