15th November 2016

Lest We Forget

The Nagle College community gathered at the College ANZAC Memorial for its annual Remembrance Day Service on Friday 11 November. On this, the 98th anniversary of the Armistice which ended World War I, the community remembered those servicemen and women who have given their lives in wars, conflicts and peace operations. Following the Welcome to Country by Year 7 student and Cadet, Dakota Hardy, Ginger Kleehammer, the Year 9 MC, invited the gathering to reflect on the service and sacrifice of more than 102,000 Australians who gave their lives in action, as well as the families they left behind, during WWI.

The ‘Prayer of Remembrance’ was read by Year 9 student Fran Pini, which was followed by the reading ‘For the Fallen’ recited by Year 9 student Kelsey Cuttriss: “ … They went with songs to the battle, they were young, straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow. They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted; they fell with their faces to the foe. 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 …”.

The Official Wreath Laying Party was invited to lay a wreath of remembrance, as the congregation listened to Year 10 student, Sami Graham and Year 8 student Kelsey Shegog, performed ‘The Distant Call of Home’. Wreaths were laid by the 2017 College Captains Angelina Clancy, Matthew Bentley, Sophie Capes and James Wigg; Mr Neville Powles, Principal, and Fr Joe Pulis SDB; RSL representative Mr Ron Swan and Mr Gary McClellan, President of the Bairnsdale Rowing Club and RSL Legacy Member; Corporal Dean Donohue from the RAAF Base Sale; Mr and Mrs Greg Carter from Cockatoo Rise Veterans Retreat; and Ms Julie Henley and Nagle College Army Cadets.

The reading of ‘The Ode’ and the playing of ‘The Last Post’ preceded the minute’s silence at exactly 11:00 am.

Following the Wreath Laying Ceremony the Remembrance Day students presented tributes to the men of East Gippsland who lost their lives far from Australian shores during WW1. Around 3000 men from this area enlisted and almost 600 were killed. Ten students shared a brief story on a particular soldier, most of whom were relatives of either staff or students. Sharing these personal stories of fallen heroes, and having the descendants lay a wreath on their behalf, brought the meaning of Remembrance Day to life and made the experience of war and loss very real to all participants. The moving service concluded with an invitation to any members of the congregation to lay a floral tribute in memory of loved ones who have or are still serving in the armed forces. The Official Party departed, escorted by the 13 Bairnsdale Cadets who were the honour guard throughout the service.

Nagle College has a strong tradition of commemorating Remembrance Day, and each year the event continues to grow with larger numbers of students volunteering to be involved. Under the caring guidance of Ms Julie Henley, who teaches Australia at War to Year 9 students, the service has become a poignant and stirring event on the College calendar. As we near the 100th anniversary of the first Remembrance Day, the significance of the commemoration is validated by the strong support by all members of the Nagle College and East Gippsland communities.