Celebrating ANZACs with '100' Poppy Wall
Cunard's Queen Elizabeth Makes Contribution to New Zealand's ANZACs with '100' Poppy Wall
In a moving and colourful tribute to New Zealand’s Anzac heroes, a two-metre-tall ‘Poppy Wall’ at Queen’s Wharf last Friday raised a significant amount in donations for the Auckland District Returned and Services’ Association.
In the lead up to the Gallipoli centenary commemorations, Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth formed the backdrop for the vibrant wall in the shape of “100” and also hosted a commemorative service onboard attended by Auckland War Memorial Museum Director, Roy Clare CBE and members of the Returned and Services’ Association, defence forces and political leaders
Kiwis across generations travelled from near and far for the chance to remember lost loved ones by making a gold coin donation to place a poppy on the wall and to write an entry in the commemorative book.
More than $6200 was collected during the day by RSA volunteers, who were on hand to help visitors and to listen to the many stories shared.
Auckland Combined Returned And Services’ Associations Welfare President Pat Johnson commented that the ‘Poppy Wall’ was the most exciting event he had been involved in and said he was overwhelmed by the support given to the appeal by the public of Auckland.
‘‘I believe all those involved acted in the true Anzac spirit of courage, compassion, commitment and camaraderie in ‘People Helping People’,” Mr Johnson said.
The Poppy Wall and commemorative book are now travelling to Sydney onboard Queen Elizabeth, where Australians will have the chance to add their poppies and memories on Tuesday March 3 and Wednesday March 4. The ship then sails to Europe, where the Poppy Wall and book will form the centrepiece of an onboard ceremony in the waters off Gallipoli on April 24, the eve of Anzac Day.
Carrying more than 2000 passengers as part of her 2015 World Voyage, the 90,900-tonne Queen Elizabeth is the first of Cunard’s three liners to visit New Zealand waters this cruise season, calling ahead of sister ships Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria which arrive in March.