The Simms Park tulips, planted in October to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands are in full bloom, at the perfect time. The Liberation of the Netherlands became official on May 5, 1945, leading to the unconditional surrender of all German forces on the continent two days later (May 7). The next day, May 8, was declared Victory in Europe (V-E) Day. Tony Hyrko photo

75th anniversary: Courtenay remembers Liberation of the Netherlands

May 5, 2020 marks 75 years since enemy forces surrendered in the Netherlands

Record staff

Some very special tulips, commemorating a historic milestone, are in full bloom in gardens throughout the Comox Valley.

The beautiful red Canadian Liberator tulips celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands (May 5, 1945), which was the catalyst for the end of the Second World War.

The unconditional surrender of all German forces on the continent followed two days later (May 7). The next day, May 8, 1945, was declared Victory in Europe (V-E) Day.

Branches throughout the BC/Yukon Command of the Royal Canadian Legion participated in a tulip-planting initiative in October, to prepare for the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands, as well as to honour the 1.1 million Canadians who served during the Second World War.

Approximately 1,000 bulbs were planted at Simms Park, the Native Sons Hall and the Courtenay Legion by City of Courtenay staff and members of the Courtenay Legion.

The tulip has become a symbol of friendship between the Netherlands and Canada. Liberation75 celebrates the shared history between the two countries and the role that Canadian soldiers played in liberating the Netherlands.

As part of the initiative, more than 1.1 million bulbs were planted at schools across Canada. Many of these special bulbs were also planted in home gardens within the Comox Valley. The Courtenay Legion sold bulb packs in October, with proceeds from the sales being used to support veterans and their families in the Comox Valley.

While a planned candlelight tribute for this momentous event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Legion encourages everyone to remember this occasion by visiting the local tulip displays.

For more information, contact City of Courtenay Public Works at 250-338-1525 or email

-With files from the City of Courtenay


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