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Poppy Day

Waikumete Services Cemetery

Waikumete Services Cemetery

Today, April 25, New Zealand and Australia observe Anzac Day, the anniversary of the landing of the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) at Gallipoli in Turkey (1915). From the commemoration of that ill-fated campaign, the day grew into a commemoration of all service personnel who died for their country, as well as honouring returned personnel.

Poppy Day is usually the Friday before Anzac Day, but this year was on the Thursday (because of Good Friday). On Poppy Day RSA volunteers offer poppies in exchange for a donation, the major fundraiser of the RSA for their welfare work with returned service personel.

On my visit to the Waikumete Services Cemetery last Thursday, I found these poppies wedged between two headstones.

ANZAC Day — Gallipoli 100

Popy Wall --- Gallipoli 100

Popy Wall — Gallipoli 100

April 25 is Anzac Day, a day of commemoration in Australia and New Zealand. On this day in 1915, the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (together with other troops) landed at Gallipoli (Turkey), the beginning of a disastrous campaign with huge loss of lives.

The Poppy Wall shown here was assembled when the Cunard Liner “Queen Elizabeth” was in port at Auckland on February 27 this year. Her world cruise lead past Gallipoli Peninsula last night, April 24, and a commemorative service was scheduled aboard the ship, this Poppy Wall forming the centrepiece of the occasion.

While the scope of the Anzac Day Commemorations has widened over the years to include the memory of all fallen in armed conflict (and honouring those who returned), this year the events of Gallipoli and World War I are much more in the foreground.

The poppy has become very much a symbol of commemoration, see earlier posts.

(You can find the position of the Queen Elizabeth here.)

Poppies for the Display

Poppies for the Display

Peace Poppies (Cristina Beth)

Peace Poppies (Cristina Beth)

Peace Poppies (Cristina Beth)

Titirangi Roundabout presented itself in stunning red on yesterday’s Anzac Day: covered in oversized red Anzac poppies with a peace flag attached. Signs indicating “poppies avalable Sunday”. A compelling sight for every photographer.

It is an installation by local artist Cristina Beth. The Lopdell House Facebook page has this to say:

Visit the Titirangi roundabout on ANZAC morning to see artist Cristina Beth’s Peace Poppy installation. This artwork is for everyone in the community to enjoy and will become part of the landscape for three days.

Afterwards the poppies will be given away, and people will be asked to pass on an act of peace/kindness and email back this to the artist to be documented into an art book.

With this installation, Cristina Beth wishes to honour the past and be a reminder to give thanks for the abundance and peace we share with each other today and protect the land here in Aotearoa for future generations.

Peace Poppies (Cristina Beth)

Peace Poppies (Cristina Beth)

Peace Poppies (Cristina Beth)

Peace Poppies (Cristina Beth)

Anzac Day: Poppies

Poppies, New Lynn RSA

Poppies, New Lynn RSA

Red poppies just like the one on the wall grace many a buttonhole from Friday before Anzac Day (25/04). They symbolise the poppies of Flanders and commemorate soldiers who served and died in military conflicts.

This poppy wall used to be located by Memorial Square around the corner, but in the course of the development of the Merchant Quarter it was relocated to its present place in the grounds of the New Lynn Memorial RSA.

Painted Boxes: Anzac Day

Painted Boxes: Anzac Day (Dan Mills)

Painted Boxes: Anzac Day (Dan Mills)

In New Zealand and Australia, April 25 is a day of remembrance (Anzac Day). Originating with the ill-fated landing of the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) at Gallipoli (Turkey) on April 25, 1915, it is now a day of more general commemoration of those who died in military action.

This oversize box is at the Glenview/Great North Roads corner of Waikumete Cemetery and prominently features the poppies which are sold in the preceding days to raise funds for veterans’ charities. Apart from the poppies (which evoke the World War I battle fields of Flanders), we see soldiers and nurses as well as military hardware. Behind the box in the picture above one can see the cenotaph which is the focal point of the adjacent servicemen’s cemetery. A dawn service by candlelight will take place here at 6 a.m. on Sunday 25 April.

The artwork is by Dan Mills. More work by Dan Mills.

Painted Boxes: Anzac Day (Dan Mills)

Painted Boxes: Anzac Day (Dan Mills)

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