Waihi Li­ons re­turn pop­pies to descen­dants

Waihi Leader - - Front Page - By ME­LANIE CAMOIN news@wai­hileader.co.nz

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.

PHOTO / ME­LANIE CAMOIN.

Replica pop­pies that Kevin Cor­ney and other Waihi Li­ons Club mem­bers will re­turn to descen­dants on Sun­day.

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