HOBART’S Parliament House lawns were transformed into a spectacular poppy field of remembrance in the lead up to ANZAC Day last month.
A total of 8,141 red plastic poppies were planted by the community to symbolise the number of Australians who were tragically killed in action at Gallipoli during World War One (WWI) over eight months.
Thousands of people, including veterans, descendents, school children and tourists, visited the lawns to view the striking sea of red and to reflect on the service and sacrifices of Australian soldiers.
Members of the public purchased poppies for a gold coin donation, with all proceeds going to the Returned Services League (RSL) Tasmania.
RSL Tasmania state president Robert Dick said he was delighted with the initiatve.
“Gallipoli should never, ever be forgotten and simple yet effective initiatives such as this one demonstrates how we can continue to educate our children about the significant part their forefathers played in our history,” he said.
Attending the launch of the poppy field of remembrance, Premier Will Hodgman paid tribute to his father’s great-uncle Harry Hodgman, who was killed at Gallipoli.
“The field of poppies is encouraging Tasmanians of all ages to honour the memory of our courageous soldiers, while supporting the invaluable work RSL Tasmania does in providing support to service personnel, veterans and their families,” Mr Hodgman said.
The Speaker of Tasmania’s House of Assembly, Elise Archer, said she was honoured to assist with the poignant visual tribute which captured the ANZAC spirit using the symbol of remembrance, the poppy.
‘’The Centenary of Anzac represents one of the most significant commemorative occasions for our nation,’’ she said.
‘’Initiatives like this one signify Tasmania’s keenness to pay their respects and ensure our rich military history is passed on to future generations.”
The poppy field of remembrance concept was conceived by the Mercury newspaper, which was inspired by the public art installation at the Tower of London last year to mark 100 years since Britain’s involvement began in WWI.