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CBE students deliver homegrown poppies to Colonel Belcher residents

Dr. J.K. Mulloy students delivered poppies and music to city seniors

Ava Bouchard, Brayden Ngassam and Gazal Alizada presented these poppies that they grew with fellow students at Dr. J.K. Mulloy School to Colonel Belcher Carewest residents.

Jennifer Friesen / Calgary Freelance

Ava Bouchard, Brayden Ngassam and Gazal Alizada presented these poppies that they grew with fellow students at Dr. J.K. Mulloy School to Colonel Belcher Carewest residents.

It was a trip down memory lane for Catherine and John Huthershall on Thursday morning—as songs from their past were performed by students at Carewest’s Colonel Belcher retirement home.

The performance of old wartime tunes was put on for Colonel Belcher residents and their families on Thursday as a part of a poppy-growing project done by students of Dr. J.K. Mulloy School.

Students from the Dr. J.K. Mulloy School choir sang WWII era songs to Colonel Belcher Carewest residents on Thursday in honour of Remembrance Day.

Jennifer Friesen / For Metro

Students from the Dr. J.K. Mulloy School choir sang WWII era songs to Colonel Belcher Carewest residents on Thursday in honour of Remembrance Day.

Carol Schmidt, a teacher at Mulloy and the gardening club supervisor, said the students began growing the poppies in their greenhouses back in September.

“We began by explaining the significance of the poppy and its symbolism for the sacrifices of veterans and Remembrance Day,” she said.

“There comments about war were very astute and they were asking lots of good questions like why do we have war? And how does the poppy connect to that?”

Schmidt said the students also learned about Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae's poem, In Flanders Field.

For the Huthershalls, hearing songs like It’s a long way to Tipperary and I’ve got a four leaf clover made their hearts smile.

John and Catherine Huthershall sang along with the students from Dr. J.K. Mulloy School on Thursday morning.

Jennifer Friesen / For Metro

John and Catherine Huthershall sang along with the students from Dr. J.K. Mulloy School on Thursday morning.

John is a veteran and the couple fell in love many decades ago back in his hometown.

“It was marvelous because John was in the British Royal Marines and he did most of his time in the Mediterranean and we met when I was working in his hometown of Edinburgh,” she said.

“We know all the words, and the songs really bring me back to that time.”

Lisa Armstrong, music specialist at Mulloy, said they chose the songs because they wanted them to resonate with the residents of Colonel Belcher.

“When we first taught them the music they’d never heard of any of these songs and I assured them that everybody else will have heard of these songs—guaranteed,” she said.

“It’s important for them to know songs of the past because it connects them.”

Students from the Dr. J.K. Mulloy School choir sang WWII era songs to Colonel Belcher Carewest residents on Thursday in honour of Remembrance Day.

Jennifer Friesen / For Metro

Students from the Dr. J.K. Mulloy School choir sang WWII era songs to Colonel Belcher Carewest residents on Thursday in honour of Remembrance Day.

Grade 3 student, Brayden Ngassam, 8, said it made him “very happy” to see the audience singing and clapping along to the songs.

“It was special,” he said.

Ava Bouchard, 8, also a Grade 3 student, echoed her classmate’s sentiment.

“It was cool to see them singing with us and having a good time,” she said.

Ngassam said he and his friends become very invested in growing the poppies and learning about how they flourished in the wake of wartime destruction.

With continued love and nurturing from staff and residents at Colonel Belcher, the poppies are expected to bloom in the coming months.

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