Cottage Grove Site Operations Manager Helen Rex said the installation, which includes a large banner and hand-knitted poppies, will be displayed at the entrance to the residential aged care facility over the Remembrance Day weekend.
“We originally unveiled the banner in April to coincide with ANZAC Day and, after receiving such a wonderful response, we decided to add more hand-knitted poppies to create an even larger display for Remembrance Day,” said Ms Rex.
“The installation has been the catalyst for many interesting conversations about war amongst residents, staff and volunteers.
“It is giving residents, including the four veterans who live at Cottage Grove, the opportunity to share their stories about the war times they’ve experienced.
“Whilst war can be a difficult topic to talk about, it is an important part of the past for many older people and our residents deserve admiration and respect for living through such treacherous times.”
Cottage Grove resident Annette Rogers knitted several of the 670 poppies that feature on the artwork.
“My grandfather fought in World War I in the trenches under the Flanders Fields where poppies began to grow shortly after the war,” said Annette.
“My dad also served in the Air Force in World War II – they luckily both made it home and were always in the back of my mind while I was knitting poppies.
“It’s important to honour our veterans because they could’ve paid the ultimate price – they defended our country and kept us safe.”
Cottage Grove resident Joan Hart said that Remembrance Day, and the artwork, was about ‘raising awareness’ of what happens in the war and how it affects not only those who served but their families as well.
“Remembrance Day is an opportunity to bring everyone together to remember those who fought for our country,” said Joan.
“I wanted to knit for a purpose so that’s why I loved the idea of knitting the poppies.
“I was able to do my part in showing my respect for those who’ve fallen.”
Local signwriter John Morris also contributed to the installation by volunteering his time to paint the commemorative banner ready for the poppies to be added.
Image: Cottage Grove residents Rita Hurrell and Annette Rogers.