Poppy wall-hanging

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Poppy Flight poppies quilt creators Judy Skevington, left, and Dellwyn Moylan, present their creation to Hakatere Marae's Michelle Brett and Tania Rueben.

A nationwide community-backed poppy initiative has seen members of Hakatere Marae receive a one-of-a-kind handcrafted poppy wall hanging.

It was to be hung in a “special place” inside the marae.

Marae chairwoman Michelle Brett and co-ordinator Tania Rueben thankfully received the beautifully crafted wall hanging from creators Dellwyn Moylan and Judy Skevington last week – on the 100th anniversary of the RSA’s Poppy Day appeal.

Dellwyn, who designed it, said community generosity for the national Poppy Flight project to Mid Canterbury last year saw hundreds of knitted and crocheted poppies, and stars, created and sold as fundraising efforts for the Returned Services Association (RSA), Starship Hospital and New Zealand Warbirds.

Knitted pieces were also used in art works nationally, as well as an evening dress, and auctioned.

Efforts in the district which saw around 50 volunteers knit or crochet 700 poppies and stars, in all sizes and styles, raised more than $650 dollars.

Dellwyn said 42 knitted poppies were used in the wall hanging, crafted by Judy, a close friend and fellow Poppy Flight volunteer.

“We had such an overwhelming response from our community as you would expect to making poppies,” Dellwyn said.

“I made a decision it would be nice to keep some in the district and make a hanging like the (national) poppy one. I designed it and Judy Skevington created it.”

The first poppies were attached at the Anzac Day service at Hakatere Marae last year, and it had been added to by people at the marae in the weeks following, she said.

“The border of the wall hanging acknowledges the Maori contribution to serving our country.

“In each corner of the hanging there is a small symbol … (each) representing the Royal New Zealand Navy, the New Zealand Army, the Royal New Zealand Airforce and all the animals that have served our country alongside their human companions.”