On Friday 11 November, as part of observing Remembrance Day for 2022, the staff and students of Salesian College Sunbury ‘planted’ over 1,300 crocheted poppies across the lawns of the Rupertswood Mansion. Students, staff, parents, grandparents, and the wider local community have all contributed to crocheting the poppies over the past few months. As the students and staff arrived at school, they were encouraged to reflect on the significance of this day as they placed them.
This beautiful concept was developed by one of our teachers, Mrs Tina Pronesti, who was inspired by a link between the history of Rupertswood and one of our fallen soldiers; Lieutenant Keith Macdonald, the nephew of Sir Rupert Clark, was killed in France during World War I. Mrs Pronesti set a ‘Poppy Challenge’ for the College and the local community, sharing a crochet pattern and encouraging everyone to get involved in trying to create a single poppy. She was blown away by the enthusiasm of the students and their families, with some families contributing hundreds of poppies. Her goal – which she thought ambitious – was to reach 1,000 poppies by Remembrance Day but today over 1,300 poppies were planted.
Mrs Pronesti stated that “every single poppy is a symbol of a connection with our school and a memory of the fallen”, adding that “we are lucky to all belong to an amazing community at Salesian College Sunbury”.
The installation on the lawns of the Rupertswood Mansion served as a beautiful backdrop as the students and staff arrived at school, prompting conversations and reflections and motivating a deeper connection with the messages shared in the Remembrance Day Ceremony. Closer to 11am, the College Community watched a pre-recorded Remembrance Day ceremony, featuring some of the same poppies planted outside the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne as the 2022 College Captains, along with other students and our Principal, Mr Brockhus, hosted a reverent service of reflection.
Click the links below to watch some great video footage from the morning: