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Poppies for ‘respect and thanks’ say Eleebana knitters

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When Joan Robinson and a team of fellow knitters from Eleebana Shores decided to sew poppies for Remembrance Day, they imagined the process would involve chatting and the sounds of needles click-clacking all together.

But, that was not to be.

When the region was plunged into its second COVID-19 lockdown earlier this year, Joan and her group of talented stitchers were sadly kept apart for weeks on end, despite living just a few doors from one another.

Rather than give up on the plan to knit hundreds of the symbolic flower, the ladies in their 70s and 80s kept their hands busy apart from one another, until the job was complete.

By Wednesday afternoon the clever needle crafters, who had begun the quest eight months earlier, were able to plant 1500 knitted poppies, strengthened with wire, in the garden beds at the Burton Road address.

They will stay in the ground for two days.

“There were times I really thought we weren’t going to get them done,” Joan said.

“I’d sit at night and keep knitting until I’d done another ten or so.”

Her determination to finish, she says, helped her reflect on what was most important.

“I kept telling myself ‘we can do this’ and really, that’s what it’s all about.

“These people went through some of the most atrocious things in war, and some of them were so young.

“It’s important we do this as a sign of respect, and thanks.

“There were so many lives lost. It’s very important that we remember them.

“These poppies are for all of the lives lost in any war.”

On Thursday 11 November at 11am Joan Robinson, her friends Lynn Rolf and Sylvia Smith joined other members of their knitting team to gather for a Remembrance Day Service within Eleebana Shores.

The poppies they had created after Sylivia Smith first initiated the idea months prior, were carefully placed to spell ‘Lest We Forget’ in the garden before them.

The 11am service was one of many conducted in Lake Macquarie and across the Hunter region.

For more Remembrance Day stories:

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