Annette Brotherson works on her Anzac window at Eyecare Plus in Prince Street Grafton. Photo: Simon Hughes Photography
Annette Brotherson works on her Anzac window at Eyecare Plus in Prince Street Grafton. Photo: Simon Hughes Photography

Window into our Anzac past

GRAFTON florist Annette Brotherson is well known for her window displays, her former shop in Prince Street providing a visual treat for passers-by for more than two decades.

Annette was always particularly supportive of local events, dressing her window to tie with the calendar's theme whether it was July Racing Carnival time or Jacaranda.

Anzac Day also featured heavily in her annual displays, April 25 holding a lot of meaning to Annette through her own family's stories and the personal war memorabilia she has collected over the years, all used to tell a different story.

While she no longer has her own shopfront, Annette was happy to oblige when friend George Vlastaras offered his workplace window in Prince Street to tell an Anzac story in one of the most unusual years in the history of the nationally-embraced event.

"George knew I was really missing my window and Anzac Day was especially a favourite of mine to get behind," Annette said.

Annette wasted no time in assembling a fine display of items to pay tribute to the Anzac legend whipping up a rosemary wreath, and painstakingly cutting-out poppies by hand from a fabric she found.

"This is my way to say thank you to the soldiers but I also do these windows for the town. It's so quiet this year so I thought it was really important to do something special."

Annette has included a range of personal memorabilia in the display including historical images and wartime letters from family members, as well as an Australian flag that "came off her father's coffin"

"He served in World War 2 in Japan."

She said she was happy how the window came together and the stories she hopes people will take away from it.

"It's for all the women who lose their loves. Especially the mothers that lose their sons and that connection from home. I've included a crochet soldier from 1918 to illustrate that. I've got no idea of that pain," she said.

"I just remember all these years my nanny always put a rose on the cenotaph for first love, her husband William who was killed in Villers-Bretonneux."

"Then my mum did it every single year for her and now every single Anzac Day I do that for them. It's really important we keep remembering."

Annette's Anzac window display can be seen at Eyecare Plus at 58 Prince Street, Grafton.



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