We will re­mem­ber them

Guardian Express - - FRONT PAGE - Jon Bas­sett

CRE­AT­ING 64,000 knit­ted and cro­cheted pop­pies for Re­mem­brance Day has brought to­gether women from na­tions where Aus­tralians have died in wars.

“We had 995 sent from a wo­man in Viet­nam and when I was in Lon­don at Covent Gar­den I talked to a wo­man mak­ing them and she was from Turkey, so it was a con­nec­tion with Gal­lipoli in 1915,” RSL WA Poppy Ladies’ Group mem­ber Lor­raine Meeks said.

Group mem­ber Pam Black was con­tacted by a Bridgetown cousin who sent 3000 pop­pies from the South-West town, and con­tri­bu­tions have come from RSLs in­clud­ing Bassendean, Bunbury, Dawesville, Kelm­scott and Armadale. The group met twice a week for 18 months to knit the flow­ers that will fill lawns close to the State War Memo­rial and at the Flame of Re­mem­brance in Kings Park this Sun­day.

Each one re­mem­bers an Aus­tralian who died in World War I be­fore the guns fell silent un­der the Armistice at 11am on Novem­ber 11, 1918.

Af­ter­wards, the red flow­ers bloomed in north­ern France’s bat­tle­fields that had been churned by shells, sprayed by bul­lets and cov­ered in poi­sonous gas, be­fore their sig­nif­i­cance was ac­knowl­edged in John McCrae's In Flan­ders Fields.

Fam­i­lies’ sto­ries from all con­flicts oc­cu­pied the women as they knit­ted, in­clud­ing dec­o­rat­ing some of the pop­pies with the but­tons of for­mer mil­i­tary per­son­nel.

“A lot of women sent in just a few flow­ers, say­ing they just wanted their rel­a­tive re­mem­bered, or asked we sew on a stalk, so now there was a sense of com­ple­tion,” Nedlands group mem­ber Katie Dunk­ley said.

Serv­ing Armed Forces mem­bers knit­ted when the group vis­ited bases in WA.

“For us, the sig­nif­i­cance was they are our cur­rent serv­ing sol­diers, sailors and air­men and we need to sup­port them,” Ms Dunk­ley said.

Call 9287 3799 to help plant the pop­pies.

RSL branches from Perth to Man­durah will con­duct ser­vices com­mem­o­rat­ing the cen­te­nary of the World War I Armistice on Novem­ber 11.

Leed­erville: Ser­vice at the West Leed­erville Memo­rial Gar­dens and Ceno­taph, 10.20am.

Mt Hawthorn: Ax­ford Park, 129 Scar­bor­ough Beach Road, 10.45am.

Bal­la­jura: Bal­la­jura Com­mu­nity Col­lege, 265 Illawarra Cres, South Bal­la­jura 10.30am.

Bassendean: Bassendean Memo­rial, Wil­son Street, 10.30am.

Cam­bridge: West Leed­erville Ceno­taph, Cam­bridge Street, West Leed­erville, 10.30am.

Cottes­loe: Sun­set ser­vice, Cottes­loe Civic Cen­tre, Broome Street.

North Beach: Memo­rial Precinct, Charles Ri­ley Re­serve, North Beach, 10.45am.

Shen­ton Park: Fallen Sol­diers Memo­rial, cor­ner Rokeby and Hamer­s­ley roads, 10.50am.

South Perth: South Perth Coun­cil Cham­bers, cor­ner South Tce and Sandgate St, South Perth, 10.45am.

Vic­to­ria Park: Memo­rial Gar­dens, cor­ner Al­bany High­way and Har­vey Street, 10.30am.

Ap­ple­cross: War Memo­rial, Wire­less Hill Park, 10.30am.

Armadale: Armadale Memo­rial Park, 11am.

Belle­vue: Belle­vue RSL Sub-Branch Hall, 10.45am.

Bel­mont: City of Bel­mont War Memo­rial, 10.30am.

By­ford: Com­mu­nity Break­fast, Lin­ton St, North By­ford, 8am, and 11am ser­vice at AN­ZAC Memo­rial Park.

Can­ning­ton: Can­ning Dis­tricts RSL Sub-Branch, 11am.

Cock­burn: For­rest Road to Car­ring­ton Street march, 10am, and War Memo­rial ser­vice, cor­ner Rock­ing­ham Road and Car­ring­ton Street, Hamil­ton Hill, 11am.

Dawesville: Dawesville Memo­rial, Dawesville Fore­shore, Es­tu­ary Drive, 10.45am.

Joon­dalup: Ser­vice at Joon­dalup War Memo­rial, Cen­tral Park, Grand Boule­vard, 10.45am.

Kala­munda: War Memo­rial ser­vice at Kostera Oval, 3 Recre­ation Road, 10.30am.

Man­durah: Voices in Har­mony and ser­vice from 10.15am at Man­durah War Memo­rial, Leighton Place.

Mun­dar­ing: Ser­vice at the memo­rial, Great Eastern High­way, Mun­dar­ing, 11am.

Port Kennedy: Ser­vice at Port Kennedy RSL SubBranch, 27 Pax­ton Way, Port Kennedy, 11am.

Quinns Rocks: Ser­vice at ceno­taph at the Quinns Rocks Sports Club, Tap­ping Way, 10.30am. Guest speaker Ernie Dingo.

River­ton: River­ton SubBranch, 153 High Road, Wil­let­ton, 10.45am.

Rock­ing­ham: Vil­lage Green ser­vice, 10.25am.

Wan­neroo: Wan­neroo Memo­rial Park ser­vice, 10.45am.

Yanchep-Two Rocks: Ser­vice and veter­ans’ march, Yanchep Na­tional Park Memo­rial, 10.30am.

www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d487855 Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie

Poppy mak­ers Judy Welch, Ann Black, Rita Sil­li­toe and Lor­raine Meeks are among vol­un­teers who have made 64.000 pop­pies to cre­ate a red lawn for the Cen­te­nary of Armistice Day.

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