FLORAL TRIBUTE: Wondai Garden Club members Dianne Scully, Cath Rutledge and Jan Anderson's expo display is a touching garden commemoration of the centenary of the Anzac landing.
FLORAL TRIBUTE: Wondai Garden Club members Dianne Scully, Cath Rutledge and Jan Anderson's expo display is a touching garden commemoration of the centenary of the Anzac landing. Tessa Mapstone

Display honours Anzacs

WHEN it came to choosing the theme for the Wondai Garden Club's display at the expo a week ahead of the centenary of the Anzac landings, there was never a question.

Cath Rutledge and a dedicated team of creative green thumbs used plants, flowers and sculptures to represent the Australian and New Zealand forces' presence at Gallipoli.

"We tried to imagine what the countryside of Gallipoli would look like," she said.

"Obviously we are a garden club, so we've got to tell our story through plants and flowers.

"We used hessian in the background - it's got that military and harsh look, and we've used a lot of light-coloured rocks."

The names of every Wondai soldier to fight in the Gallipoli campaign were placed throughout the exhibit, with the names of the three soldiers killed placed prominently in a bush built of rosemary sprigs and topped with a Light Horseman's hat borrowed from the Wondai RSL.

"One of the boys from Wondai who was killed at Gallipoli was buried on the beach and his grave was covered with light-coloured rocks and sea shells," Mrs Rutledge said.

"When you read things like that you can sort of see what it would look like."

The pictures and stories of soldiers line a wall embedded with crepe paper poppies.

Each of the women had family connections to the wars, and Jan Anderson said creating the display was an emotional process.

"They were so young to be there, then they were slaughtered," she said.

"It's a time to remember what our menfolk did in the past to save our country."

Australian and New Zealand flags framed the portrait of a mounted soldier drawn by Tingoora artist Robyn Dower.

Ferns and a kiwi adorned half the display to honour the contribution of New Zealand soldiers, while eucalypt branches and a kangaroo represented the Australian contingent.

Rosemary and its strong scent permeated the whole exhibit.

"Everybody who lives in Wondai and has rosemary donated some," Mrs Rutledge said.

"We must have about a tonne of rosemary here.

"There's not much left in our gardens now."

Make sure you turn to pages 42 and 43 of today's edition of the South Burnett Times for more on the expo and for more photos

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