The exterior of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Museum has been draped with poppies painstakingly made with love by volunteers.
Churches, museums and other organizations across the province and the country have created similar Poppy Project displays to honour veterans of all wars, and last year the Niagara Falls History Museum had more than 11,000 bright red blossoms draped across the front of its building.
After a donation of about 1,500 crocheted and knitted poppies from the Niagara Falls museum, 40 NOTL volunteers formed a local poppy brigade to add to the collection. During the past six weeks they knitted, crocheted, glued, cut, and attached about 4,000 poppies to netting at an assembly line inside the Castlereigh Street museum.
Monday morning, under sunny skies on a beautiful fall day, the volunteers carried them carefully outside to be hung by men from Davy Tree Service, which also donated its services for the job, trimming tree branches where they were in the way. The men said although they’ve used their bucket truck to hang Christmas lights, hanging poppies was a new experience for them.
Barbara Worthy, organizer of the local project, says while the volunteers have put a lot of time and effort into creating the display, it’s also been a lot of fun for them.
“It’s really been about collegiality, team work, and camaraderie. Everyone worked together and made it memorable.”
When the community comes together during a pandemic, “it shows what we can do, putting our ability together as a group.”
Worthy says she is “beyond pleased” at how well the ambitious project worked out. “It’s what we envisioned and more. When we come together, the most amazing things can happen. At one point we were all singing First World War songs. There was some sadness at times, but also lots of fun. Everyone did a great job, and we’ll be back next year.”
The question will be where to store the poppy nets after Remembrance Day, she says, but the
display will be back next year for sure, “bigger, better, and with more poppies.”