Poppy Power

April 19th, 2018
Poppy Power
On ANZAC Day this Wednesday, April 25, three months of hand knitting and crafting will be displayed on the Mount Barker District Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital to raise awareness of the hospitals status as a Soldiers’ Memorial.

Hand knitted red poppies will adorn the front of the Hospital with knitted wreaths adorning batons outside and around the honour board inside the hospital listing those who fell in WWI.

Jo Gemmell is the lady behind the idea.

She’s striving to raise awareness amongst all residents of Mount Barker, old or new, of the significance of the district hospital and why it is a soldiers’ memorial.

With this year being the centenary of the end of WWI Jo believes raising awareness is more important than ever.

“I don’t think people know the hospital is a soldiers’ memorial and so we need to raise awareness of this,” Jo said.

“Last year I went to a talk about these remembrance days and someone said ‘the end of the ode says we will remember them,’ so it’s up to us to know their names and remember.”

“I’m worried that most young people don’t remember and so that’s why we’re trying to raise awareness of the hospital's profile.”

Jo talked about the hospital's importance after the war and how returned veterans from WWI were given free medical aid from the hospital.

The hospital was also entirely funded by ladies of the community who believed in the importance of raising funds to build and fully equip the hospital.

“Myself and my three friends are just volunteers who wanted to improve the overall understanding of this hospital,” Jo said.

“My three friends, Vivienne Pfitzner, Gwen Waters and Diane Downer have been knitting non-stop and without their substantial help I wouldn’t have the task up to where it is now.”

The knitting group is also thinking about the possibility of selling their hand made poppies if there are any left over, after Jo encourages members of the community to wear them in the lead up to ANZAC Day.

Jo thinks it would be great if the staff of the Mount Barker District Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital, police, pharmacists and community members wore the poppies to raise awareness of the hospitals profile.

All members of the community are invited to look at the poppy displays from April 25 and think about what they mean.

For more information contact Jo on 0409 906 610.

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