100 years of Winnie the Pooh

WATCH ABOVE: The bear that inspired a series of books became a part of our literary journey 100 years ago today. Megan Batchelor reports.

WINNIPEG – It’s not exactly his birthday, but Aug. 24 is the anniversary of the beginning of an incredible journey for the bear millions know as Winnie the Pooh.

It was 100 years ago that a Winnipeg soldier bought a bear from an Ontario trapper and named him Winnie, after his hometown.

Lt. Harry Colebourn was on his way to serve in the First World War when he purchased Winnie. Not long after the beloved bear became a mascot for his Fort Garry regiment, and later a fixture at the London Zoo.

It was there author A.A. Milne and his son, Christopher, spotted Winnie, and that’s how the story of Winnie the Pooh was born.

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“There are generations of people that grew up with Winnie the Pooh books that never knew this story was connected to our city of Winnipeg, and I also think it’s a great Canadian story,” said local author Mary Anne Appleby.

She penned the biography Winnie the Bear.

“Winnie the Pooh, the fictional character, and Winnie the bear are really very similar characters,” said Appleby. “They’re gentle souls, kind of bumbly.”

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