Poppy dress in Manitoba pays tribute to veterans

BRANDON, MAN. — A Manitoba care home worker has put the finishing touches on a project that aims to pay tribute to veterans and the sacrifices of soldiers during war.

A poppy dress is on display in the halls at Rotary Villas at Crocus Gardens in Brandon, Man

Joyce Scantlebury, the wellness and recreation coordinator at the centre, got the idea from a photo she saw years ago but never had the time to do it. That all changed when the COVID-19 pandemic began.

“With the COVID restrictions, things were a little less busy in my job I decided we could do this project,” she said “So much has been cancelled and put aside.

“Remembrance Day is very important to these people’s lives. They’ve had family members in the war, even spouses and or themselves in the war. We have to acknowledge Remembrance Day.”

Scantlebury purchased a wedding dress from a thrift store in Brandon. She had residents make poppies in their rooms, using three layers of tissue paper to craft each poppy. Scantlebury didn’t keep a count of the number of poppies made but guessed over 600 were used in the construction of the dress. Seven residents helped Scantlebury pin the poppies to the dress, which took a month-and-a-half to finish.

poppy dress

poppy dress

(CTV News Photos Scott Andersson)

One of the residents who helped, Sylvia Barr, said it was nice to contribute to the project.

“I think it represents love and hope, beauty and grace, all of those lovely things,” Barr said

Residents stop dead in their tracks when walking by, Barr added, calling the dress “a show stopper.”

The dress will be taken apart after Remembrance Day, but Scantlebury said she would see about putting it up next year.

“I am sure I will have a lineup of residents volunteering to help,” she said with a chuckle. 

Poppy dress

(CTV News Photo Scott Andersson)

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