'Yarn bombers' prepare for ANZAC DaySave
By Hunter Calder
Across the Waikato - the gentle click-clack of knitting needles signals a ''yarn bombing" project - to remember those who went into battle on our behalf.
Knitter Janet Chalklen says everyone has been knitting and crocheting thousands of bright red poppies for months as a token "statement out there for our soldiers."
Most - have a personal connection to the war.
But Rae Cathro says her father never talked about it when he returned.
"My father went to the first world war, and he has a cross up there [on the street in Ngaruawahia], and he had to get sent back in a hospital ship, he got shot in the leg, so he was wounded, so that's why it's important for me," Mrs Cathro says.
Mrs Chalklen says the war would have been horrendous that went to fight and many people are probably unable to comprehend what the soldiers experienced.
"I mean when you think about it, those kids were only 18, most of them like my father in law lied about his age, so he was only 18 and that is incredible to think that, that age group could go through that horror, he was injured quite badly and went into a hospital. He was one of the lucky ones," Mrs Chalklen says.
Rhoda Johnston is a keen knitter and says she has wool everywhere at home, so it was logic that she was involved knitting poppies.
"It's quite neat to be part of a group that's doing a yarn bombing because I quite like that idea. It's something important."
Local Schools in the district are also involved.
Taupiri School children have been learning about war history and have learned to knit with their fingers and life-sized needles.
Nine-year-old Mackenzie Butler says both sides of her family fought in the war "So it's pretty special to have a part in remembering them."
Young and old - everyone is giving it a go - even the Mayor of the Waikato District, Allan Sanson who says knitting is one way to connect and remember with others.
In Huntly Jean Beaverland is helping organise the yarn-bombing in the township. She's been inundated with anonymous poppies left at her house which she had threaded onto string to put around five trees in the town.
"They are in the letterbox, I have no idea where they come from, people just leave them there cause they know they are coming to me."
Huntly resident Joan Craig says ANZAC day is something she has and will always be involved in because three generations of her family were involved.
"My grandfather was world war one. He was killed. He's buried in Belgium, and my father, he was involved, he passed away but he was in Papua New Guinea. My brother was with the regular army in Australia."
This year ANZAC Day falls on a Tuesday.
The yarn bombers displays are already popping up across towns in the Waikato District.
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