Community members from North Gower and Kars gathered at the North Gower Branch of the Ottawa Public Library today as the display of WWI memorabilia and hand-made poppies was officially “opened” by MP Pierre Poilievre. MPP Lisa MacLeod also paid a visit, as did council candidate for Osgoode ward Kim Sheldrick.
Copies of letters home from North Gower-Kars area soldiers were posted in a poignant display prepared by Susan McKellar of the Rideau Archives. Library staffer Louise Drouin-Backs coordinated the display, and is herself a member of the knitting club (pictured above in pink blouse).
But the highlight of the event was the display of hand-made poppies, prepared by knitters in both North Gower-Kars and the village of Totton, England.
Library volunteer and leader of the poppy project Anne Burtt (in turquoise, above) explained that her sister in Totton told her that the knitting club there (which also meets at their local library) was creating hand-made poppies to mark the 100th anniversary of the commencement of World War I, and the sisters hit upon the idea that a Canada-UK exchange of poppies could be interesting.
Each poppy is life-sized, and took the knitters several hours, if not days to prepare.
The display will be at the North Gower library until mid-August.