It is no coincidence that I’ve chosen TODAY to discuss Dutch people’s fondness of Canucks. On 5 May 1945, the First Canadian Army was in large part responsible for the liberation of the Netherlands. Ask any Dutchie about Canada (especially those in their senior years) and they will surely praise the liberation efforts of the Canadian troops. The liberation came at a critical time for the Dutch people, as thousands were left starving and ill after the long ‘hunger-winter’.
The liberation of the Netherlands was no small feat, with some 8,000 Canadian soldiers losing their lives on Dutch soil. The British, American, French and Polish also assisted the liberation in various parts of the Netherlands.
Dutch Canadian relationship is strong
Prior to the liberation however, Dutch Canadian relations were already strong. The Dutch royal family sought refuge in Canada during the war. In fact, we Canadians could have even claimed Princess Margriet as our own, as she was born in Ottawa during the royal exile. The Canadian government went so far as to declare the maternity suite of the Ottawa Civic hospital “extra-territorial”, allowing Princess Margriet’s citizenship to be solely Dutch. I do have to wonder if there were any other babies born that day (in the same maternity suite) who might still be able to make a claim at Dutch citizenship? 😉
The Dutch-Canadian love affair further intensified after the war. It seems our hunky Canadian soldiers made quite the splash amongst Dutch women! In fact, over 2,000 blushing war-brides headed to Canada after the war.
When it comes time to head back to my motherland, I am sure to never be far from a Dutchie! According to the Canada 2006 Census, there were 1,035,965 Canadians of Dutch descent living in Canada. It turns out, that you just can’t escape the Dutch 😉 😉
**Thanks to fan Pamela Riley and Uncle Ken for urging me to write this post.