Big response to Colac poppy project

Heather Green, of Colac Quilters, and Mary Prime gather a field of knitted and crocheted poppies for an Anzac Day poppies display to commemorate Colac district soldiers who died in the First World War.

Heather Green, of Colac Quilters, and Mary Prime gather a field of knitted and crocheted poppies for an Anzac Day poppies display to commemorate Colac district soldiers who died in the First World War.

HUNDREDS of hours of knitting, sewing and crocheting have resulted in Colac craft enthusiasts contributing almost 1000 woollen poppies for an Anzac memorial display.

Colac Quilters’ Heather Green has helped co-ordinate a field of poppies project with Colac Otway Shire councillor Lyn Russell since November to mark the centenary of the First World War Gallipoli landing.

Mrs Green took inspiration from a Melbourne 5000 Poppies campaign, and said the Colac community’s support was overwhelming.

“It was a bit of trial, we were worried about whether we would get any,” she said of the donated poppies.

“Various groups and ladies throughout the community made and contributed the poppies.

“It was a labour of love – they wouldn’t have done it otherwise,” she said.

About eight volunteers including Colac Quilters and Colac’s Country Women’s Association members dedicated more than three hours at the weekend to attach the knitted flowers at Ss Johns’ hall.

“We attached all the poppies to hessian backing, we made a ‘wall of tears’ from 403 poppies, to represent the 403 men that we know of from the area that were lost in the war,” Mrs Green said.

She said council workers would hang the wall of tears display today at Memorial Square’s cenotaph.

“They will hang there for the month of April, this will now be a feature for the centenary of Gallipoli,” she said.

Mrs Green said the remaining poppies would feature on spirals “like barber poles” up trees and others were on display at the Colac Family History Centre, with other poppies going to Colac cemetery.

“We will use some of the poppies on wreaths for Anzac Day – it’s more fitting to have community-made flowers than to buy flowers for the wreaths,” she said.

“I am really pleased with what we have achieved, hopefully it is something really worthwhile and gives some meaning to the community, to commemorate the men that lost their lives.”

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