The 20 members of the knitting club at Calgary’s Cathedral Church of the Redeemer have received an outpouring of support for their effort to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of the ending of the First World War.

Pippa FitzGerald-Finch witnessed a similar display of hand-knitted poppies in England and decided to bring the idea to Calgary.  She convinced her fellow members in the knitting club to take up the cause.

“We had a target of 5,000 which I thought would be a suitable number to make a decent display and it just kept going,” explained FitzGerald-Finch. “At the last count we had 7,500.”

Hundreds of people from across Canada and abroad have hand-knitted poppies of their own and sent them to the church to be incorporated into the monument. “One lady in New Zealand made poppies and (people) all over British Columbia and Alberta.”

For FitzGerald-Finch, knitting the poppies provided an opportunity to reflect on the contributions of those who served. “It does make you stop and think about what all those men did, and women of course, so that we can live in a free world”  

The poppies will be draped over the exterior of the Cathedral Church of the Redeemer, 604 1 Street Southeast, in mid-October and will remain in place through Remembrance Day.

With files from CTV’s Kevin Green