BU students to visit Holland for 65th anniversary of Liberation

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BRANDON, MB – In the spring of 2010, it will be 65 years since the Canadians liberated the Netherlands from German occupation. Next year, they will be returning, but this time it will be students, walking in the footsteps of the soldiers. 

Students and instructors from Brandon University will join more than a thousand other Canadian Students travelling to Europe to participate in the various commemoration and liberation ceremonies, culminating in the Netherlands on May 4 and 5.

Lynn MacKay will be one of the professors from Brandon University that will accompany the students on the trip. The group from Brandon University is set to leave for Europe, April 29, 2010. During their journey in Europe, they will also make stops in London, Vimy, Normandy and Paris.

“Students have a real hunger to know about the First and Second World War, and I think this trip will bring home to them in a very powerful way the sacrifices made by civilians and service people – many of whom were their age,” says MacKay

In order to enhance the learning experience and to explore concepts such as freedom, remembrance, democracy and others, contact between students and teachers of both countries – prior to the trip – is taking place through the use of social networking sites and interactive software. Students will also be asked to document the trip for future uses.

“We want to ensure that students understand what they are seeing and to that end we will also be encouraging them to keep daily journals during the trip. Hopefully we will be able to put selections from them online when we return home.”

The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ottawa is encouraging these “freedom trips” wholeheartedly.

“The idea that Canadian and Dutch schools will be working together in remembrance and liberation ceremonies is very special. I started my professional career as a teacher and I am convinced of the value of this initiative,” says Ambassador Wim Geerts.

As a token of support, the Netherlands Embassy has already donated and sent 100 bulbs to Brandon University. In the spring, they will be planted on campus so students and staff alike will be able to enjoy the tulips year after year and will be reminded of their fantastic learning experience in Europe.


For more information, please contact:


  • Dr. Lynn MacKay
  • Associate Professor, History
  • Brandon University
  • P: (204) 727-9719
  • mackay@brandonu.ca


  • Dr. David Winter
  • Associate Professor, History
  • Brandon University
  • P: (204) 727-7474
  • winterd@brandonu.ca



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