A local woman is encouraging people across the country to contribute knitted or crocheted poppies for a Remembrance Day installation at Rotary Park. Brenda Ward spearheaded the installation last year, which featured around 500 crocheted and knitted poppies, cascading down the clock tower at Rotary Park. She got the idea after she saw a photo of a similar project out West, which had poppies spilling out of a church window. “I thought that would be nice to do here,” she said.
When she approached the Old Town Kemptville BIA and the Municipality, both were supportive of the project. So, Brenda started collecting poppies and, just before dawn on November 11, 2019, she and a few other volunteers attached hundreds of handmade poppies to the clock tower, paying respect to veterans everywhere. “I loved to see people’s faces,” Brenda remembers. “It was touching to see people’s appreciation.”
With the great feedback she got from last year’s installation, she wanted to do it again this year, but on a bigger scale. She hopes to get knitted and/or crocheted poppies from people all over Canada to create an even larger display in Rotary Park. “I would like to see something on the light posts, and maybe in the trees,” she says. “I want it to be tasteful, elegant and meaningful.”
Brenda put out a call for poppies on Facebook and has already received over 5,000 engagements on the post. She hopes that means she will have thousands instead of hundreds of poppies come November to create the installation. “If you do one, if you do two, every little bit helps,” she says. “The goal is to get as many as we can.”
The installation is sponsored by the Leeds-Grenville Fibre Extravaganza and the link to the pattern can be found through the 5000 Poppies Project , on their Facebook page (https://5000poppies.wordpress.com/poppy-patterns/poppies-patterns-update-september-2017/).
The 5000 Poppies Project was started in Australia in 2013 by Lynn Berry and Margaret Knight, to honour their fathers, who both fought in WW2. Since then, it has spread all over the world as an international tribute to those who have served in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations, their families, and their communities.
Finished poppies can either be mailed to 779 County Road 44, Kemptville, ON K0G 1J0, or you can message Brenda through Facebook for details about local drop off.