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  • Writer's pictureJack Ward

ANZAC plan B at Ararat Primary

Published in The Ararat Advocate, Ararat's local weekly newspaper published by West Vic News Pty Ltd.

Ararat 800 Primary School’s annual floral tribute at the Cenotaph for ANZAC Day was unable to take place this year for the first time in the tradition’s history.

Ararat 800 Primary School Education Support Officer Carol Turner (Jack Ward/The Ararat Advocate)

The school community – students, staff and local volunteers – have been commemorating the Anzacs and laying the flowers since 1957, however, the coronavirus pandemic left them with no option but to pull the pin on this year’s display.

Instead, the local primary school came up with a plan B. A small group of staff and one student spent last Friday carefully placing vibrant marigolds and dahlias in front of the school’s office to form the words ‘Lest We Forget.’

The same phrase is usually created on a larger scale by all classes and placed alongside the Rising Sun emblem at the Cenotaph.

“This has been going on since the 1950s, it’s been a very big tradition,” Ararat 800 Primary School Education Support Officer Carol Turner said.

“Every year the kids do the letters ‘Lest We Forget’ and then they’re transported up to the Cenotaph where a group of volunteers and members of the community do the Rising Sun, all in flowers.”

The flowers are sourced from Bendigo, Warrnambool, Hopkins Correctional Centre and the school’s own garden beds. Turner said staff were very disappointed that the annual tradition couldn’t go ahead as planned.

“It is usually a beautiful day when we do it all. We set it all up down at the Learning Centre and do all the letters, the kids come through and each class gets to do two letters and they’re pretty proud of their work,” she said.

“There was a few of us that were a little bit heartbroken when the decision was made that we couldn’t do it.”

Although it looked a little different, the school was still very pleased that they were able to continue the tradition and remember those who have served and died in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.

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