FIELD OF HOPE: RSL Women's Auxiliary Hervey Bay president Barbara Campbell and member Janice Chick hope to see a field of 500 commemorative crosses placed in Freedom Park this Anzac Day.
FIELD OF HOPE: RSL Women's Auxiliary Hervey Bay president Barbara Campbell and member Janice Chick hope to see a field of 500 commemorative crosses placed in Freedom Park this Anzac Day. Kerrie Alexander

Field of crosses to hold messages for loved ones

WHEN the sun rises over Freedom Park on ANZAC Day, about 500 white wooden crosses will be illuminated along with the personal messages of thanks inscribed on them.  

The Commemorative Crosses Project was founded by the RSL Women's Auxiliary Hervey Bay three years ago, to give residents the opportunity to add their own personal touch to ANZAC Day commemorations in Freedom Park.

Attached to each cross, which costs $2 to use for the day, will be a red poppy and card for people to write the name of the veteran, their service details and a message.

"The people write a message and their name on the card and then we attach it to the cross, and then we put them all in the ground on April 24 below the flag pole and take them away after the two services on ANZAC Day," Auxiliary President Barbara Campbell said.

"We put 350 in the ground last year, we have 500, so we would like to have more this year if we can.

"People are really keen about it, they know about it now and look for it on ANZAC Day."

Mrs Campbell said adding a heartfelt message to the cross - made by the Hervey Bay Woodcraft Club - was a "very personal way" to commemorate a loved one.

"It's a really moving sight," Mrs Campbell said.

"You go along for the service but if there's someone special, like your husband, that you want to commemorate you know that the one that is sitting in the ground is for them.

"Even those who don't have someone to commemorate often write on a card for someone, it's really lovely.

Proceeds made from the project will also assist local community organisations like the rural fire brigades, army, navy and air force cadet units, Riding for the Disabled and the Burrum Heads Girl Guides.

Anyone who would like to buy a cross for the day can head to the Hervey Bay RSL foyer on April 21 and 23, where the ladies will have a manned table set up in the reception area.

The auxiliary will collect the crosses after the services and store them until Anzac Day next year.



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