As Remembrance Day draws near, it is time to reflect and remember the sacrifice of those who have served their communities and countries in generations gone by. Edinburgh College is proud to announce that one of our own students will commemorate Remembrance Day in a special way this year.
Edinburgh College Year 9 student, Seanna Carlile-Clark has had a personal connection to Remembrance Day (alternatively known as Armistice Day) for as long as she can remember. Honouring family members involved in the World War conflicts, Seanna’s family travel each year into the city of Melbourne, participating in the ANZAC Day march. Seanna’s aunty became involved in making poppies as a tribute to service personnel, placing them on the grounds at the Australian War Memorial. From these efforts, Seanna discovered the 5,000 Poppy Project, and the process of making poppies using felt and wool began. Seanna knew that each poppy she handcrafted was a small token of appreciation for her great-grandfather’s and other relatives’ service, and was a way of reminding others at the same time. Seanna’s handmade poppies were donated to local schools for inclusion in their wreaths with some being included to form wreaths for the last ANZAC Day March.
This year Seanna was determined to enlist the help of her school community, and encouraged students on campus from other year levels to become involved. With the support of Mrs Wood (Food Technology and Textiles) and a number with Year 7 and 12 students, enough poppies were hand-made to create a wreath which will travel to France for Remembrance Day. Mrs Wood says of the initiative:
‘It was wonderful for students across a number of year levels (Year 7, 9 and 12) to be involved in such a unique and heartfelt project. Some were confident in sewing with others just starting out, yet each team member could contribute in a meaningful way, providing an opportunity to open dialogue and exchange stories regarding their own family history.’
Representing the Edinburgh College community, this wreath will be personally laid by Seanna at a commemorative ceremony at Villers Bretonneux on 11 November in recognition of the service of men and women during times of conflict. Seanna speaks about her involvement:
Seanna, what does it mean to be part of this project?
It’s really special – it’s a little way to give back. I wasn’t born during a time of war, so I do this as a hobby, but also to hear the stories. It’s the stories of people in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s who had their fathers go to war. They have these incredible stories that mostly go untold, kept in journals.
For next year’s event, how would you suggest to people to get involved?
You can visit the 5,000 Poppy Project via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/5000Poppies/ or their website. You can be involved just by making a poppy and sending them in. They are also installed at the Shrine of Remembrance and at the Australian War Memorial.
We look forward to hearing about Seanna’s experiences as she travels to Villers-Brettoneux and learns about the rich history of the area. You can find out more about the Villers-Brettoneux Cemetery by visiting the Commonwealth War Graves Commission at www.cwgc.org.