Halifax's Hope Blooms kids get royal thank you

Haley Ryan jhoegg@kingscountynews.ca
Published on July 15, 2014

Prince Charles and Camilla at a ceremony Monday at Grand Parade in Halifax.

©Jeff Harper - Metro Halifax


The young members of Hope Blooms can add a prince to their growing list of fans.

Last week, the group of community-garden experts and dressing makers from Halifax’s north end received a letter from the Prince of Wales, thanking the kids “most warmly” for the bottles of salad dressing they presented him with when he visited the Seaport Famers’ Market in May.

“We were shocked,” said Jessie Jollymore, dietician and Hope Blooms lead on Monday.

The kids of Hope Blooms grow fruits and vegetables in a large garden and greenhouse for community dinners, soup programs and salad dressings. Part of the proceeds from the dressings goes towards a scholarship fund.

Jollymore said Prince Charles was “so personable” when he met the youth with his wife Camilla, and although the group had been told they should not ask questions, he shook everyone’s hand and chatted with them.

The prince said he was glad to meet the group because he has a personal interest in youth social enterprises and world food security, Jollymore said.

“That allows the kids to think, ‘Wow, somebody that important thinks that what were doing is important?’” Jollymore said.

Hope Blooms member, Mamadou Wade, said on that Monday Charles seemed like a “very charismatic, really good person” when they all met.

“He’s such a busy guy, so it’s kind of cool to see that,” said Wade about the letter.

“It means a lot, really. It means that we have like really accomplished something, and we’re getting recognized for that.”

The full letter from Craig Kowalik, assistant private secretary to the Prince of Wales, reads: “The Prince of Wales has asked me to write and thank you most warmly for the two bottles of salad dressing which you so kindly presented to His Royal Highness during his recent visit to Canada.  The Prince of Wales much appreciated this thoughtful gesture, and His Royal Highness has asked me to convey his warm good wishes and renewed thanks.”