Veterans mark historic hockey games
An annual match honours relationships forged during the Korean War.
A hockey team comprising Canadian Korean War veterans, expats living in Korea, and military personnel took to the ice in January to honour historic matches that took place during the Korean War.
The Imjin Classic was inspired by hockey games held in the winter of 1952–53 between two Canadian military regiments that fought in the conflict: the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry and the Royal 22nd Regiment. Those games were played on the frozen Imjin River in Paju City, northeast of Seoul.
On January 19, 2018, the Canadian hockey squad suited up against a team comprised of players from Yonsei University and Korea University. The game was played near Paju as the Olympic torch passed through on its way to the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. Among the players were retired Canadian Korean War veterans Colonel Claude Charland, Sergeant Dennis Moore, and Lieutenant Colonel John Bishop.
The Korean War began on June 25, 1950, and the combat phase ended on July 27, 1953, with the signing of the Korean Armistice Agreement. Many Canadians continued to serve in Korea between the signing of the armistice and the end of 1955.
The inaugural Imjin Classic, held in 2013, was the brainchild of Canadian Senator Yonah Martin, who was inspired to organize the commemorative match after seeing a black-and-white photo of the “Princess Pats” and the “Van Doos” playing in Korea in 1952.
Canadian soldiers play hockey on the Imjin River in Korea, 1952. NEWS