Like many Australian families, this week the College participated in one of the more significant events in our national calendar, the commemoration of ANZAC Day, a most important celebration of our national identity. During my lifetime ANZAC Day has become more than a commemoration of those fateful events on the beaches of Gallipoli, becoming a time of national reflection to give thanks for the many sacrifices made in all conflicts and wars Australians have participated in.
At St Mary's College we marked this day on Friday 23 April by undertaking a Remembrance Service in Logue Hall. This has become an important annual event for us. This year we were delighted to be joined by Ms Trish Hodda, a 32-year veteran of the Royal Australian Air Force, having attained the rank of Flight Sergeant. We were privileged to have this pioneering woman of the Australian armed services address our students and staff at our ANZAC Remembrance Service. Ms Hodda reflected on the history of ANZAC and shared first-hand experiences of her career in the Air Force; her words connected our past, with our present and our future.
I am proud of our College Band whose performance at the ANZAC Remembrance Service captured the significance and left us with moving and lasting memories of the event. Under the guidance of Mr David O’Meara, our Concert Band will also perform with pride on behalf of St Mary’s College, at the Caulfield RSL ANZAC Day Dawn Service.
This College event holds significance for us because it brings together the old and the new, in special recognition of the ANZAC spirit. As has been the case in the past, this year, Old Collegian veterans joined us to participate in this important event. Over morning tea, they shared powerful reminiscences as if the events they describe only happened yesterday. We took the opportunity to hear from Ms Hodda who addressed this group.
We are constantly reminded of the critical role we play in the formation of our young men and women and are acutely aware of the need to take a great deal of care with our ANZAC Day celebrations to make certain we are delivering the right message to our students.
We give thanks for the great deeds of past students of the College, and hope the current incumbents hear the message of the need to influence events in their world, and that whether it be small or large they choose peace and joy as their default.
Principal | Terry Blizzard