A very impressive state-wide art installation, in which all Queenslanders can participate, has been commissioned by the Queensland Government. The completed artwork will be the culmination of thousands of poppies made by people from all over the state. Throughout the 2014-2018 Anzac Centenary commemorations, communities across Queensland have joined together to create many fitting tributes to those who served during World War I.
Remembrance (May Cross)
This ginormous art installation is expected to be over three metres high and 16 metres long. It will be a strong symbol of the importance to remember the service and sacrifice of our men and women who were members of the armed forces. The project aims to collect at least 57,705 poppies, which is the number of Queenslanders who enlisted in the First World War.
(image from Qld Government website)
The finished artwork will tour to Townsville, Mackay, Longreach, Bundaberg and Brisbane from Saturday 6 October to Sunday 11 November, which is of course Remembrance Day (11/11).
Townsville Saturday 6 to Monday 8 October 2018. Landsborough Street Headland, Landsborough Street and The Strand, Townsville
Mackay Saturday 13 to Monday 15 October 2018. Civic Green, Civic Centre Precinct, Gordon Street, Mackay.
Longreach Saturday 20 to Monday 22 October 2018.
Lot 3, Landsborough Highway, Beersheba Place, Longreach.
Bundaberg Saturday 27 to Monday 29 October 2018. Buss Park, 115 Bourbong Street, Bundaberg.
Saturday 3 to Sunday 11 November 2018 - Remembrance Day.
River Quay, South Bank Parklands, Brisbane.
Digital Poppy Dedications
My neighbours got together for a "crafternoon" and made paper and crocheted poppies for the art installation. Although the paper poppies contributions have now closed, there is still an opportunity for you to get involved with this Armistice Centenary public art project. You can participate by creating your own, personalised digital poppy which will be added to the virtual reflection pool on the Queensland Armistice Centenary website. You can join other Queenslanders in remembrance by reading their dedications which honour those who served during the 1st World War. Let your friends and family know that you have created a personalised digital poppy via social media. Digital poppy dedications will be displayed during the Armistice Centenary commemorations in Brisbane alongside the final art installation.
Crochet Poppies (May Cross)
Why Poppies for Remembrance?
Despite the widespread environmental damage to towns and farms in Europe during WWI, something survived. Thousands of red poppies started growing in spring, among the devastation caused by bombing and fires. When John McCrae, who was a Lieutenant-Colonel physician in the Canadian army, saw them, he penned the memorable poem, In Flanders Fields in May 1915. This is one of the most famous war poems.
Moina Michael was so moved by McCrae's poem that she wrote a reply called We Shall Keep the Faith. She was instrumental in getting the poppy recognised as the symbol of remembrance. The American Legion adopted the poppy at its annual convention in 1920. And that is why you see the red poppy on Remembrance Day in Australia and throughout the world.
Red poppy for Remembrance (May Cross)
From In Flanders Fields In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below….
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.
by John McCrae (1872-1918)
FromWe Shall Keep the Faith Oh! You who sleep in Flanders Fields,
Sleep sweet – to rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw
And holding high, we keep the Faith
With all who died….
And now the Torch and Poppy red
We wear in honour of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught;
We'll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields.
by Moina Michael (1869-1944)