By Glennis Paton
To commemorate Anzac Day at Port Waikato, the local Art @ the Port Knitters and Hookers group have created a large poppy installation on the Maunsell Road reserve.
The 200 bright red knitted and crocheted poppies are mounted on a large driftwood log, reflecting the identity and special environment of the Port. This display will feature for over a month and will be part of the commemorations at the Fire Brigade, 9am on Anzac Day morning.
The idea for this project was initiated by the Waikato District Council, who provided the guidelines and the wool for the project. There are nine communities across the Waikato district who are decorating Anzac trees—well over 3000 poppies in all.
Every poppy tree also honours one or more local returned servicemen, with a short story of their service to their country.
Port Waikato features the late Bill Follett, who served in Italy and Egypt in the Second World war, and who in 2005 was chosen to represent the A Company Maori Battalion at the Gallipoli celebrations which commemorated the 90th anniversary of the allied landing.
For the ten or 12 local ladies who worked on this project, it was a labour of love and remembrance. An opportunity perhaps to honour a Grandfather or loved one with every poppy.