Just in time for Remembrance Day, Canada Post unveiled a new stamp today in honour of Mona Parsons, a war hero from Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley.
The stamp, which was unveiled during an event in Wolfville, N.S., features a portrait of Parsons with a photograph of infantry soldiers of the North Nova Scotia Highlanders advancing into the Netherlands. Designed by Larry Burke and Anna Stredulinsky, it is Part of Canada Post’s annual Remembrance Day stamp issue.
According to a news release from Canada Post, the stamp honours Parsons’s “remarkable courage and perseverance” during the Second World War.
Before the war, Parsons was pursuing an acting career in New York when she met Dutch millionaire Willem Leonhardt. They married in 1937 and moved to Holland.
“When the Nazi occupation began in May 1940, Parsons and her husband assisted what would become known as the Dutch Resistance,” reads the release.
The pair helped downed airmen escape back to England.
When someone gave them away, Parsons’s husband went into hiding, but she refused to do the same and was arrested.
She was also the only female Canadian citizen to be imprisoned by the Nazis in the Second World War.
“Parsons was sentenced to death by firing squad. She appealed the ruling, and successfully got it commuted to life with hard labour,” reads the release.
“Transported to Germany, Parsons spent the next three years in prison – until 1945, when, during an Allied bombardment, she escaped. She then embarked on a dangerous journey out of Germany, walking 125 kilometres over three weeks to the Dutch border. By the time she arrived, her feet had become badly infected and she was emaciated, weighing just 87 pounds.”
After her husband died, Parsons moved back to Nova Scotia and married Maj.-Gen. Harry Foster. She died in Wolfville in November of 1976.
Despite her incredible bravery and sacrifice, Mona Parsons' story is not as well-known as it should be. Her contributions to the war effort and her resilience in the face of adversity make her a true hero. She risked everything to stand up against oppression and injustice, even when it seemed impossible to make a difference. Her story serves as a reminder of the strength of the human spirit and the power of ordinary people to make an extraordinary impact.
Mona Parsons is remembered as a war hero from Nova Scotia who defied the odds and fought for what was right. Her legacy serves as an inspiration to future generations, reminding us of the importance of standing up for what we believe in and never giving up, no matter the challenges we face. Her story deserves to be told and celebrated, ensuring that her courage and sacrifice are never forgotten. Mona Parsons is a true hero who exemplifies the resilience and bravery of those who fought against tyranny during World War II.
via Canada Post