Leilani Vanderydt and mom, Debbie, at the family’s business, Greenhawk Equestrian Sport, where visitors can get a purple poppy in exchange for a donation. Money raised will go to the Royal Canadian Legion and Animal Aid. Photograph By Christopher Foulds

Purple poppies to remember animals of war

An eight-year-old girl from Kamloops is selling poppies, worn to remembers animals of war

-Kamloops this Week

The red poppy is known the world over. But the purple poppy?

“It means for the animals, so we remember the animals,” said eight-year-old Leilani Vanderydt. “A couple of years ago, I was wondering why we don’t remember the animals.”

With help from mom Debbie and dad Kevin, she did some research and discovered the purple poppy is worn to honour animals in wars.

RELATED: First World War letters put a human face on the war that shaped us as a nation

Last year, Leilani wore a paper purple poppy she made. This year, she acquired the real thing — ordering 100 purple poppies from Australia, where the Australia War Memorial Animal Organisation boasts a plethora of items honouring animals in combat.

However, rather than stick pins through the purple poppies, as is done with the familiar red versions, Leilani’s poppies can be tied to a dog’s leash or to a cat’s collar.

She is selling them at her parents’ Valleyview store, Greenhawk Equestrian Sport, each day this week after school.

Visitors to the shop at Oriole and Falcon roads (in the strip mall that houses The Office pub and Falcon Lanes bowling) can find Leilani from about 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., sitting at her creatively decorated table.

RELATED: Vernon students participate in ‘No Stone Left’ Alone initative

The purple poppies can be had for donations, with money raised going to the Royal Canadian Legion and Animal Aid.

Leilani lives on a farm and has a horse, dogs, cats, chickens and goats — so her love for animals comes naturally.

Her mom said most of the family’s animals are rescue animals.

“Remembrance Day has always been important to us and it’s something we have always followed carefully,” Debbie said.

“She always wondered about the animals because we see in pictures horses pulling machinery, there’s horses being ridden, there’s dogs and even cats down in the mess halls. My brother would talk about how they kept the mice out.”

DID YOU KNOW?

According to Britain’s Animals in War Memorial Fund, eight-million horses died in the First World War, as did countless mules and donkeys. They were used to transport ammunition and supplies to the front line.

The fund also notes pigeons, dogs, elephants, camels, oxen, bullocks, cats, canaries and even glow worms were used in combat.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

District of Elkford celebrates grand opening of new municipal office

Submitted District of Elkford The District of Elkford has officially begun serving… Continue reading

GALLERY: Fernie hosts mine rescue competition

Fording River, Line Creek mine rescue teams off to provincials after placing first and second

Fernie beer named Canada’s best pale ale

Fernie Brewing Company’s Campout West Coast Pale finishes first at the Canadian Brewing Awards

Cannabis yoga a budding trend in Fernie

Yoga studio, cannabis educator team up to offer Fernie’s first cannabis yoga classes from May 17

Sparwood’s Momma Di a mother to many

The Free Press competition winner revealed; plus Mother’s Day around the Valley

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Victoria Day

How much do you know about the monarch whose day we celebrate each May?

Man facing 12 charges after fleeing from Cranbrook, Elk Valley RCMP

A man is facing 12 charges after fleeing from police in Cranbrook… Continue reading

UPDATE: Aggressive coyote moves to Sparwood

Residents urged not to feed or approach the animal

City of Fernie to hold referendum for multi-purpose centre loan

Council opts for assent voting after petition calling for a referendum garners over 500 signatures

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

Most Read