What a busy start for our leaders. Over the first week members of the Leadership team participated in or ran 4 services to mark ANZAC day.
Beginning with our Lone Pine service for the Year 7 cohort, our Junior Leaders organised and ran a service outside at the Lone Pine. They proudly spoke of its significance, read messages of gratitude written by students from across Years 7- 9 and finished with a poem reminding us of the importance of this day to all Australians. Those leaders who spoke or helped set up and pack up are to be commended on the excellent way they both respected the importance of the service as well as how they worked together and supported and congratulated each other. They are an amazing group and it is very exciting to see that passion and skills of our juniors.
Following the morning service, our Senior leaders ran a service for the whole school on Wednesday afternoon. Based on the notion of the values of the ANZACs, the students reflected on these values and how they are still of importance to each and everyone of us today. Although we had a hiccup with the music Samantha Howlett saved the day by leading our whole school in an emotional singing of the national anthem- so lovely to see this reinstated at assemblies. Again the leaders showed a great deal of respect and sincerity when speaking of the ANZACs and they are to be commended on the solemn and thought provoking service.
Early ANZAC day morning 25 of our leaders marched proudly at the head of the parade in Mornington. This was a reflection of their dedication and willingness to be representatives of our College and they are to be congratulated for their attendance at both the march and the service to follow. Tom Gibson and Oliver Heavey- our College captains, recited an emotional tribute and Lauren Sexton and Sophie McQuie lay a wreath from our College to give thanks for the service our men gave. It was a delight to see our students proudly representing our College and I congratulate all of them.
Finally , the Mt Eliza service held at 2pm in the Village saw Phoebe Baker and Samantha Howlett- give a reading and Abbey Bradley and Amelia Gill lay a wreath. Our local community were delighted to see the professional and respectful involvement of our students and again I thank the girls for their contributions and for representing the College in the community.
STUDENT LEADER 'S - ANZAC DAY SPEECHES -
Tom Gibson and Oliver Harvey- School Captains
Every April 25, since 1916, Australians and New Zealanders have been gathering together, like us today, to remember the men and women who have served our country in the military.
In today’s Anzac Assembly, we will not be celebrating – but remembering and perhaps learning from the great tragedy of WAR. Some say that War is altogether useless, should never ever be entered into… never should we fight – Ever. Others say there is a time we should fight… say to protect or defend. People fall on both sides of this argument- you all will have your own views.
Courage, loyalty, compassion, mateship, endurance – the ANZAC spirit is something that lives on long after the battles are fought. Whether it is helping on a national scale in communities after a natural disaster, supporting people at risk of homelessness or racial abuse, or providing a hand up to those affected by a tragedy, loneliness or hardship or on a more local level where we support those who need help with their homework, to fit in, to make friends - every Australian, young or old, can uphold the spirit of the ANZACs. So let us honour our soldiers in the best way possible by remembering the sacrifices they’ve made and embodying the ANZAC spirit in everything that we do. Let us be a voice for those suffering injustice or hardship. Let us transform our school and perhaps even make some steps towards change in our community and our country.
If we are to live in a world where there is equality and peace, where everyone has a chance to have a fair go and where we leave the world a better place when we leave it- then us all need to live by these values- we need to not only appreciate them- but actually actively embrace them
The ANZAC spirit exists in each of us- we are capable of being brave, putting out a hand to others and giving up our selfish desires for a more equal world- so therefore let us be guided by the ANZAC spirit in facing the national and personal challenges ahead of us, and let us strive to be worthy of the sacrifices made for us.
LEST WE FORGET
Trinity - Boy soldiers
During the First World War, the Australian Army's enlistment age was 21 years or 18 years with the permission of a parent. Although boys aged 14-17 could enlist as musicians, many gave false ages in order to join as soldiers. Their numbers are impossible to determine. Enlistment of boys was normal practice for the Navy and several died on service during the First World War.
Private James Charles ('Jim') Martin is the best known boy soldier. He is believed to be the youngest soldier on the Roll of Honour. He was born on 3 January 1901. Keen for all things military, Jim joined the cadets at school and the year after leaving school he took up work as a farm hand.
In 1915, Martin was eager to enlist with the Australian Imperial Force. His father had previously been rejected from service and Jim, the only male child of his family, was keen to serve in place of his father. Anyone under the age of 21 required written parental permission when Jim threatened to run away, join under another name and not to write to her if he succeeded in being deployed, his mother reluctantly gave her written permission for him to enlist. Jim succeeded in enlisting at the age of 14 years and 3 months.
In June 2015 Jim and his Unit were deployed to Gallipoli. Their transport ship was torpedoed en route by a German submarine and Jim and several others spent hours in the water before being rescued.
Jim eventually landed on Gallipoli in the early hours of the 7th September. In the following few months’ casualties from enemy action were slight, but the front-line work, short rations, sickness, flies, lice, and mosquitoes took their toll on the unit. Jim sent several letters to his parents from Gallipoli. In late October he contracted typhoid fever and was evacuated to a hospital ship. By this time he had lost half his weight and was in a bad state. Despite the best efforts of the medical staff aboard, Jim died of heart failure just under two hours later. He was three months short of his 15th birthday. Jim was buried at sea and is commemorated on the Lone Pine Memorial on Gallipoli. While he may not have been the youngest Australian to serve during the First World War, Jim Martin is considered the youngest to have died on active service. He was 14 years 9 months old when he died at Gallipoli. Those of you who turn 15 this year or who are older take a moment to reflect on this.
Thankfully, most young Australians today are spared exposure to military conflict. But that doesn’t mean we should forget those who continue to serve their country or forget the sacrifices made by earlier generations. These men and women helped make Australia the great place it is today.
Anzac Day gives us time to reflect on what really makes our country special. Like it or not, much of the character of the Australian nation – mateship and sacrifice, resourcefulness and devotion, pride in our country and ourselves, even our cheeky larrikin spirit – was forged in a war no soldier ever wanted. Although these young boys are long gone- the spirit and resolve they demonstrated has many lessons for us today.
Many of you and other young people across Australia may be asking yourselves -Is the spirit of the ANZACs still important to us today?
Do you ask yourself why we bother to gather each year when the war was over decades ago?
While it may be harder for us to relate to the experiences of the war veterans and to know their names and battles they fought, every Australian can embody the qualities of those young boys, like Jim, who CHOSE to go to war. Anzac Day is a day to remember the strength of the human spirit. Because of our soldiers we know that ordinary people are capable of extraordinary things. It is inspirational and humbling for all of us to remember this.
But ANZAC Day is not merely a date, or some remote campaign fought against insurmountable odds, but rather a spirit. Something that was special and important and continues to echo to us more than 100 years later. It is a time when each of us is asked to reflect on the qualities of those who have served our country in uniform.
To be an ANZAC was to show the huma