Waihi Lions return poppies to descendants
Centennial poppies will be returned to descendants during Waihi’s Armistice commemorations this Sunday.
Around 50 poppies, replicas of those displayed on Waihi’s poppy wall, will be given to descendants of soldiers who fought during the Great War.
The Waihi Lions WWI Centennial project is a dedication and acknowledgement of everyone from the Waihi area who served. Project leader Kevin Corney says the poppy wall by the Martha Pit Rim fence was to have been taken down this Sunday.
“We have had some many phone calls from people wanting to leave the poppies on the wall that we have chosen to do so and created replicas of the poppies whose soldiers’ names are written on instead.
“These will be given to the descendants during a ceremony in the Memorial Hall,” he says. The idea for the project began four years ago after Kevin visited a similar display in London.
“There were poppies with the soldiers’ names attached displayed at the Tower of London, and I was looking down at this field of poppies. They were quite large and it was very visual.
“I thought why not doing the same in Waihi?” Around 420 people from the Waihi area served in the Great War, with a majority of tunnellers from the Waihi Gold mine.
The poppy wall was set up in 2015 for Waihi Lions Club’s 50th year celebration. Kevin says the ceremony this Sunday is symbolic.
“We have granddaughters, daughters, sons etc coming from across the North Island to have their descendants’ poppies returned to them. We will make future arrangement for the ones who cannot attend on the day,” he says.
The ceremony will take place at around 11am/12pm on Sunday at Waihi Memorial Hall, Seddon St.
Replica poppies that Kevin Corney and other Waihi Lions Club members will return to descendants on Sunday.