Prime Minister of the Netherlands christens Don White Tulip
Ottawa, April 17, 2019 – Today, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, officially christened the “Don White Tulip”, after Canadian Second World War veteran Don White who helped liberate the Netherlands in 1945, and in honor of the upcoming celebration of 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands. The christening of the Don White Tulip took place during a ceremony at the Keukenhof, one of the world's largest flower gardens, in the Netherlands.
Prime Minister Rutte first met Mr. Don White on May 5, 2018 in the Netherlands before meeting him again in Canada last October. Mr. White was present at Prime Minister’s address to Canadian Parliament where he received a standing ovation.
“It wasn’t hard at all to come up with a name for this beautiful tulip. The Don White Tulip is a tribute to Mr. Don White who, as part of the Royal Canadian Dragoons, liberated Leeuwarden, and to all other soldiers who liberated the Netherlands. In his mid-90s, Mr. White is still going strong and still active in projects where veterans share their experience with the younger generation,” says Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands.
When asked for permission to use his name, Mr. Don White said: “I am deeply moved and also very proud that Prime Minister Mark Rutte has named the tulip after me.” On invitation by Prime Minister Rutte, Mr. Don White will attend the celebration of 75 years of liberation in Terneuzen later this year, when he will receive the Don White Tulip bulbs.
Tulips are the symbol of friendship between the Netherlands and Canada. After the liberation of the Netherlands, Princess Juliana sent 100,000 tulip bulbs to Canada in gratitude for the hospitality she and her family received during the war. The people of the Netherlands have been sending tulip bulbs every year since, and in 1953, the Canadian Tulip Festival was born.
The Don White Tulip underlines the shared history and the unique bond between the two countries.