Remembrance Day

Donated poppies commemorate our history

At Greythorn Community Hub in Balwyn, a display of red, woollen, felt and paper poppies with white crosses has been created as a mark of respect for our fallen soldiers.

The project is the brainchild of Gwenda Foard, a long-time local resident, former Boroondara Citizen of the Year winner and secretary of the North Balwyn RSL, which is located at the Hub.

Nationally, knitted poppies have become a popular way to pay respect and the idea for this initiative was sparked when Gwenda and a friend visited Federation Square in 2015 for the Remembrance Day service.

Since then, Gwenda has knitted and collected poppies that have been created by local community groups including ladies from the RSL and Probus Club, North Balwyn Cubs and children doing craft sessions at the library.

There’s currently a remarkable amount of poppies on show, with over 1,200 poppies incorporated into the display since the Greythorn Community Hub launched one year ago. 

Gwenda said it’s been wonderful to see the support shown for the project.

“One lady from the RSL, Mrs Helen Monks, has knitted hundreds of poppies,” she said.

“We also had a generous donation of red wool from two lovely gentlemen to help keep it going.”

There is a personal connection for Gwenda, with her husband serving as the long-standing president of the North Balwyn RSL and a national serviceman, as well as their daughter having served as a soldier in the Australian Army.

“It’s important to keep our history alive,” Gwenda said.

“I ran an education session with the children who attend the Greythorn Early Childhood Centre and told them about the importance of the poppies and what they represent."

“They then pinned their name to a poppy each to create a connection and now proudly tell their parents all about it.”

Gwenda wants to create a legacy and keep knitting and collecting poppies until the space is full.

“I’m hoping that these poppies will be here for a long time for future generations to learn about and enjoy.”

To learn more about Greythorn Community Hub, call 9006 6590 or see our Greythorn Community Hub page.