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THANK YOU TO OUR CANADIAN SOLDIERS GIVING THEIR
LIVES TO HAVE LIBERATED US
I was born in Holland and was five years old when the war ended,
thank you to the Canadian Soldiers who gave us our freedom.
The Picture below was part of the celebration and I
personally was inside the second Cart, with my Brother and a
Neighbor Boy pulling it. The girls in the white dresses are my
THANK YOU - THANK YOU
HAVE A GREAT REMEMBRANCE DAY
See Rest of Story
Prince George Citizen published a story during war time about
our family, the few parts I remember or I was told by my
A chance at a new life
Wrttten by: SAMANTHA WRIGHT ALLEN / PRINCE GEORGE
NOVEMBER 9, 2015 10:45 PM
When Canadian soldiers flooded the streets of Haarlem,
Holland in the summer of 1945, five-year-old Tony Romeyn
understood only that he was clutching chocolate in his
"We never had candy," said Romeyn of the soldiers
passing out the sweets a few short months after the
country was liberated from Nazi occupation.
These 70 years later the Prince George resident still
has a picture of that moment, his sisters in white
dresses and him nestled in a cart out of sight, the
streets around them safe after so many years in fear.
This spring marked the 70th anniversary of the end of
the Second World War, as well as the liberation of the
Netherlands. More than 7,600 Canadians died in that
nine-month campaign to free the country from Nazi
occupation between September 1944 to May 1945.
In those last months German soldiers came for Haarlem's
men, including Romeyn's father, "to put them on the
trains" headed for a concentration camp.
That particular day, seven children were sitting on the
floor of his father's flower seed bulb store.
"When they came to pick up my dad and they saw the kids
sitting on the floor, they asked if they were all his
children," said Romeyn, now 75. "He kind of shook his
head yes. They talked to each other and they left."
But two of those children weren't his, and soon after
the father of those two was taken to the train. So
Romeyn's father bribed the men with cigarettes and both
fathers were saved.
"They were always on the lookout," Romeyn recalled,
especially for food.
His sisters later told him how their bodies bore
nutritional scabs with so little to eat.
"At times they ate flower bulbs - something to just get
into the body."
One day his father left the city on his bicycle to
butcher and bring back a pig the family still had in the
But on the way back, he was halted at a German post. The
pig was stuffed and covered in the basket, but he was
sure he would lose the meat destined to feed several
"They asked him what was in the basket and in the best
way he could pronounce, he sort of said it was a pig,"
Romeyn said. "They laughed at him, and told him get out
of here. They didn't believe him.
"When he was riding away, they saw a blood trail
dripping from the pig and then they began to chase him.
But then it started to rain and they lost him."
Although his father survived the war and emigrated on
Canada Day in 1952 with his large family, he died of
cancer two short years later.
"That was tough," recalled Romeyn, who moved to Prince
George in 1969 and has retired from Industrial
Reproductions Ltd., which he owned and his son now runs.
"Families left everything behind," said Romeyn, noting
his family of nine came with one eight-by-eight foot
crate holding all their belongings.
"We came not speaking a word of English."
That language barrier sent them by mistake to Vancouver,
making the journey that much longer - including the
seven days by ship to Halifax where Romeyn was plagued
by seasickness. After days on the train, the family
finally ended up in Lillooet, where his father and
siblings worked at a hop farm.
Coming to Canada gave his family a chance at a better
life when Holland was still rebuilding.
"It gave us a life that, I think of all my siblings,
they all did well and were able to be successful," he
But it's that memory of the soldiers in the streets that
comes back to Romeyn each Nov. 11.
"I think that stands out each time I think about when we
have Remembrance Day. It's an amazing thing because
where would families have been without that?"
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