By Steph McNicol
ROMSEY resident Melissa Hubbard created more than a 1000 shadow soldiers for the community to commemorate Anzac Day.
Ms Hubbard said she wanted to do something simple for herself to commemorate the day, but it turned into much more.
“I just had an epiphany really, but I was just doing something for myself and then I thought I’d make a few more and put it out to the public on the community pages,” she said.
“It just went absolutely crazy and bigger and beyond what I thought. It’s just my way of contributing.
“I started off by making card-stock ones, and a local guy has a family business of routing and knife-cutting and he made the wooden soldiers.
“I painted every soldier, hand painted every poppy, and even the cardboard ones I’ve made each individual poppy. It was very time-consuming but so rewarding at the same time.”
After living in Romsey for only four years, Ms Hubbard said the project gave her the chance to connect with the community.
“I’m just so proud of our community and I’ve met so many incredible people through this process, I’ve heard so many incredible stories of people giving the soldiers to loved ones who were vets, it’s just really heart-warming,” she said.
“I haven’t really been around town, but our local postie said they’re everywhere and on people’s mailboxes.
“It’s been really overwhelming, but very exciting at the same time. Just something simple for during these times.”
Ms Hubbard said the soldiers were important to her because making them helped her mental health during the pandemic.
“For me, like everybody, mental health is very important. I just finished TAFE and I can’t complete my last lot of placement because of the virus,” she said.
“I wanted to keep my brain active. I love crafting, I love making things, and I haven’t done it for ages due to study, now I’ve jumped on board.
“My way of thinking is, life goes on even with the pandemic, you can still celebrate things and commemorate things, but just in a different way.”