Local author and community volunteer Anne Kings is helping to launch a ‘Remembrance Pearl Appeal’ in Gillingham to help support the Poppy Appeal.
She wants to revive the tradition of donating pearls to help people affected by the war that existed before poppies became the symbols of Remembrance.
‘We all know that the ‘Poppy Appeal’ fund this year is going to struggle due to Covid regulations; so maybe we can steal an idea from what happened in 1918, and do a similar thing in this time of exceptional circumstances, over 100 years later,’ says Anne.
‘I know that many ladies, and men, have little trinket boxes somewhere in the home which hold odd left over pearls which have been collected over the years. Now could be the time to sort out those little boxes.’
The aim is for these pearls to be used to make necklaces that can then be sold at auction to raise money for the Poppy Appeal.
Here are Anne’s own words on the initiative:
‘With Remembrance Day only a few days away, and beautiful poppies everywhere; this is the time to wear your pearls, because they actually came before the poppy as a symbol of Remembrance.
‘In 1918 Lady Northcliffe, whose husband owned The Times and the Daily Mail, conceived an idea to raise money for the war effort. The British Red Cross Pearl appeal sought the donation of single pearls from women all over the world – each pearl representing a life changed forever by war.
‘It was hoped to collate enough pearls to create a single necklace to be auctioned at Christies. But almost 4000 pearls were received, and every pearl received came with a really moving story from the women who sent a pearl for the appeal, which were arranged into 41 necklaces, raising £100,000 when auctioned.
‘The poppy as a symbol of remembrance followed in 1921.
‘This brings me on to something I would like to do to help support this year’s ‘Poppy Appeal’, but I need everyone’s help please to launch ‘The Remembrance Pearl’ appeal.
‘We all know that the ‘Poppy Appeal’ fund this year is going to struggle due to Covid regulations; so maybe we can steal an idea from what happened in 1918, and do a similar thing in this time of exceptional circumstances, over 100 years later.
‘I know that many ladies, and men, have little trinket boxes somewhere in the home which hold odd left over pearls which have been collected over the years. Now could be the time to sort out those little boxes.
‘If you are reading this and are someone who would be willing to part with a single pearl, which you can dedicate if you wish, in memory of someone, then these will be strung into beautiful pearl necklaces, which will be auctioned at a later date, with all money raised going to the Poppy Appeal.
‘And who knows, you may be lucky and own one for yourself, or buy one for someone special, when these beautiful necklaces are ready to be sold. There couldn’t be necklaces with more meaning!
‘Obviously every necklace that is made will be very unique; pearls will not be able to be matched in quality, colour, shape or size, but in a way that will add to the charm of every string of pearls. They will all be beautiful.
‘Please send your pearls, or drop them in to either:
The Copy Shop, High Street, Gillingham SP8 4QT or The Post Office, 12 High Street, Gillingham SP8 4RZ.
‘Please make sure you mark the packet clearly ‘The Remembrance Pearl’ appeal.
All pearls donated must be received by DECEMBER 20th and do need to have the drill hole going right through the pearl. The auction date will be announced later.
‘Special thanks go to Allum & Sidaway the Jewellers who have agreed to assist with sorting and threading of the pearls; with thanks also to the Royal British Legion who have embraced the idea.
For any further information please telephone: 01747 837908 or email: [email protected]
It’s obviously in every ones interest to use as many pearls as possible, but any pearls which can’t be threaded with be given to Charity Shops.’