April 24 marked the 65th anniversary of the Battle of Kapyong. The battle was an important conflict in the Korean War (1950-1953).
On April 24, 1951, Canadian soldiers from 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (2PPCLI), along with United Nation forces from Australia and Britain, took up positions to halt the advancement of enemy troops. The approximately 700 members of 2PPCLI were dug into Hill 677 overlooking the Kapyong River valley. Their mission was to stop the advance of the Communist Chinese army, whose sights were set on Seoul, Korea.
Vastly outnumbered by the enemy, the soldiers of 2PPCLI were surrounded on every side. The Canadians fought valiantly, successfully repelling repeated waves of attack. Many of those attacks came in the night, signalled by the spine-tingling blast of a Chinese bugle call that pierced the darkness. The bugle call was followed immediately by the barrage of enemy assault. On April 25, 1951, the Chinese army withdrew. The Canadians of 2PPCLI had staved off the Communist army’s advance.
Today, there are three veterans of the Battle of Kapyong remaining in Manitoba. I believe it is important that our community remember their sacrifice and service in this historic battle.
Therefore I have launched an initiative to rename the city park at the corner of Ness and Amherst ‘Kapyong Park". I have received overwhelming support from the Korean War Veterans, The Korean Society of Manitoba, the current Commanding Officer of 2PPCLI, The Royal Military Institute of Manitoba, The Royal Canadian Legion #4 of St. James, the Military Family Resource Centre, city council colleagues and many members of the St. James community.
The motion to rename the park passed unanimously through the Assiniboine Community Committee and will now go before the Standing Policy Committee on Protection, Community Services and Parks on May 9. If supported on May 9, the park will be renamed at a ceremony in late summer or early fall. I invite you to attend. Details of that public ceremony will be made available when the date and time have been set.
If you have questions or comments, please contact my office at 204-986-5848 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit scottgillingham.ca to sign up for our e-newsletter.