Pupils grow poppies to give to veterans

Tahuna Intermediate pupils check progress on one of the 100 poppy seedlings they are  growing ...
Tahuna Intermediate pupils check progress on one of the 100 poppy seedlings they are growing for Anzac Day. They are (front from left) Samantha Oldham (11), Mackenzie Greer (11), Sarah Quinn (10), (back from left) Maggie Gorman (12) and Grace...

Some Tahuna Intermediate School pupils and their teacher are hoping to make Anzac Day extra special for veterans this year.

They are growing 100 poppies in pots they hope will be blooming in time for services on April 25.

Teacher and ex-serviceman Terry Hokianga said Anzac Day was extra special this year because it also marked 100 years since the Gallipoli landings.

He got the idea for the poppies last year when he saw a child give his own poppy to a veteran who was sitting in a chair.

''I thought that is a kind thing to do and why don't we do something like that next year, knowing that it is 100 years since Gallipoli?''His idea has grown to include live poppies with their pots dressed with messages from the children - ''we will remember them''.

The only unknown is if the poppies will bloom in time for the big day.

Mr Hokianga said the pupils had been moving the pots to ensure the seedlings got plenty of sunlight and the pots were kept in a hothouse at night.

His more green-fingered advisers have assured him the poppies are coming along nicely despite their lack of flowers.

''Hopefully we are able to give them a blooming good gift on Anzac morning instead of just the greenery.''

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