View Full Version : Liberation of Holland

2005-May-05, 03:03 PM

I have a vested interest in both sides of the story, as a Canadian its a proud day, but also as both my parents are from Holland and lived through some or all of the war (my father was 10 when it ended, my mom 5). My mom actually remembers the day vaguely with all the flags out and receiving a peice of chocolate froma Canadian soldier.

Having been in Holland a few times, it is always amazing the continued gratitude of the Dutch. They still send a enormous amount of tulip and daffodil bulbs to the Canadian goverment every year.


2005-May-05, 03:33 PM
It is wonderful. I am glad you brought this up. Many Canadian troops bleed all over Holland. This is a connection that none can deny.

I think that we should see that the blood shed was Canada's. We should see that the Dutch shed much blood. And, if we are to be honest, the Germans did as well.

This last is not to minimize the sacrifice of Canadians: and definitely the Dutch. The lesson, and it was a lesson, is that to roll in each others blood is to understand each other. I like to think that at least us Canadians, Dutch ,and Germans have tasted each others blood: And because of this we will never do it again. Or if so, at least we will do it as brothers and sisters in arms.

2005-May-05, 04:58 PM
I've been to Holland for half a day about fifteen years ago. (Has it been that long?) Passing through, really, but I did have a chance to skip around Amsterdam for a few hours.

I enjoyed myself.

I will say that it was a weird experience smelling hemp at 2pm at a McDonald's located somewhere near the train station, but at no point while we were rushing through town did I ever feel like I was anything less than perfectly safe, and I'm usually a little tense in unfamiliar areas and crowds.

Everybody was so nice, and the KLM people at Amsterdam's airport took excellent care of us when our boarding passes had gotten lost in the system (power failure in Halifax when we departed the year the Halifax International Airport went "paperless", go figure). It was a little hectic, but we all got home just fine.

My father told me that he'd had a great experience in Holland when they'd stopped there with the HMCS Bonaventure in the late 60s.

I'd love to go back someday and visit the rest of the country, and actually get to stop and meet people.

2005-May-05, 05:27 PM
As a callow youth, in the army, I was in Holland in the 70s. At the time all I wanted to do was to go the Amsterdam a smoke some weed. Got really choked because all they had in those days was hash. I was from BC so I was one of the few people on the planet who felt they were riped off.

Your Dad was on the Bonaventure? Cool. Canada's last aircraft carrier, eh? Last I heard we sold the Bonny to India. I bet they have already scraped now.

Edit for spelling

2005-May-05, 05:39 PM
A few years back my parents ended up going to the cemetary at Holten (sp?). The brother of a good friend of my mom died in Holland and is buried their and she asked of my parents could place some flowers. My parents and my aunt and (late) uncle (Dutch) found the grave and they all said they got pretty choked up as it really put a human angle to it. My uncle had also lost his brother and father during the occupation.

2005-May-05, 05:52 PM
Your Dad was on the Bonaventure? Cool. Canada's last aircraft carrier, eh? Last I heard we sold the Bonny to India. I bet they have already scraped now.

Yup, and later the Margaree.

The Bonny wasn't sold to India though.

The last operational flight was on 28 October 1969. In January 1970, Bonaventure carried a Battlion of the Royal 22e Re'giment to Jamaica for a tropical training exercise. Three months later she was sent to northern Norway, to Narvik, to bring back Canadian troops from a NATO exercise when their planned transport was not available. This was her last service.

She was decommissioned at Halifax on 3 July 1970 and sold for scrap and broken up by the end of 1971.

[Edit: Oh hey! That worked! Cool!]

Some nice photos on that site (http://www.unwashed2.homestead.com/Bonaventurehistory.html).

I had a really neat shot at one point, taken from a banshee in a tight bank, over the naval docks in Halifax, with the Bonny practically under the McDonald bridge.