The Valley’s Gabor Szamosi, 85, currently has tulips growing all over his yard in honour of Canada’s war veterans who liberated the Netherlands during the Second World War. (Submitted photo)

The Valley’s Gabor Szamosi, 85, currently has tulips growing all over his yard in honour of Canada’s war veterans who liberated the Netherlands during the Second World War. (Submitted photo)

Small ceremony planned at Duncan cenotaph to commemorate liberation of Netherlands; tulips welcome

In lieu of attending due to size limitations, people are encouraged to place tulips beforehand

The 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands during the Second World War will be celebrated on May 5.

With Canadian forces playing such a vital role in the liberation of the Dutch people, war veterans from across the country have been attending ceremonies in the Netherlands to mark the occasion on May 5 every year for decades.

But, with the COVID-19 crisis causing the cancellation of the ceremonies this year, preparations are underway to have a small gathering of less than five people to commemorate the occasion at the cenotaph in Duncan, located in Charles Hoey Park.

RELATED STORY: COUPLE LAYS WREATH AT DUNCAN CENOTAPH TO HONOUR FALLEN SOLDIER

Greg Sumner, who is a volunteer chaplain for the Cowichan Valley’s Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 53, and George Brewster, a Canadian war veteran who fought to liberate the Netherlands, had been invited by Veterans Affairs Canada to attend the Dutch ceremonies this year before the trip was canceled due to the pandemic.

Sumner said he was contacted by a Dutch couple, Hans and Atty Terpstra, who had emigrated to the Cowichan Valley, and they expressed their wish to place tulips at Duncan’s cenotaph on May 5 in a ceremony, but were concerned that gatherings of no more of five people are currently allowed.

Tulips are the traditional way for the Netherlands to thank Canada for its help in the war after the Dutch royal family sent 100,000 tulip bulbs to Ottawa in 1945 in gratitude for the Canadians who fought to liberate the country, and for Canada having sheltered the future Queen Juliana and her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.

RELATED STORY: LAKE COWICHAN REMEMBERS THE FALLEN WITH IMPRESSIVE CENOTAPH CEREMONY

“There’s little pockets of people from the Netherlands living in the Valley,” Sumner said.

“One gentleman, 85-year-old Gabor Szamosi, currently has tulips growing all over his yard after he bought a lot of tulip bulbs during the legion’s fundraiser last year.”

Sumner said the Terpstras, Brewster and himself will be the only attendees at the ceremony on May 5 at the cenotaph.

“But we were hoping that, while there will be just four of us at the ceremony, that people may want to place tulips on their own at the cenotaph on May 4 and May 5 before the ceremony to help us honour the Canadians who helped free the Netherlands,” he said.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

World War II

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

There still has been no arrests and the investigation is ongoing into the deaths of Nellie Williams and Fran Shurie on Christmas Eve, 2019. Police are asking for the public’s assistance in solving the crime. This memorial, located near Trunk Road and Canada Avenue where the crime occurred, still stands at the site of the double homicide. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Investigation continues into Duncan double murder

Police ask anyone with information on Christmas Eve, 2019, crime to contact them

An Island Health graph showing COVID-19 cases in the central Island by local health area between Dec. 27 and Jan. 23. (Island Health image)
Central Island’s COVID-19 case spike shifting, says Island Health

Cowichan Valley has seen the highest number of cases, but Nanaimo and south Island seeing upticks

Extensive water on No. 4 and 5 at the Mount Brenton Golf Course following heavy rains earlier this month. (Photo submitted)
Mount Brenton Golf Course does a booming business in 2020

A total of 15,000 more rounds played than the previous year

The memorial site for double-murder victims Nellie Williams and Fran Shurie, located in Charles Hoey Park, will be allowed to stay for another two months after the City of Duncan changed its policy on temporary memorials. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Duncan allows temporary memorials to stay longer

Policy change related to memorial for double-homicide victims in city park

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Downtown Fernie is pictured after a snowfall.

Most Read