An­zac spirit stitched to bloom

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE - GE­OR­GIA FOR­RESTER

Palmer­ston North peo­ple are re­mem­ber­ing the men and women who served at war, by cre­at­ing a poppy-donned quilt for the com­mu­nity.

Re­tirees, vis­i­tors, new res­i­dents, and even a lo­cal po­lice of­fi­cer, took time over the past week to sew hun­dreds of knit­ted pop­pies to the wall hang­ing, which will be dis­played at the Cen­tral Li­brary.

Robyn Wil­son, from the Palm- er­ston North City Li­brary, said the wall hang­ing, or ‘‘blan­quilt’’, will also be avail­able for com­mu­nity groups and schools to bor­row.

The idea to make the hang­ing stemmed from a Waiouru Army Mu­seum project, for which thou­sands of woollen pop­pies were knit­ted na­tion­wide as part of An­zac Day cen­ten­nial cel­e­bra­tions in 2015.

Wil­son said there were pop­pies left over which had been made by Palmer­ston North res­i­dents. Over the past two years the pop­pies were hung on black rib­bon at the li­brary, in recog­ni­tion of the Anzacs.

‘‘While ev­ery­one loved see­ing the pop­pies hang­ing, we wanted to do some­thing more per­ma­nent with them.’’

So a blan­quilt was cre­ated, with mem­bers of the com­mu­nity do­nat­ing their time to stitch it to­gether, one poppy at a time.

Palmer­ston North woman Pat Ea­ton said her fa­ther of­ten took them to the ceno­taph for An­zac Day. She had spent about four hours over the past week stitch­ing an ar­range­ment of pop­pies in place.

‘‘It’s fun to be in­volved in such a mas­sive con­tri­bu­tion.’’

She said it was also nice to see peo­ple vis­it­ing the li­brary to sew on just one or two pop­pies.

Wil­son said a cou­ple who re­cently ar­rived from China had con­trib­uted, as well as re­tirees from rest homes, and a lo­cal po­lice­woman.

The grey blan­ket was sourced and do­nated by the Ash­hurst RSA, and li­brary staff also took it home over a num­ber of weeks to work on it and pre­pare it for the pub­lic.

Four sewing ses­sions were held at the li­brary last week. The fin­ished wall-hang­ing will be dis­played at the may­oral morn­ing tea at the Con­ven­tion Cen­tre fol­low­ing the An­zac Day Civic Cer­e­mony. It will later hang at the li­brary, and will be avail­able for com­mu­nity groups and schools to bor­row.

PHOTO: MUR­RAY WIL­SON/FAIR­FAX NZ

From left, Alison Gil­bert from Palmer­ston Manor Rest Home, Deb­bie Dun­can, Brenda Jones, and Stephanie Tuck from Palmer­ston North City Li­brary, make pop­pies for An­zac Day.

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