Trevor VanDerhoek

Agassiz tulip tribute marks Dutch liberation

700 red and white tulips will bloom next spring as a thank you to Canada

By Greg Laychak

When spring arrives next year Pioneer Park will have a new red and white display blooming, all thanks to a bit of Canadian war history.

Seventy years ago, the Dutch royal family gave Canada a gift of 100,000 tulip bulbs at the end of the Second World War to thank them for their help in liberating the Netherlands and harbouring the family in their time of need.

Last week, Agassiz’s central park was the recipient of a smaller piece of that heritage – in the form of 700 red and white tulip bulbs that were planted in front of the park’s sign.

Volunteers from Agassiz Christian school and the Legion joined District of Kent staff and Mayor John Van Laerhoven to plant the bulbs in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Friendship Tulip Garden.

“Today we will plant these tulips so we can join in the sea of red and white that will be celebrated from coast to coast,” said Mayor Van Laerhoven to the small crowd gathered near the garden. “Please join us next spring when we host a blooming celebration to mark this special gift.”

Agassiz is one of 140 communities across Canada that was awarded the bulbs by the Canadian Garden Council in collaboration with the Canadian Tulip Festival and the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association.

“Because the district of Kent and Agassiz has such a strong tie to the Netherlands and the Dutch community it was a no-brainer to apply on behalf of the council of the District of Kent to be selected as one of the planting gardens,” said Kerry Hilts, outgoing director of community services for the District of Kent recreation and park services.

After planting a few of the bulbs, Grade 6 Agassiz Christian school student Carter Lanting explained why he was involved in the ceremony.

“All of my heritage is Dutch on one side,” Lanting said. “It’s pretty cool that Holland would send things over here.”

According to district gardener Scott Hurst the tulip bulbs are from Prince Edward Island and will produce their flowers in the spring after they’ve had time to chill in the winter weather.

“Depending on the winter we have, the bulbs will come up mid-March to early April,” Hurst said.

Then the sign about the anniversary planting will go up again in time for the blooming ceremony, because as Hurst said, “you want to have your finale.”

The Pioneer Park display will be featured in full bloom on Canada’s Garden Route website in the spring along with all of the other community tulip bulb recipients.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to bring the youth, seniors and adults of Agassiz together and this will be something that can be remembered next year when everything’s blooming,” said Hilts.

 

Just Posted

Mt. Hicks fire 15% contained, continues to burn north of Agassiz

The fire, suspected to be caused by a vehicle with a flat tire, not threatening any structures

UPDATE: Anonymous tip leads DFO night patrol to Fraser River poachers

Charges pending after poachers arrested at night while fishing, 48 sockeye, harbour seal seized

Wildfire update: Fires burning in Fraser Canyon, Highway 7 and Skagit Valley

Several fires in the region are under ‘modified response’ meaning no firefighters are attending

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Chilliwack is home to Sasquatch, the first Canadian-designed hops plant

Created by Hops Connect, the Sasquatch hop is the country’s first patented hops plant

B.C. wildfires 2018: Hazy skies impacting crews in spotting new fires

18,000 people are on an evacuation alert, with 3,000 homes under an evacuation order

Minister optimistic after 2 days of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Canadian and U.S. officials met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss future of the treaty

Man dies in B.C. police cell while awaiting court hearing

An independent investigation is underway after a man died while in Penticton police custody Aug. 16

RCMP appeal for tips, dashcam footage in German tourist shooting west of Calgary

The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre

2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

PHSA says that in-unit guards would do more harm than good

Former B.C. optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

Police responding to ‘unfolding’ incident in Maple Ridge suburb

Helicopter, dog team, guns drawn and 16 police vehicles at Maple Ridge property

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

1954-built trolleybus hits Vancouver roads for 70th anniversary

TransLink to offer free rides on a retrofitted electric trolley bus to commemorate anniversary

Most Read