In November 2017 I was scrolling through Facebook and saw a post talking about sending parcels over to Defence Personnel serving overseas for Christmas. It suggested adding in a Matilda Poppy to acknowledge their service.
What the heck is a Matilda Poppy???? So I went looking further and found it to be a poppy that is orange in colour and acknowledges a veterans service. The message being to “Respect Every Veterans Service”, not just those lost to war or those from WWI and WWII but also those still serving today. It is a way for us to say “Thank you”.
I crocheted one and posted a photo of it and shared it with “Matilda Poppy”, since then I’ve discovered that it is run by Andrea who is a veteran herself.
The more I read the more I was shocked that we have lost so many veterans to suicide. Back then it was just over 300, so my goal was to make 300 Matilda Poppies, then if we lost another person I’d make another one so that no one was left behind. ANZAC Day 2018 they were presented to the local RSL.
Fast forward to towards the end of 2019. The number has sadly increased to be FIVE HUNDRED, so I made another 156 poppies. Now there are 500 of them on their way to another RSL. My hope is that they are acknowledged and those veterans we’ve lost are respected. They may have died from their internal wounds but they still served our country and for that they should be treated with respect.
To all our veterans, I say thank you, to the mothers, fathers and families of Jesse Bird, David Finney and the other 498 I say thank you as well. I acknowledge you and respect your service.
ex-DoD APS Employee