Of­fend­ers recog­nise poppy sig­nif­i­cance


Of­fend­ers placed pop­pies on graves in Porirua for Anzac Day.

On the morn­ing of Satur­day, April 23, 20 com­mu­nity-based of­fend­ers, man­aged by Porirua Com­mu­nity Cor­rec­tions, placed pop­pies on the graves of ser­vice­men and women at Whenua Tapu Ceme­tery, north of Plim­mer­ton.

The pop­pies were sup­plied by the RSA and in­cluded a sprig of rose­mary, which is tra­di­tion­ally as­so­ci­ated with Flan­ders Fields, be­cause it grew in the bat­tle­fields.

Be­fore the pop­pies were placed, Evan Black, past pres­i­dent and life­time mem­ber of Porirua RSA, talked about the sig­nif­i­cance of the poppy, its ori­gin in Flan­ders Fields and how its vivid red flower had be­come an in­ter­na­tional sym­bol of re­mem­brance.

An of­fender who was plac­ing pop­pies as part of his com­mu­nity sen­tence re­flected on the talk.

‘‘My grand­mother has two sons who were lost in the Somme and weren’t re­cov­ered,’’ he said.

‘‘My dad’s ac­tu­ally named af­ter one of them.’’

Me­lanie Roy, Porirua Com­mu­nity Cor­rec­tions ser­vice man­ager, said it was a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity for of­fend­ers to learn about the sig­nif­i­cance of the poppy and re­mem­ber lo­cal ser­vice­men and women.

An of­fender places a poppy on a grave at Whenua Tapu Ceme­tery in Plim­mer­ton.

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