Just about a month ago we were reminded of the Centenary of WWI. The outcome of this, the so-called “Great War” led to WWII 25 years later. Within days from now it is the 75-year anniversary since Poland was invaded and another war was well on the way.
“Lest we forget” but let’s celebrate and be happy about another centenary: One hundred years ago on August 24th 1914 Lt. H. Colebourn, a veterinarian with the Royal Canadian Army Veterinary Corps bought an orphaned female bear cub from a hunter who had killed its mother. Having lived in and loved Winnipeg he named her “Winnipeg Bear” and the little bear became his companion on his way to England where he was stationed on Salisbury Plains. The bear became the army mascot and during rest time played with the soldiers. The name was shortened to “Winnie” and ‘Winnie’ later lived out her life in the London Zoo where she became a star attraction. She died in 1934.
‘Winnie’ was the inspiration for one of the best loved children’s books of all time. When the author, A.A. Milne read his story to his son the youngster called her ‘Winnie the Pooh’ and also named his teddy bear after her. Stories about ‘Winnie the Pooh’ have inspired generations of children and they still do.
A ‘Winnie the Pooh Gallery’ with memorabilia collected by the Assiniboine Zoo in Winnipeg is an attraction not only for children. Another author, Ms. Appleby has written a biography of ‘Winnie the Pooh” and her Winnipeg connection.
Say “Hi” to a bronze statue of Lt. Colebourn and ‘Winnie’ in the Assiniboine Zoo’s Nature Playground next time you visit Winnipeg, Canada.
thanks for that history, Giselle. you have forever changed and enhanced my memory of Winnie the Pooh 🙂