Mayor returns after week long trip representing Burlington in Holland during historic 70th anniversary celebrating the end of WW II

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 13, 2015


Large parts of this article were first published in a blog Mayor Goldring contributes to from time to time

The group that spent close to a week in Holland representing Burlington in one of the most politically and historically significant events for the western world are all back in town.

Odd house - group photo

Burlington and Apeldoorn residents touring the Kasteel Cannenburch in Vaassen.

Mayor Rick Goldring and Councillor Blair Lancaster represented the city officially. Staff members Scott Stewart and Rob Peachy took part in the trip along with members of Burlington’s Dutch Community and the Burlington Teen Tour Band.

The event was the 70th year celebration of the end of the Second World War. The remaining members of the armed forces who fought that war are in their 90’s – the chances of them taking part in the next celebration ten years from now is remote.

Burlington crew in Holland

Brian Bourne, Mayors John Berends and Rick Goldring, Scott Stewart, Councillor Blair Lancaster, Ed Dorr, Jan Koorenhof and Charles Minken come together with the Burlington Teen Tour Band and visiting Burlington residents for the preview of Burlington Park in Apeldoorn.

The occasion was an opportunity for Burlington to further cement its relationship with Apeldoorn, the city was twinned with ten years ago.

Mayor Goldring called the trip “the experience of a lifetime”.

The celebrations were multi-faceted. In April, 21 Burlington students from participating high schools travelled to Apeldoorn for a week-long exchange. There was also an art exchange and pen pal program between participating Grade 4 and 5 students.

Street signs for cyclists

Cycling is a key mode of transportation in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands. Ideas for encouraging cycling in Burlington were shared.

Apeldoorn is a city of approximately 150,000, while Burlington has about 180,000 residents. We have many similarities despite our physical distance.

The Burlington delegation met with municipal officials on several occasions to share ideas and best practices, with discussions around infrastructure, sustainability, fleet, efficiencies, greenspace management and council procedure, among others.

There were also discussions about possible economic development opportunities. Economic development is a priority for both Apeldoorn Mayor John Berends and myself.

The close ties between the Canadian and Dutch people date back 70 years when the Canadian Forces liberated Apledoorn in April 1945 and the rest of the country by May 5, 1945.

Today, both Canada and the Netherlands are highly regarded in the international community for our strong open democracies with enduring traditions of tolerance and respect for human rights and the rule of law. We are natural friends and partners in so many ways.

Wtreath laying

Mayors Rick Goldring and John Berends lay a wreath at Loenen, the Netherlands.

Mayor Goldring said the visit to Holten Cemetery to honour our Canadian soldiers “touched my heart, as did the veteran’s parades in Apeldoorn and Wageningen.” Apeldoorn Mayor John Berends and Mayor Goldring laid a wreath at Loenen.

“I have always been proud to be Canadian” said Mayor Golddring. “This past week, observing thousands of Dutch citizens waving Canadian flags and seeing young Dutch children run up and hand our veterans homemade cards and fresh flowers during the parade deepened my patriotism.”

Mayor and Blair with veteran #2

Canadian veteran and Burlington resident Mr. Jim Warford meets with Councillor Blair Lancaster and Mayor Rick Goldring.

Mayor Blair with soldier

Councillor Blair Lancaster and Mayor Rick Goldring with Canadian veteran and Burlington resident Mr. Stan Egerton.

“Last week”, while in Holland, “ I also had the opportunity to connect with Burlington veterans Mr. Jim Warford and Mr. Stan Egerton in Apeldoorn. Words are not enough to describe the honour of shaking their hands.”

“It is so very important to teach our young people about the importance of freedom and the relationship between Canada and the Netherlands. Everywhere I went, people spoke about the talent, precision and dedication of our young people in the band. They truly are the pride of Burlington and Canada’s Musical Ambassadors.”

Princess Holland

Princess Margriet of the Netherlands meets members of the City of Burlington delegation in Apeldoorn.

Goldring reminded us that: “It is special to note that during the Second World War, the Dutch Flag was flown over the Parliament Buildings and Peace Tower in Ottawa when Princess Margriet was born in Canada. She is a beloved daughter of Canada.”

The Burlington delegation to Holland had an opportunity to meet Princess Margriet during their visit. “She was gracious and very complimentary of Canada and the relationship with Burlington.” Said the Mayor.

Goldring spoke during the preview of the Burlington Garden in Apeldoorn and said:

“I would like to extend warm greetings to Mayor John Berends, Apeldoorn Burlington Committee Chair Jan Koorenhof, Burlington Apeldoorn Committee Chair Charles Minken, Burlington Mundialization Chair Ed Dorr, our citizens, the Burlington Teen Tour Band and our friends in attendance.

Canada bench

A bench embossed with maple leaves in Burlington Garden in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands. The park was a mundialization initiative.

“What a glorious occasion it is to be here today at the preview of Burlington Garden during the 10th anniversary of the official twinning of Burlington and Apeldoorn.

“The Burlington Garden is a meaningful initiative for both the City of Apeldoorn and the City of Burlington.

“Two years ago, Mayor Berends and I celebrated the ground-breaking for Apeldoorn Park in downtown Burlington. How quickly time has passed, my friend.

“Apeldoorn Park officially opened in Burlington in September 2014. It was a special occasion as Apeldoorn high school students were present at the opening.

“It has many Dutch features, with orange play equipment, benches engraved with tulips, and hundreds of Apeldoorn tulips.

BTTB lining street

Burlington Teen Tour Band members line a street in Apeldoorn for the walk of silence on the Day of Remembrance on Monday, May 4.

“Every time I drive or walk by Apeldoorn Park, I see children playing or seniors sitting enjoying the scenery. Apeldoorn Park is a park that holds a special place in the hearts of our residents. It is an honour to be here today at the opening of Burlington Garden.

“This garden embodies the friendship and close bond between the people of Burlington and Apeldoorn. It is also symbolic of city council’s dedication to the welfare of the people of Apeldoorn, as the garden will be maintained by area citizens and residents of Heeren Loo.

“It is beautiful to think that children will be playing in Burlington Garden at the same time as children in Apeldoorn Park. Although we are separated by a vast ocean and hundreds of miles, we are family.




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2 comments to Mayor returns after week long trip representing Burlington in Holland during historic 70th anniversary celebrating the end of WW II

  • Randy Lipschitz

    The mayor is wearing white socks.

  • Frank Rance

    Congratulations to Mayor Goldring and Councillor Lancaster for an excellent job in representing Burlington with our twin city in Apeldoorn.