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The Netherlands Liberated in 1944/1945

Next Crown Year 2019/2020


Poppy Campaign more and more (re)cognized in the Netherlands

“In remembrance of those who fell”

Poppy drive ZandvoortRemembrance Day 2013 activated people in many places to commemorate those who were killed in the two world wars during military actions. Every year a Poppy Campaign is organized to emphasize that. Dutch people also take part in it increasingly. On the website of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 005 (news and activities) you can read what it means to the Canadian community in more detail.

This year, the RCL Poppy Campaign 2013 was characterized by an increasing level of interest among a younger audience. If you want to appeal to the generation of teenagers, they first do not recognize what it is all about. Sometimes the youngest children are helped by their parents. Often it is possible to discuss with a new group, which increasingly realizes that peace is not obvious. Of course, one recognizes the Poppy from the media. On TV and the Internet, the information comes to us from the United Kingdom, the USA, but also Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The distance is no longer determinative for what we see and hear. Many people actually ask to be permitted to wear a poppy, others just come to donate a (financial) contribution. One is still, but again, becoming more aware of the ultimate sacrifice that our Allies have given for our freedom.

It appears more and more initiatives originate in the Netherlands to actively contribute to the Poppy Campaign. The generation of veterans who for years has been struggling for acceptance now is finally gaining help from a new group. They did not spent their efforts needless. The honour, respect and thanks for all the energy given may never be forgotten. The veterans will always be involved in the Poppy Campaign as consultants and often advising experts. But now there is an urgent need to take over the baton for organizing by a new group of people involved. In 2011 Martin Reelick and Peter Bongers, on behalf of the board of RCL Branch 005, have started the coordination in the west of the Netherlands. This includes approaching the local mayors and businessmen to participate in sponsoring the ideas of Remembrance. At the board of RCL Branch 005 a Chairman Poppy Campaign is appointed, Danny Murphy. His task includes the responsibility of the entire Campaign in the Netherlands.

A few Poppy highlights in 2013:

* In Wassenaar and The Hague a Poppy contribution is well organized for many years by Philip van Leeuwen. Here the Poppy is subtly brought to one’s attention, and is appreciated by the public giving (voluntary) donations at various distribution points. Also this year.

* Members of the staff of the Canadian and Australian Embassies have organized a Poppy fundraising too. RCL branch 005 is very honoured and grateful to have received the proceeds of the 2013 collection.

* Kennemerland region in the Netherlands  is one of the places of origin of the Dutch Poppy Campaign. Veterans and stakeholders now hand over the baton to a new generation, so the organization is also guaranteed in the coming years. Emma Franken, who has taken over the coordination of Gerard Visser, is also taking care of the logistics in the region. In for instance Heemstede, Bloemendaal and Zandvoort at different locations and days the Poppy is presented to the public. In Zandvoort a special thanks goes to Howard Miller and his wife Mirna, as organizers of the first hour, they offered a delicious lunch to the volunteers for two days and a relaxing drink at the end of the Poppy Campaign.

* Furthermore, in Maarheeze, Brunssum, Apeldoorn and the RCL Branch 005 Clubhouse, restaurant Mondani, the Poppy was presented. A great many thanks to all the volunteers, including Peter and Els van Wijngaarden as initiators in Brunssum.

* After the Campaign there were two donations received for the RCL Poppy Fund. From Ter Apel, where RCL Branch 005 on November 23 last was present at a memorial (see elsewhere on the website). As well as a donation from Markelo by Gert Jan Oplaat following a Christmas story which will play upcoming Christmas season in relation to Canadian veterans.

* For next year, the municipality of Bergen op Zoom expressed willingness to cooperate with the Poppy Campaign at their location. Peter Bongers has already started preparations.

* Heard about other highlights? Let us know, we can and will gladly report it.

* Be involved too in the Poppy Campaign in your hometown? Send a message to our Chairman Poppy Campaign, Danny Murphy, or The board of RCL Branch 005 will overlook every suggestion and registration and add it where possible in the overall Poppy Campaign of RCL Branch 005.