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Families volunteer over ten thousand hours to commemorate our lost Australians

Many school support groups come under the umbrella of the Ormiston College Parents and Friends Association (P&F). One that is known for its outstanding creative input is the MOCCHA Club (Members of the Creative College Handiwork Alliance) which is coordinated by Samantha Allen. This year they took on their biggest project to date.

Due to personal family involvement, Samantha Allen approached the P&F and the MOCCHA Club to ask if they would assist in the making of 7,000 poppies that could be sent off to France, for the 100 Year Anniversary of the Battle of Pozières on 23 July, 2016, honouring the sacrifice of each of the Australian soldiers who lost their lives there.

An amazing response was received from volunteer parents, grandparents and members of the local community, many of whom had never before handled a knitting needle. Unperturbed, the majority of knitters took over two hours to fully finish the outer poppy petals, make the knitted black centre, sew them all together, then plait the tails for attaching to the crosses. Well over 10,000 hours of knitting was completed by the end of the project.

At Ormiston College on Wednesday, 11 November, the entire staff and student body, plus parents and friends, attended a special Remembrance Day commemoration, with guest speaker, Barry Gracey, President of the Pozières Remembrance Association. The day before the event each student placed two or three poppies in a special display surrounding the circular stage in the Southern Courtyard. The display was designed to represent the rays of the rising sun from the Armed Forces emblem and the words ‘Lest We Forget’. On the day of the service, those who knitted poppies were invited to lay the remaining red poppies on the three words.

After Remembrance Day the poppies were collected ready for shipping to France. It was a very moving event for all concerned: a magnificent effort from the MOCCHA Club and their many supporters and a wonderful experience for the students of Ormiston College who now have a better knowledge and understanding of the annual event and a greater respect for those Australians who lost their lives in the Battle of Pozières .