Candle lighting around the World to mark the 1949 Estonian
Mass Deportations: St. Johns Cathedral, Hong Kong.
Author: D.M. Helmeste, March 25, 2012.
Short Essay to accompany the two photos:
March 25th arrives earlier in Asia than in Estonia or North America,
and so when candles were lit in St. Johns Cathedral, Hong Kong today
to mark the anniversary of the 1949 mass deportations from Estonia to
Siberia, it was still March 24th in parts of North America. Candles
were lit in St. Michaels Chapel (photo 1), which was fitting in many
ways since it is a memorial chapel established in 1955 for those who
defended the territory against occupation (by Japan during World War
The history of the Colours (damaged flags in photo 2) hanging
above the Chapel is interesting for Estonia in some ways. The Colours
belong to the Volunteer Defense Corps of Hong Kong (equivalent to the
Estonian Kaitseliit) which fought bravely to prevent the Japanese
occupation of the Island, despite London's declaration at the time
that Hong Kong was indefensible. These Colour flags were then hidden
from the Japanese during World War 2. Marked with the battle honour
Hong Kong the flags (Colours) were laid up in St. Johns Cathedral
in 1971 and by tradition, will remain there until they disintegrate.
St. Johns Cathedral, Hong Kong.