June 22, 2024 2:43 AM

A Journey of Remembrance



As dawn breaks this Anzac Day in Kurri Kurri, the community will awaken to a day of profound remembrance. “Kurri Kurri remembers, for we are a town that never forgets”; embodying the spirit of Anzac Day here, not just a ceremony but an emotional pilgrimage honouring the valour of those who served.

The River of Poppies, a sea of red handcrafted by local hands, will flow through Col Brown Rotary Park, each bloom whispering stories of valour and sacrifice. Nearby, the Field of Honour will stand solemnly at the cemetery, where flags of Australia, Britain, and New Zealand will gently wave over the graves of soldiers, a silent salute to their service.

Behind this commemoration are the tireless efforts of Sharon Dyson-Smith, Graham Smith (AM), Cheryle Shoesmith, Lexie Matthews, and Darrell Matthews, along with many dedicated volunteers.

Four years on, their commitment has only deepened.

“It’s been a powerful four years and attendance continues to grow,” Lexie said, highlighting the growing community involvement.

Their work has meticulously catalogued soldiers’ stories, guiding volunteers to honour each soldier’s grave with their country’s flag.

“This year, we will enhance our tribute with the addition of poems and the glow of tea light candles,” Lexie adds, marking a new chapter in how the community will engage with history and honour its heroes.

As Anzac Day unfolds, from the early morning planting of over 3,500 poppies to the setting of flags, the glow of candles and heartfelt poems, these acts will culminate in a display that defines Kurri Kurri’s spirit, enriching our communal memory and pride, bridging past and present in a promise to always remember.

Sharon Dyson-Smith extends a warm invitation to any crafts folk who wish to contribute, urging them to donate knitted or crocheted poppies at the Kurri Kurri Information Centre.

“Towns with Hearts funds the project, and we do get members of the public who donate,” she explains.

“British flags are needed, any donation or volunteer help is always welcome”, she adds.