Thousands of bright orange flowers have blossomed into a colourful expression of gratitude, peace, and freedom at the Derek Doubleday Arboretum – celebrating the milestone anniversary of the Dutch people being freed from Nazi occupation by Canadian troops.
The 75th anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands is being celebrated in 2020 by the Canadian Tulip Festival, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands, and the National Capital Commission through the special Liberation 75 tulip.
Last year, a Canada-wide initiative was launched to plant 1.1 million of the tulips across the country to recognize the milestone and the 1.1 million Canadians who served in the Second World War.
A motion to participate was put forward by Township of Langley Councillor Margaret Kunst and unanimously approved by Township Council.
Last fall, 7,500 Liberation 75 tulip bulbs were planted in the Arboretum to honour the Langley residents who served during the war and fought with the Canadian troops who were instrumental in freeing the Dutch people from occupation by Nazi Germany in 1945.
“The Liberation of the Netherlands was monumental for the Netherlands and Canada, and for the entire world,” said Township of Langley Mayor Jack Froese.
“The extraordinary efforts made by Canadian soldiers brought food and relief to millions of desperate and grateful people and helped bring an end to World War II,” he added.
A tulip planting ceremony was held at the Arboretum in October, and attended by Henk Snoeken, Consul-General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and residents who had experienced Liberation firsthand.
The Liberation 75 bulbs have now bloomed into bright orange tulips, the colour associated with the Dutch.
The display, which will flower each April, is a reminder of the incredible effort made by Canadians soldiers and a symbol of the friendship between Canada and the Netherlands.
Notable locations for viewing large plantings of red, ‘Canadian Liberator’ blooming tulips include Seaforth Armoury, Victory Square and Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver, New Chelsea Society seniors’ homes and at the Highway of Heroes sign in the Fraser Valley on Highway One.
The Derek Doubleday Arboretum, in the 21200 block of Fraser Highway, also features the Walk to Remember and commemorative structure for soldiers who fell in Afghanistan, an oak tree grown from an acorn from Vimy Ridge, and the Gapyeong Stone, which recognizes the Canadians who played a pivotal role during the Korean War.
People may go to the Derek Doubleday Arboretum to view the tulips. However, in following government guidelines on minimizing the spread of COVID-19 and supporting physical distancing, the parking lot is closed at this time.
5000 for care homes and hospitals
On April 22, 2020, 5000 bouquets of tulips will be distributed to more than 20 care homes, retirement residences, and hospitals throughout the Lower Mainland.
With grant monies received from private and corporate sponsors, Veterans Affairs Canada, the City of Chilliwack, City of Burnaby, and the City of Langley, tulip bulbs were planted by Van Noort Bulb Co. Ltd., on behalf of the Dutch Liberation 2020 Canadian Society.
Bouquets of fresh tulips will, with the help of volunteers of Tenold Transportation and Van Noort Bulb Co. Ltd., be given to thank front line health care workers during COVID-19.
Langley Memorial Hospital and Harrison Landing are among the local Langley recipients.
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