My husband/publishing partner Al (not pictured) and I (left), along with author Alan J. Buick (centre) and his wife Carol Buick (right), were privileged to be invited by Saskatchewan Honorary Dutch Consul Judie Dyck to attend a celebration ceremony last week in Moose Jaw, honouring some Saskatchewan veterans who fought to free the Netherlands. We were invited to bring our award-winning, best-selling book, The Little Coat: The Bob and Sue Elliott Story to honour Canadian soldier Bob Elliott's heroism and the historic coat given by Canadian soldiers to the then-10-year-old Dutch girl Sussie Cretier during the war.
This was the program for the Saskatchewan event celebrating the 70th Anniversary of Canadian Liberation of the Netherlands, at Moose Jaw's Western Development Museum, April 24, 2015.
Judie Dyck, standing on the left as Lt. Colonel Christa Oppers-Beumers, Defence Attaché, Kingdom of the Netherlands, addressed the crowd.
Saskatchewan veterans were thanked for their service.
Lt. Colonel Christa Oppers-Beumers presented 70th Anniversary Liberation pins to veterans.
A veteran introduced herself to the crowd.
Author Alan J. Buick signed copies of The Little Coat book. (Publisher Al Driver is seated at left.)
Author Alan J. Buick chatted about the inspiring story of The Little Coat.
The veterans and guests were treated to a tour of Canadian Forces Base 15 Wing Moose Jaw in the afternoon.
Maria McNair (nee Van De Werf) chatted with author Alan J. Buick at 15 Wing Moose Jaw. Maria came to Canada from the Netherlands in 1949 as a war bride, settling in Coronach, Saskatchewan.
Maria's image (above) is one of those - along with Sue Elliott of The Little Coat book (below) - painted in the Canadian-Dutch War Brides exhibit created by Calgary artist Bev Tosh.
Al and I were privileged to see Bev Tosh's exhibit (above) in Groesbeek, Netherlands in 2013, and to meet Sue Elliott / Sussie Cretier of the book (below) in person in 2013. Here is my blog about that wonderful experience.
The final words go to the late Bob Elliott and to Sue Elliott, from the final pages of our book. Below, they are shown at a 2010 Liberation Day celebration in the Netherlands.
"I see this book as a tribute to all my wartime comrades. It
also expresses my feelings for the people of the Netherlands
who suffered so much under the Germans during the war years.
I am also thankful I have my Sussie."
- Bob Elliott
"My gratitude for the young men who gave up their youth
and their lives for the freedom of our country. I never, ever will
Veterans, thank you all so very much. You all were heroes
and always will be for the Dutch people. I have one veteran for
myself and I sure love him.
Much love to you all."
- Sussie Elliott