When connecting with other schools across the world, we are often asked what festivals and holidays we celebrate. One special event is recognized today, April 25th – Anzac Day which is a public holiday across Australia.
It is a time where many cities and towns hold commemorative services, often starting at dawn to remember the role that our soliders and their counterparts in New Zealand played in World War I. Parades will also take place in the morning in many centres, where ex-servicemen and/or their family members proudly march and declare their role in keeping our country safe.
ANZAC stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps. On this date in 1915, the Australian and New Zealand forces landed in Gallipoli to attack the Turkish forces. This campaign went on for eight months, during which time there were many casualties.
As there is no school on that day, we held our commemorative service on April 24th. This is a time to remember those who have made sacrifices in the past to enable us to enjoy our great country today. As the weather was inclement, students from grades prep to 6 assembled in the stadium, to hear presentations by the year 12 VCE History students. There was a minute’s silence. Students from years prep to 6 had been asked to bring some flowers. They filed past the steps to the stage. These steps had been draped with our Australian flag and the flowers were laid there. Finally, our national anthem was sung, in both our local koori language and then in English.
Hawkesdale hosted a dawn service, at 6am, in their new outdoor reflection area. More than 90 people attended this special event, including the scouts, our school representatives, community members, shire councillors. Several children and older family members proudly wore the medals that their ancestors received from either World War I or II. The service included the following:
- an address by our Master of Ceremonies, Graeme Poynton
- playing of music including the Rouse prior to the lowering of the flag and then the Reveille.
- a prayer of thanks to those who represented our country and for continued peace. This was delivered by Georgia H. a student, who represented our school and the Moyne Youth Council.
- Emma H, representing the Hawkesdale Scouts, read “the Ode”
- a minute’s silence in between the two musical recordings
- the raising of the flag by a scout
- laying of wreaths and flowers
Haddac supplied a sausage in bread, the scouts cooked lots of anzac biscuits and the Hall Committee provided a cuppa in our War Memorial Hall.