Lest we forget
Large crowds thronged Sydney’s streets to commemorate Anzac Day this year, and SESLHD was equally keen to honour all those who have died in the war and who are serving in our armed services.
Sydney/Sydney Eye Hospital already pays respect to the great sacrifices and mateship of those who served; an honour roll in the main foyer lists the 149 courageous nursing, medical and general staff who volunteered for active service. Some went on to have distinguished military careers.
To honour them on this year's Anzac Day, more than 500 hand crocheted and knitted red Flanders Field poppies were made to decorate the hospital’s picturesque courtyard.
During World War I, red poppies were among the first plants to grow on the Western Front in Europe. They bloomed across the wasted battlefields of northern France and Belgium.
The poppies placed on the lawn around the foundation were made by volunteers from the hospital Grad Nurses Alumni, hospital staff, Friends of Sydney Hospital, local community groups, The Entrance, Camden, Orange in the NSW Central West, and the Crazy Crochet Club. Some were even knitted by volunteers in the UK.
Organiser and nurse manager executive support Ann Hodge who worked closely with the Sydney Hospital Eye Foundation, said staff were thrilled by the response. So many poppies were donated they had enough to make a garland of them, placed around the hospital’s famous Il Porcellini statue.
The golden snout of the statue is supposed to bring good luck to anyone who rubs it, according to legend. “He was a real hit with the tourists in Macquarie Street with poppies strung about his neck,” said Ms Hodge.
Residents and staff at Garrawarra Centre in Waterfall were supported by the Australian Defence Force to participate in the raising of the Australian flag. Residents also attended a bus outing to Helensburgh where they laid a bouquet of flowers in remembrance at the cenotaph.
At Calvary Health Care Kogarah and at Uniting War Memorial, men and women who served in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations were remembered with an Anzac Day service. At Calvary, the Last Post was played by Brian McGuiness.