Poppy donations leaves organiser ‘shocked’

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A request for handmade poppies for a display at Nelson Cathedral has had such a remarkable response the coordinator has been left “shocked”.

Susan Holland came up with the idea to make a giant display by hanging home-made woollen or fabric poppies in the Nelson Cathedral to commemorate 100 years since the Gallipoli landings. The idea isn’t new, with other parts of New Zealand and Australia doing a similar concept. But Susan says the reaction from Nelsonians has been fantastic.

“I didn’t expect the response would be quite so much as it is. I’ve been quite shocked.”

When Susan spoke with Nelson Weekly last September, her goal was to have 1000 poppies made and donated by locals. She has well over 3000, with another two weeks before the display goes up.

Susan is a part of the Nelson Creative Fibre Group which has led the project, but says donations have come from all around the region and with good support from the local libraries and wool shops.

“There are patterns online or people could make their own, and it really got people interested in what we do,” says Susan.

The poppies are glued to a 5 metre by one metre sheet of hessian and will hang in front of the two big windows inside the Cathedral. The display will go up on April 10.

Susan says the group just needs some galvanised poles donated to slide through the top of the display. The pipes need to be at least 1200mm long and anyone that may be able to help can contact Susan on 547 4329.