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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Overall house sales drop in the northwest

COVID-19 pandemic slowed market activity

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

‘Trauma equals addiction’: Why some seek solace in illicit drugs

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Most Read