April 25th 2015 was the 100th anniversary of ANZAC Day.
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I am part of the Special Weeks committee, which organizes all sorts of Special Events as part of the school calendar, at Cambridge Primary School, and we thought that as a whole school we had to do something to commemorate the 100th ANZAC day!
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So we came up with the very simple idea of each student and staff member making a paper poppy and planting it into the ground to create a field of poppies.
paper poppies field April 2015
Each grade was supplied with enough wooden skewers for one for each child but after that it was up to the teachers how they put their poppies together. There were no other rules or instructions to follow as we really didn’t want them to look all exactly the same.
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They just all had to be planted by lunch time on the Friday before ANZAC day, in a rather bare patch of ground, near the office, at the front of the school.
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I started the planting process off in the morning and then was running back and forth from the main art room during the day to take photos as the planting progressed. It was lovely to lift my head up from my work in the main art room and catch a glimpse of all the heads down and bottoms up action as the students and staff planted their poppies and then stood around admiring their work and the work of others. There was even quite a reverent, emotional atmosphere around the poppy field.
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I did find I had to stand guard when I was on yard duty at snack time though as several Prep children thought it would be a great idea to run through and stomp on all the poppies – so much for being reverent, emotional and caught up in the atmosphere, when you are 5!
My battery died on my Ipad, of course, so I didn’t even get to photograph the complete field of poppies.
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The photographer arrived from the local paper and took a lovely photo which luckily included my Georgie.(Yay! XXX) I think that is the only local newspaper photo Georgia has ever been in for her school so it was nice she got to be in one during her final year at Cambridge PS! As this photographer was there rather early in the day I don’t think he even saw the whole field of poppies.
field of paper poppies April 2015 Georgia
A Bright ANZAC tribute at Cambridge Primary School. “The gardens of Cambridge Primary School were a sea of red last Friday as the school marked Anzac Day. The Hoppers Crossing school wanted to mark the 100th anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli with something special, so it created a field of poppies. Assistant principal Nella Cascone said the school’s 935 pupils and 90 staff made the flowers. A planting ceremony was then held last Friday afternoon, giving everyone a chance to pay their respects. Grade 6 pupils Georgia, Ayaan and Shaubing (pictured) were among the children who helped plant the poppies.” – See more at: http://www.starweekly.com.au/news/1836763-poppies-a-bright-anzac-tribute-at-cambridge-primary-school/#sthash.a5wHAjMi.dpuf
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At the end of the school day there was quite a crowd as plenty of families photographed and admired the poppy field, with all commenting about how it had been a fantastic idea, and some being very moved by it.
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Susie, my Science teacher colleague, and I, waited until 4.00pm to make our sad, regretful decision. The weather was changing rather drastically, with the wind becoming quite ferocious and a heavy storm predicted for the early evening. We had intended leaving the poppies in the field and collecting them up on Monday morning but the thought of arriving at school to find the poppies shredded by the storm and dumped all over the school yard was just devastating. So regretfully, Susie, Georgie and I, and a few helpers from After School Care, packed up the magnificent field of poppies into boxes before the storm could destroy them.
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‘They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.’
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Thanks for reading,