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

Forestry workers set to begin job action in Kootenays

Operations in Castlegar, Cranbrook, Galloway, Elko, Radium, Golden may see job action this week.

Road trip comes to end with split for Grand Forks Border Bruins

The team is coming off its longest road trip this season.

Grand Forks to receive business recovery funds post-flood

The community will receive two Rural Dividends grants for a total of $655,000.

Grand Forks high school students remember

The school and the Legion joined for the annual Remembrance Day ceremony.

Letter: English town remembers Grand Forks on anniversary of Armistice

Phillip Morris writes from Shrewsbury, England.

Six students arrested, charged in sex assault probe at Toronto all-boys school

The school’s principal, Greg Reeves, described the video of the alleged sexual assault as ‘horrific’

Shots fired near Chicago hospital, multiple victims: police

Police say at least one possible offender has been shot

B.C. to allow ride hailing services to operate in 2019

Fee will be applied to fund options for disabled people

Chocolate lab missing along Coquihalla

Brad Gibson is asking for help locating his missing dog.

B.C. connection to launch of new $10 bill

Great nephew of Viola Desmond says bill is a ‘step in the right direction’

Elections BC keeps eye on Canada Post dispute, but no change in Nov. 30 deadline

Vote No spokesman say an extension of one or two weeks would ensure all ballots are counted

Langley school pulls Japanese ‘rising sun’ flag after student petition

School district promises consultation with students and parents, defends using flag for war history

Calgary bobsled death inquiry recommends infrared technology, safety audits

A judge found the deaths of 17-year-old twins Evan and Jordan Caldwell were accidental and caused by blunt-force head and neck trauma

Most Read