SunLive – Colorful poppy wall
Anyone who has entered Tauranga Hospital in recent weeks may have discovered that a restored turn-of-the-century villa within the hospital grounds was adorned with bright red woolen poppies.
Debbie Lawrence, coordinator of the mental health service, created a wall of knitted poppies in the workplace of her hospital in Tauranga.
“I was going to knit some poppies for the staff here and thought about how I had seen the poppies at the Tower of London; we could do something like that, ”Debbie says.
Created to mark the centenary of WWI, 888,246 ceramic poppies gradually filled the famous Tower of London moat in 2014, with each poppy representing a British military death during WWI.
Debbie has lived here in New Zealand for almost five years with her husband and daughter, and has a son in the UK.
“I am absent from my family in England.”
A desire to honor Anzac’s soldiers prompted her to begin creating a wall of poppies in remembrance along the front veranda entrance to “ building number 2 ” which houses the management team of the mental health of the hospital. The chicken mesh extends from the white trellis trellis of the villa’s porch painted in pale lemon, to the garden below, which has been planted with white crosses also adorned with knitted red poppies.
“I started knitting them earlier in the year,” says Debbie, who appealed to the BOP District Health Board website for others to help give the wall a “wow” factor after already knitted about 200 poppies herself.
She provided an easy pattern and began to receive many knitted poppies as people responded.
“I’m so grateful that so many people have contributed,” says Debbie. “This includes people who do not work at the hospital, including my friends and many family members of the staff. In Whakatane, a church staff member was involved, and patients from the mental health service – Te Whare Maiangiangi – also contributed.
As the boxes of knitted poppies arrived, Debbie added the flowers to the growing poppy wall, tying them to the netting.
The decorated villa is located at 20e Ave, at Te Whare Maiangiangi. By Anzac Day, the front of it will be bursting with color.