70 years ago 100,000 Dutch tulip bulbs were sent to Canadians as thanks for the role our soldiers played in the liberation of the Netherlands. Grande Prairie has been picked as one of 140 communities to receive a tulip garden on the anniversary to celebrate the continuing friendship between the two countries. Garden Club President Cheryl Volk says they’re honoured to be a part of that history.
“I believe it’s great recognition for Grande Prairie and for the Garden Club; it just shows that there still is unity right across Canada and there’s still a common handshake, which brings everybody together, so I think it’s great.”
Every year tulips are sent to the cenotaph in Ottawa, but for the 70th anniversary, 700 red and white bulbs were sent to communities across the country. In Grande Prairie, a planting ceremony was held Tuesday in the trial gardens behind the cenotaph in Jubilee Park.
“They’re one of our strongest trading partners, and if you’ve ever taken a trip over to Holland, they’re one of the most hospitable,” says Volk. “You definitely will know you’re special if you visit there; they make it special for you. They suffered such hardship that they were so thankful that Canada helped them.”
The story of the Dutch princess born in Ottawa during World War two was shared at the ceremony, which included local veterans and school children. Another will be held when they bloom in the spring.