A time to remember: Tulips in the spring

Trent Ernst, Editor

Tumbler Ridge is one of 140 communities across Canada and one of only 15 in BC to receive a tulip garden to celebrate the gift of 100,000 tulip bulbs sent to Canadians by the Dutch Royal family in 1945, in thanks for Canadian hospitality and the liberation of Holland.

The Friendship Gardens will have 700 red and white tulips planted in various gardens throughout the District, as well as at the Community Garden. The volunteers at the community garden planted 300 bulbs in less than one hour this afternoon! Watch for the tulip display this spring.
This year marks seventy years since that historic event. The tulip bulbs were donated by Veseys Bulbs, a Prince Edward Island-based gardening supply company, as a “symbolic renewal” of the original gift.

In 1945 all the bulbs were planted in the Capital Region. This time, 700 bulbs were distributed to 140 community gardens nationwide, all connected to a symbolic garden of 7,000 bulbs in Canada’s Capital.

To mark the 70th Anniversary of the first bloom of the Dutch gift of tulips to Canadians, all of the 70th Anniversary Dutch-Canadian Friendship Gardens will be featured, in full bloom on this website in the spring of 2016. Associated with each garden gift would be a planting ceremony event, in the fall of 2015, embracing the community, telling the story and including local students, veterans and dignitaries.

The original bequest gave rise to the Ottawa Tulip Festival, which has become an annual spring ritual in the nation’s capital. The tulip bulbs not only celebrate the gift made by the Dutch Royal Family, but as a way to educate Canadians as to why the gift was given to Canadians in the fall of 1945, and the role Canadians played during the Second World War – specifically, their role in liberating The Netherlands

By distrusting the bulbs to 140 communities, Canadians from across the country are able to take part in this anniversary.

In order to qualify, the Community Garden Society had to submit an outline about why hosting the garden was important to them, as well as a description of the proposed location for the garden.

And, like the program itself, the Community Garden chose to distribute the bulbs around town; the lion’s share are in the Community Garden by the Museum, but a large number of tulip bulbs were planted in the new park near the cenotaph.

Last week, a symbolic planting of the last bulb was held, while kids from Tumbler Ridge Elementary read a poem written by their teacher about the significance of the bulbs.

Tulips In The Spring
Barb Leuze
A tulip in the springtime is a lovely sight to see,
And tulips tell a story that is special as can be.
For many, many years ago when countries were at war,
A princess was kept safe and sound on Canada’s peaceful shore
And to her country, Holland, our soldiers went to fight,
To free the captive people and start to make things right.
When at last the war was over, as thanks for Canada’s aid
One hundred thousand tulips as gifts to us were made.
So thank you Canadian soldiers, you did a brave and noble thing,
And thanks to Holland for the gift of tulips, in the spring.