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Four tulip varieties to bloom around Port Coquitlam for RCAF 100

The city planted nearly 25,000 tulip bulbs last fall dedicated to honouring the centennial year of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).

Nearly 25,000 tulip bulbs planted last fall around Port Coquitlam civic facilities to honour the 100th year of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) will bloom in the next week or so.

The city’s horticultural team put in four varieties at city hall, Hyde Creek Recreation Centre, the cemetery, along McAllister Avenue and other sites to commemorate the milestone anniversary and pay tribute to the current and ex-servicemen of the country’s air force.

And, according to a news release, each tulip variety represents an aspect of the RCAF:

  • “Ad Astra” (Tulip White Triumphator)
    • a flying, pale ivory tulip with reflexed petals is a nod to the RCAF Latin motto Sic Itur Ad Astra (translation: Such is the pathway to the stars)
  • “Flyers” (Tulip Versaci)
    • a deep red tulip with fringed edges is named after the RCAF Flyers men’s amateur hockey team that clinched the gold medal at the 1948 Winter Olympics
  • “Wings” (Tulip Yellow Fabio)
    • a bright yellow tulip with fringed edges acknowledges the colour most associated with the RCAF’s training aircraft of the Second World War and the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan
  • “Rescue” (Tulip Flaming Parrot)
    • a striped yellow and red bloom with feathered edges was picked because of its colour similarity to the Search and Rescue aircraft

In total, PoCo crews planted 79,235 tulip bulbs around the city last fall, including 24,425 bulbs dedicated to a department of the RCAF, which officially formed on April 1, 1924.

Port Coquitlam residents can send photos of tulips in their gardens — and be entered to win one of four bags of the tulip varieties listed above, plus the book Pathway to the Stars: 100 Years of the Royal Canadian Air Force. You can visit the city website for details.