Local authorities, South Korean war veterans, and Korean consular officials thanked a Vancouver Rotarian and the County of Gapyeong for arranging a donation of masks to Langley. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

Korean county donates masks to Langley

A local memorial has connected the two communities

The South Korean county of Gapyeong has donated 3,000 masks to Langley City and 5,000 to Langley Township.

“We are fighting coronavirus together,” said Michael Chong, the Vancouver Rotarian and ambassador for the Seoul Metropolitan Council.

It’s a follow up from a donation of 20,000 masks to Burnaby earlier this summer.

This time, Langley will receive the masks.

The county of Gapyeong is connected to Langley, not by a traditional sister cities connection, but by a memorial that stands in the Derek Doubleday Arboretum.

The stone marks the Battle of Gapyeong, often known in Canada as the Battle of Kapyong.

READ MORE: War memorial comes from small town in Korea to a Langley park

The battle began on April 23, 1951, and lasted for two days.

A United Nations’ force made up of about 650 troops from the 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry and the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, held off an entire Chinese division, preventing the capture of Seoul, which lay about 60 km away.

The battle by the badly-outnumbered Canadians and Australians marked a turning point in the war.

The stone was officially dedicated in January, 2019.

South Korean consul general Byung-won Chung said the donation of the masks is an expression of friendship and to symbolize the special bond between communities in Korea and Canada.

The masks are to be distributed by the Emergency Operations Centre.

Ginger Sherlock, the head of the Langley Emergency Program, said the masks will go to the Langley Seniors Resource Society, and the Langley Community Services Society. Masks will go to seniors, refugees, single mothers, and other vulnerable populations who need masks to stay safe.

A portion of the masks will be kept for the event of a future emergency, to be distributed to local citizens.

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