Statement in the House - Second World War Bravery

Murray Rankin - Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the incredible bravery of a recently deceased constituent, Mrs. Nathalia Petrovna Buchan, and her husband, William Muir Buchan, who were Allied prisoners during the Second World War. I also rise to recognize and honour the extraordinary humanitarian actions of Tomohiko Hayashi, a Japanese diplomat who was the commandant of the Lunghua concentration camp outside of Shanghai. His son, Sadayuki Hayashi, came from Japan to be here today.

Mr. Hayashi ensured that prisoners received sufficient food, non-abusive treatment and medical care. He was the only commandant of a concentration camp who was acquitted of all charges following the war, due to his kind treatment of prisoners. His kind treatment included sending Mrs. Buchan to a hospital for treatment with his own car and driver. Her son, David, of Victoria, is also here today .

We should honour these acts of compassion and recognize that beauty and humanity can emerge even in the darkest hours of war.