BRHS Planned Activity Group’s hand-made Anzac Day salute

Members of Bairnsdale Regional Health Service’s Planned Activity Group have put together an Anzac Day tribute with a very personal touch.

The Planned Activity Group meets each weekday at BRHS’ Ross Street campus to share time and friendship in pursuit of a joint activity, with a different group of East Gippsland residents each day.

The group also has outreach services for people in Paynesville, Buchan and Lindenow.

In the lead-up to Anzac Day, they have created a richly textured tribute to the fallen and all those who have served Australia in times of conflict.

It includes a hand-made banner, photographs, medals, memorabilia and wreaths.

Planned Activity Assistant Deb Bullen said the group acknowledges special dates right through the year.

“The idea behind the Planned Activity Group is to empower people to stay engaged with the community and keep them involved. A lot of people miss out socially. Here, they can meet new friends and we give them the support and encouragement to make new friends and stay engaged with the community,” she said.

“With Anzac Day, some of the people in this age group have fought in war or their parents fought in war. It’s nice to remember then. So, we started a conversation about doing something for Anzac Day.

”From that, everyone has had something to share or say. All the poppies were made by clients here. It sparked conversations about other people’s experience. The clients have been bringing in things that were special to them like hats or letters or medals.”

All the items in the display were either made or supplied by participants. This includes manty items of memorabilia.

For example, Keith Ford of Bairnsdale included his own National Service medals from his service in 1956, a picture of his World War I veteran father in uniform and on horseback, his father’s World War I campaign medals and his dad’s regimental cufflinks.

It’s been a learning experience for everyone, Deb said.

“I didn’t know that there were four different coloured poppies, and each one depicts something. Purple ones reflect the animals (that served or died in battle), the white one is an international one, and the black ones are for people who are still suffering because of war or who have been displaced from their country or their live,” Deb said. “I didn’t realise that, and neither did the clients. You learn a lot with these activities.”

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