"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them."
Lest We Forget.
Dear Parents, Students and Friends
Welcome back! I trust that everyone has had a restful break and that everyone is focused and ready for what will be another busy term.
Today the College held our ANZAC Ceremony. I thank the HSIE staff and Year 11/12 Modern History and History Extension students who prepared the material for our assembly along with thanks to the staff and students who provided the music. A special thanks from the College community goes out to History teacher Mr William Lyon who volunteered to address the assembly. There are some photos of the ceremony further into this newsletter. Here is an extract from Mr Lyon’s address to the College community.
“For today’s address I wanted to recount my personal connection to the meaning of ANZAC through the experiences of my Great Grandfather William Gerald Lyon my namesake. I then wanted to touch on the symbolism of ANZAC and its meaning for all Australians and the relevancy of commemoration in 2017.
Many of you in the audience today may think that you do not have a connection to ANZAC, maybe you are sitting here bored and perhaps slightly confused. So I will attempt to alleviate your confusion with my personal connection.
William Gerald Lyon was born in Wellington in the latter half of the 19th century. He had always dreamt of being a soldier and from a very young age (15 to be exact) he enlisted in the Wellington Regiment and joined an artillery company. By the time the war had broken out Will had been promoted to lieutenant and was in charge of his own battery. His journal of the war has survived so through it, we can begin to paint a picture of the war through his eyes. I will gloss over sections of the story in the interest of time. But, there are several elements that are worth mentioning.
He landed at Cape Hellas with the 6th Lancaster Fusiliers on April 25th. The landing was rough. 3 Victoria Crosses (highest military medal) were earnt during the landing. Will was fortunate that he was not injured during the campaign. After Gallipoli he went on to serve along with the other ANZACs in France. First along the Somme Sector where he took part in the Somme offensive which has the record of being the bloodiest day in British Military history (60,000 casualties in 6 hours)... yeah it did not go according to plan. There is a morbid photo in my family home in NZ of Will surrounded by the six officers that served under him. Within 24 hours of that photo being taken all six were dead.
After the Somme he served the remainder of the war along the Ypres sector. Where he would be awarded a Military Cross for saving three soldiers from no-mans land under heavy machine gun fire. He also got to meet the King. He ended his military career as a Colonel. During WW2 he was in charge of the defence of New Zealand.
I have told you his story which is mimicked by countless others because it details his service to a cause which true purpose has been to some extent forgotten. Is that normal? Well maybe, it is 100 years ago. However, due to is prevalence in the media today I believe it is vital to explain the real meaning of ANZAC and it’s importance in 2017.
Now what does ANZAC day mean for you? Is it just another day off? This year was it the realisation that you had to go back to school the next day? In the 21st century as we face unprecedented tension across different parts of the world it is important that we look back and recognise the sacrifices of those that went before that helped to secure a future for us all..
For each of you, you do have a connection. Perhaps it is as simple as knowing what to say at the end of the ode… Lest we forget.”
Congratulations to Mrs Tonetta Iannelli who has been successful in her application to be Acting Assistant Principal for the remainder of 2017. Her duties commence on Monday May 15, when at that time, Ms Scoble will be Acting Principal at Marian as I am on a study tour of schools and school systems in New York and Toronto with a group of Principals and Catholic School Leaders from various parts of Australia. After that program finishes I will be taking Long Service Leave until June 26.
Next Friday, May 5 is the annual Athletics Carnival, held at West End Oval. Students, particularly Year 7, are asked to listen to arrangements about the day. Any last minute change due to weather will be announced over local radio and the Marian Catholic College Facebook page.
Peace and Best Wishes
Alan Le Brocque