BARRY’S BAY – In honour of the 70th anniversary of the Dutch Royal Family’s gift of 100,000 tulips to Canada, Vesey’s Bulbs, Canada’s largest Dutch tulip importer, has donated 105,000 bulbs to the Canadian people.
The original 100,000 bulbs came as a gift of recognition for Canada’s hospitality to the royal family during their stay here in the Second World War and also for the part our forces played in the liberation of the Netherlands. Ottawa celebrates the gift each spring with the Tulip Festival at Dow’s Lake.
This year Vesey’s offered 140 Friendship Tulip Gardens to interested municipalities or community gardens. Those interested applied to the Canadian Garden Council to be considered as one of the 140 recipients. Barry’s Bay was one of these lucky communities.
The Madawaska Valley Horticultural Society sent in their application in August of this year, including in their bid Constance Chippure`s story, a war bride from Holland and a member of the Royal Canadian Legion here in Barry’s Bay. A month later they received word that they had been choosen… receive one of the 140 gardens.
Constance Chippure married a Canadian soldier, Anthony Chippure, in 1945, and travelled to Canada on a war bride ship 4 months later, her husband having had to travel back to Canada with the army. She recalls the shock at arriving in such a rural area with dirt roads and no plumbing (at that time) after having grow up in a city (Hilversum, Holland), but finally settling in after starting a family. Chippure admitted that she has a huge appreciation for flowers, so her involvement in the project is no real surprise.
Get your November 4, 2015 edition of The Valley Gazette to read the full story.