By ALAN SHACKLETON
For the fourth year in a row, Beach resident Margot Rockett will be making large tissue paper door poppies in advance of Remembrance Day.
All proceeds from the sale of the door poppies, which Rockett makes by hand, will go to the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 13 on Kingston Road, east of Warden Avenue, in southwest Scarborough.
She has been making the door poppies since the fall of 2020 as a way to honour the sacrifices made by Canadian forces members to keep our country free, to keep Remembrance Day front and centre in the minds of local residents and to raise funds for the Royal Canadian Legion.
“This year I’m hoping to make 300 of them,” said Rockett of her plans for the door poppies this year.
She is licenced by the Royal Canadian Legion to use the Poppy image in her creations which are made of red and black and tissue paper. The Legion has trademarked the Poppy so that it can only be used in ways that raise funds for veterans services.
The Poppy is protected “as a sacred symbol of Remembrance, a symbol of the sacrifice of our Veterans. The Legion ensures that the Poppy is not used for commercial or personal gain, and that it be protected from inappropriate use. It is for these reasons that the Legion requires permission for the use of the trademark Poppy, or the Poppy image as it relates to Remembrance,” said the Legion’s website.
The door poppies that Rockett sells are $10 each with a goal of raising a minimum of $3,000 towards Branch 13’s annual poppy campaign.
“If I can make more than 300, I will try,” said Rockett. “I don’t want anyone to be disappointed, but there is a limit to how many I can make. But I’ll be up to 2 a.m. making them if needed.”
When she first started making the door poppies in 2020 there was a lot of interest among Beach residents for them, but the following year the demand for them exploded thanks to national media coverage and she received thousands of requests from across Canada and beyond.
“I just couldn’t make enough of them. People wanted to send them to family members overseas as well,” said Rockett.
The demand in 2021 for them was overwhelming, which is why she has made it clear for the least two years that the number of door poppies available is limited.
Rockett said supporting the Royal Canadian Legion and The Poppy Fund is important for many reasons.
“The Legions are really important and we need to keep them going. In some smaller communities, all there is is a Legion for people in need,” she said.
The Royal Canadian Legion’s Poppy Fund supports veterans and their families with grants for food, housing, medical appliances, education grants and much more.
For more info on The Poppy Fund, please visit https://www.legion.ca/remembrance/the-poppy-campaign/use-of-the-poppy-funds
Along with raising money for The Poppy Fund, Rockett said people buying her door poppies often also share their own family histories regarding service and remembrance.
“I am so happy to hear the people’s stories that they want to share about their family members. They will show me photos and they are so proud of them,” she said.
Her own father, Lloyd Rockett, served in the Royal Canadian Air Force in the Second World War.
Those interested in ordering a door poppy from Rockett are asked to contact her by email at email@example.com