Telkwa will plant tulips to celebrate 1945 Dutch gift

Telkwa's Dutch-Canadian Friendship Tulip Garden planting ceremony is 1p.m. Thursday at the corner of Hankin Ave and Hwy 16.

The Canadian Garden Council has selected Telkwa as one of the 140 places where a Dutch-Canadian Friendship Tulip Garden will be.

The village will have a planting ceremony at the corner of Highway 16 and Hankin Avenue at 1 p.m. this Thursday to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Canada receiving 100,000 tulips from the Dutch for providing assistance to them in the Second World War.

At the village council’s regular meeting, economic development officer Jane Stevenson invited all of council to attend the ceremony and asked for an elected official to do a speech, to which Coun. Leroy Dekens volunteered.

“Due to my background, being Dutch, do put me down for making a speech or some sort of a comment,” said Dekens.

Mayor Darcy Repen suggested that he wanted to see the gardens grow over time with the help of residents.

“At the moment, I should be there on the 22nd. There is the possibility that I get called out to work, but I’ve scheduled that in,” said Mayor Darcy Repen. “I think there’s an opportunity … for a new initiative here too, where given the Dutch community that we have, we might be able to annually actually grow that with resident donations.”

Stevenson also mentioned that she was alerted to this opportunity by Nancy and Sieger Duursma.

“I really want to acknowledge if it wasn’t for Sieger and Nancy Duursma who called me and letting me know of this opportunity, we wouldn’t known about this,” said Stevenson. “I think that we really need to acknowledge the Duursma family either during the ceremony or just from council on letter.”

Mayor Repen declared at council his support for sending the Duursmas a letter.

According to a Village of Telkwa press release, the gardens “will be located throughout the Village and will consist of 700 red and white tulip bulbs. Vesey’s Bulbs of Prince Edward Island donated these bulbs to the Village.”

It also mentioned that Canada received the 100,000 tulips from the Netherlands for its role in its liberation and the hospitality Canada provided to the Dutch royal family in  Ottawa during the Second World War.

The press release added that Telkwa’s application was among the 400 applications that the Canadian Garden Council received.