Dutch Canadians residing in Goderich and surrounding areas have maintained a proud tradition of expressing their gratitude to Canada for the sacrifice Canada made during the liberation of Holland in the closing months of the Second World War.
The park has been a centre of celebration of freedom for Dutch-Canadian's in Huron County. This is where Princess Margriet of the Netherlands unveiled a plaque on May 14th, 2017, and signed a scroll of gratitude expressed for the Canadian sacrifice in the Liberation of the Netherlands.
In 1970, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary, the park was developed and a small fountain was built.
In 1985, for the 40th anniversary, a larger fountain was built.
For the 50th anniversary in 1995, a new fountain was built which is the current structure we see today. A plaque describes the symbolism behind the sentiment. It reads, “…The sculpture depicts the five pedal points of the tulip, the emblem of Holland, surrounded by a circle of people with joined hands and outstretched arms. The figures evoke a celebration of brotherhood, liberation, freedom and hope. Renewal is symbolized by the jets of water in summer and patterns of ice in winter.
The Town of Goderich closed the street beside the park to enlarge the park venue.
In 2005, the 60th anniversary, a pavillion was erected and unveiled along with a large parade and celebration which included approximatley 460 veterans and caregivers. The day's celebration included a hot meal for veteran's, dignitaries and community organizers, held at the Knox Presbyrterian Church. According to a plaque that marked the celebration, the “…erection of a pavilion and park landscaping (is intended) to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the liberation of Holland by our friends and heroes the Canadian soldiers. The pavilion representing the four corners of Holland by it’s distinctively different gable ends combined with the landscaping provides a park like scene where everyone can enjoy the peace we have today.”
Now that the 70th anniversary was marked in Holland, in 2015, with few living veterans left to continue the tradition, it seemed fitting to invite Princess Margriet, a living symbol of the Dutch Liberation, to celebrate Canada’s upcoming 150th anniversary in 2017, and the bonds of friendship between our nations. The visit took place on May 14th, 2017.