Floral tribute on Anzac Day

ARARAT - The Ararat Primary School's Anzac Day floral tribute has become as associated with the sacred day as two-up or Anzac biscuits.

This year will mark the 57th year the colourful piece has been created out the front of the cenotaph in Barkly Street.

Each year thousands of fresh flowers are placed on the lawn to create the Australian Rising Sun logo and the words 'Lest We Forget'.

All grades at Ararat Primary School are involved in putting together the popular tribute to the country's fallen service men and women.

About 270 students arrange the various types of flowers, including crabapples, salvia, marigolds and dahlias.

In recent years the flowers have been sourced from Portland and Bealiba, as well as being grown on the school grounds, on site at the Ararat prison and at the homes of a number of community members including Heather and Harold Reid.

"We've been growing them for the school for about 15 or 16 years now, you lose track a bit," Mr Reid said.

"There is a fair bit of work that goes into growing them. They go in on Melbourne Cup day, never usually before, but this year I had to a couple of weeks early because they were starting to shoot.

"Those 40 degree days we had didn't help, it burnt the top off some, but they have really kicked on since the rains come on and they are looking delightful."

Mr Reid said he had about 180 dahlias in a variety of colours that were ready to be picked for the Anzac Day display.

This week will see the arrangement put together, a process that takes several hours by Ararat Primary School teachers, students, parents and volunteers, all in time for the dawn and main services on Friday.

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