In­stal­la­tion a labour of love

Kalgoorlie Miner - - NEWS - Neil Watkin­son

More than 10,000 hand-cro­cheted pop­pies will cas­cade 20m from the Mu­seum of the Gold­fields’ Ivan­hoe head­frame to com­mem­o­rate the cen­te­nary of the Ar­mistice that ended World War I.

The Pop­pies for Peace com­mem­o­ra­tive in­stal­la­tion, con­sist­ing of a spec­tac­u­lar wreath and two gar­lands, will be of­fi­cially ded­i­cated at the mu­seum to­mor­row from 9am-10am. No­vem­ber 11 is Re­mem­brance Day, which this year marks the 100th an­niver­sary of the end of World War I in 1918.

The cer­e­mony will con­clude with those who at­tend be­ing asked to con­trib­ute to the in­stal­la­tion by plac­ing pop­pies in the grassed area sur­round­ing the head­frame.

Vis­i­tors will be able to view the in­stal­la­tion for about a month, weather per­mit­ting.

Mu­seum man­ager Cara Haymes said the project had helped bring the com­mu­nity to­gether to hon­our Aus­tralian sol­diers.

“We have been over­whelmed with the com­mu­nity sup­port of the Pop­pies for Peace project,” she said. “We wel­come ev­ery­one to the ded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mony to pay trib­ute to and hon­our those who served in the war.”

She said much time and ef­fort had been put into cre­at­ing the in­stal­la­tion.

“Vol­un­teers cro­cheted each in­di­vid­ual poppy, in­clud­ing red pop­pies to rep­re­sent the sol­diers who were killed in con­flict, pur­ple pop­pies to rep­re­sent the an­i­mals killed in con­flict, and white pop­pies to rep­re­sent the hope for peace,” she said.

Mem­bers of the Gold­fields com­mu­nity, the City of Kal­go­or­lieBoul­der, and the Kal­go­or­lie and Boul­der Re­turned and Ser­vices League clubs were in­stru­men­tal in bring­ing the project to life.

“The Kal­go­or­lie and Boul­der RSLs and the City’s his­tory and her­itage unit, in par­tic­u­lar Joanne Wil­son, as well as sev­eral com­mu­nity mem­bers, have been a tremen­dous help in knit­ting and cro­chet­ing the pop­pies,” Ms Haymes said.

“It has been a true com­mu­nity ef­fort to make this project pos­si­ble.

“Vol­un­teers have been at­tend­ing our poppy-mak­ing work­shops over the last 10 months and peo­ple have been cro­chet­ing any­thing from a hand­ful of pop­pies to more than 2000 each in some cases.

“We even had some vis­i­tors to Kal­go­or­lie send in a bunch of pop­pies from South Africa.”

She said the project had been in devel­op­ment since April last year.

It was the idea of for­mer mu­seum man­ager Zoe Scott, with help from pub­lic pro­grams of­fi­cer Peta Os­borne.

Ms Haymes said Ms Scott drew her in­spi­ra­tion from the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red pub­lic art in­stal­la­tion cre­ated around the Tower of Lon­don in 2014, in which red ce­ramic pop­pies were placed to mark the 100th an­niver­sary of the start of WWI.

In ad­di­tion to the mu­seum’s in­stal­la­tion, the City of Kal­go­or­lieBoul­der will dis­play 2500 cro­cheted pop­pies in front of its of­fices.

City chief ex­ec­u­tive John Walker said a com­mu­nity event to plant the red, pur­ple and white cro­cheted and knit­ted pop­pies would take place to­day at 1pm.

“Bring your gar­den­ing gloves, a hat, sun­screen and wa­ter bot­tle,” he said.

Pic­ture: Kelsey Reid

WA Musuem of the Gold­fields ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cer Peta Os­bourne, man­ager Cara Haymes and op­er­a­tions man­ager Ruben Wills will adorn the fa­mous red head­frame with thou­sands of pop­pies for Re­mem­ber­ance Day.

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