14 August 2017

Remembrance Day

I was honoured to attend the Scotch College Remembrance Day Service last week, where I welcomed our OSC military dignitary Brigadier Duncan Warren AM RFD (Retd.) a previous Commander of 13th Brigade and Vietnam veteran.

Duncan gave a particularly poignant speech to the whole of school of his personal experience of mateship in conflict, the loss he felt on losing his mates as well as the significance of Old Scotch Collegians who gave the ultimate sacrifice in conflicts during the Great War and since.

The point of the speech was not lost on the school boys in attendance who hung on every word; we spoke of "remembering" as the names of Old Scotch Collegians and Masters alike that had fallen during the Great War, were read out, there were 475 Old Scotch Collegians enlisted for service, 104 were commissioned officers and 34 were decorated for bravery, 74 students and 4 masters gave the ultimate sacrifice to their country and never returned.

Of particular pathos during the service was the retelling of the moment at a past assembly of boys where PC Anderson, named his own son as one of the fallen, the message delivered to our school community was not lost.

I was particularly impressed by the participation of the boys in this service. It is one of only two events each year where the whole school comes together - from Year 1 to the new Year 12's and all Staff. Boys representing various sections of the school read the names of fallen OSC's from the Great War, and the piper played whilst the flag is lowered to half-mast and again when it is raised.

The boys have been working with their teachers to understand the significance of Remembrance Day, and were encouraged to take notice of the honour boards around the school, and to try to imagine the real Old Boys whose names appear in that faded gold lettering.

We were also very pleased to host a number of OSC's at this moving ceremony. Please know that you and your families are most welcome to attend these services in future.

"Lest we forget"