An ocean of poppies have been handcrafted in remembrance by West Shore seniors as a tribute to the sacrifices of Canada’s Armed Forces members.
There’s thousands of poppies. Four-thousand, to be precise, all hand-made.
Marilyn Elbourne lost count of how many she’s crafted.
“I think about 140. And then I said, that’s enough. We couldn’t find anymore wool,” Elbourne said.
Volunteers had to stop because the supplies of red wool on the West Shore ran out, but not before the project “Poppy Ocean” became an overwhelming success, according to organizer Ruth Reynolds.
“We started in with the phoning, and the notices going out to come forward and help us. It’s been amazing. Absolutely amazing the help we’ve got,” Reynolds said.
The seniors at the Juan de Fuca Seniors Centre found inspiration from London, England.
The moat surrounding the Tower of London is filled with 888,246 poppies.
Each poppy is in remembrance of a British and Colonial casualty during the First World War.
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It’s a first year of the local Poppy Ocean project.
And each iconic red flower encourages remembrance, and reflection.
“It’s important. It’s important to the veterans. It’s important for them to know that we care about them. And that dammit we’re not going to forget them,” Reynolds said.
Some of the volunteer poppy makers have deep ties with the military.
“I have two sons who served in the navy, 70 years between the two of them. The youngest is retiring next week,” said Elbourne. “They are right behind it. I think about all the people here who are veterans.”
What started with a goal of 15,000 transformed into a tribute to the sacrifice made by members of Canada’s Armed Forces.
Reynolds said that she hopes other seniors groups are inspired to make their own poppy project, and donate to their local Legion.
The Poppy Ocean project will be installed at the Langford Legion in time for Remembrance Day on Saturday.