Editor’s note: this is the second of a two-part episode featuring an interview with Second World War veteran Don White. This episode focuses on Don’s memories of the liberation of the Netherlands. We covered Don’s early military career and his time in Italy in the previous episode entitled “Interviewing Don White”. Don’s daughters, Holly and Heather, and Nathan Kehler of Project ‘44 were also present for the interview.
In recent years, Don White has found himself at the centre of Canadian-Dutch commemorations of the end of the war in Europe. To learn more about this bi-national connection, explore our online exposition, Maple Leaves & Tulips: 75 Years, Then and Now.
In May 2018, Don White first met Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in Leeuwarden during celebrations for the 73rd anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands.
In October 2018, Prime Minister Rutte visited Canada and honoured Don White and his fellow liberators in a speech in the House of Commons.
In April 2019, Prime Minister Rutte christened the “Don White Tulip” in honour of the upcoming 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands.
In August 2019, Don met Prime Minister Rutte in The Hague, where Rutte presented Don with the Don White tulips and bulbs in front of Governor General Julie Payette and the Canadian ambassador.
During the same trip, Don represented all Canadian veterans at an international ceremony in Terneuzen. He met the Kings and Queens of the Netherlands and Belgium and, in a separate event, had tea with Dutch Princess Margriet in the gardens of Het Loo Palace.
In October 2019, Don participated in planting the Liberation75 tulips in Ottawa.
Don was looking forward to returning to the Netherlands this spring for the Liberation75 ceremonies. Here’s hoping he will be well enough to travel in one year’s time.
All proceeds support the Juno Beach Centre, Canada’s Second World War Museum in Normandy, France and allow us to continue to offer this content to listeners across Canada!
The following links offer more information on the topics discussed in this episode:
Juno Beach & Beyond is hosted and edited by Alex Fitzgerald-Black, the Juno Beach Centre Association’s Operations and Outreach Manager.
Mackenzie King’s speech to British Parliament from the British Pathé YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SlEvclY5LE&t=48s
Artillery firing sounds from the CBC News: The National YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsCSQ4uWR1Y
Female veteran’s voice (Eileen Green, née Short) Courtesy of The Memory Project, Historica Canada: http://www.thememoryproject.com/stories/383:eileen-green-nee-short/
Winston Churchill’s “Finest Hour” speech from Jonathan Thomas’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jB5wZtV1MWM
Spitfire sound effect from Jason Kirby’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgZI4tAoMN0
Dramatic Interlude by Alexander Nakarada | https://www.serpentsoundstudios.com
Music promoted by https://www.free-stock-music.com
Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Dispatches from Juno shares all the news, events, and stories from the Juno Beach Centre in France and Canada. Interested in contributing a story to the blog? Email the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.