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

Slocan Valley to be ‘lit up’ with high-speed internet in 12 months

125 kilometres of fibre-optic cable to be laid from Nakusp to Playmore Junction

Vigil re-affirms belief in peace, acceptance in wake of New Zealand massacre

Nearly 100 show up for solemn event at Mir Centre for Peace

Police bust drug operation in Castlegar

Man charged, will go to court in August

Zoning mix-up nixes Shoreacres property sale

Man says the RDCK’s listings online don’t match his property’s official zoning

Castlegar coach receives Basketball BC honour

Cheryl Closkey recognized for 50 years of volunteering

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Boy who went missing from park remains largest probe in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

B.C. driver caught going 207 km/h on motorcycle along Okanagan Highway

A motorcyclist was caught by Kelowna RCMP going 207 km/h on Highway 97C

Protective human chain forms around B.C. mosque for Friday prayer

Vancouver Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

B.C. fire department offers tips to keep your home safe during wildfire season

With wildfire season getting closer, the Penticton Fire Dept. offer tips to keep your home safe

Rural Kootenay communities to receive high-speed internet upgrade

The provincial government is increasing internet connectivity to rural British Columbia

Fierce house cat spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

Most Read