First published with The Courier –

Thousands of hand knitted poppies will be handed to the Bacchus Marsh Great War Centenary Committee next week.

Each of the 300 hand-made poppy wreaths created by the Bacchus Marsh RSL Ladies Auxiliary will be laid on a tree at the Avenue of Honour during a commemoration service.

The service to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the Avenue of Honour’s creation is planned for August 11 next year.

Cr Tonia Dudzik, President of the Bacchus Marsh Great War Centenary Committee, will accept the poppies from the RSL Ladies Auxiliary next week.

“The 300 wreaths will be a magnificent tribute to the soldiers from Bacchus Marsh and District who served in World War One,” she said.

“It’s about remembrance and paying respect during the ANZAC centenary.

“We put the call out to people in June 2006 for people to knit poppies.

“RSL members from across Victoria assisted and so did people in the community.”

It takes roughly 40 minutes to create a single poppy, depending on the speed of the knitter.

Cr Dudzik said the project had inspired people of all ages.

“We even had someone go into a primary school to teach kids to knit,” she said.

Family members of soldiers and school children will lay the wreaths as part of next year’s ceremony.

June Webb, Secretary of the Bacchus Marsh RSL Ladies Auxillary, has been knitting one or two poppies a night.

“I’ve got no idea how many I have knitted, I just kept bringing them in to the RSL,” she said.

“We have had so many people of all ages come to the RSL to hand in poppies.

“It means a lot. It means we are doing something to honour the fellows who fought for us.”

Bev Kummerlowe, President of the Bacchus Marsh RSL Ladies Auxiliary, said she would like to thank volunteer knitters.

The Great War Centenary Committee is calling descendants of soldiers with trees on the Avenue of Honour to contact