‘Remember’ is defined as being able to bring to one’s mind an awareness of someone or something from the past. To some, this comes easily and can bring with it many different emotions – happiness, sadness, love, confusion or even a feeling of inner peace. For others it can be much harder due to cognitive challenges or just not wanting to relive a memory.

Eight acrylic letters spelling REMEMBER, standing at three metres high and a massive sixteen metres in total length are soon going to be filled with bright red handmade cardboard poppies. There will be precisely 57, 705 poppies to reflect the same number of selfless Queensland Soldiers who enlisted in the First World War. This is part of the Armistice Centenary art installation – an initiative from the Queensland Government’s Armistice Centenary commemorations.

Our Community Relations and Sustainability Manager, Kerry Shepherd assembled generous groups of volunteer ‘Poppy Makers at Currumbin RSL workshops which among others, included the PBC Aquatic Centre Deep Water Running Group and also Currumbin Community Special School (CCSS).

The generosity of these people with their time not only warmed our hearts and formed beautiful memories within the workshops but the atmosphere also had a touch of magic in itself and created a breakthrough with one of the CCSS students.

Ngaio Reid, a teacher from CCSS happily informed us that this was the only activity that had ever kept student Cassidy totally focused. Concentrating is a challenge for Cassidy as she is like a bouncy ball of energy. The poppy making experience enabled her to channel all of her energy into crafting the poppies and created hours of inner peace. Cassidy easily made the greatest number of poppies in the group – sometimes without even needing to look at her hands! Ngaio showed Cassidy a photo of an acrylic letter with poppies inside it and Cassidy noticed that the letter wasn’t completely full. Ngaio explained that it would be her poppies that were filling up the gap and Cassidy completely understood where all of her hard work would end up – another breakthrough.

So when we see the completed art installation, not only will we remember the sacrifice of the 57, 705 Queensland soldiers who enlisted in WWI but we will also remember the generous work of our wonderful volunteers as well as the leap forward for our shining star poppy maker, Cassidy.