History and humanity

01 May 2017

It was a time for reflection on the sacrifices made in war, as students and staff gathered in Chapel for this year’s Anzac service, on Monday 1 May.

The white crosses on the Quad are a fleeting reminder, but the names recorded in the Book of Memories and carved on memorials on the Chapel walls, are a permanent commemoration of those members of the College community lost to conflict.

In his sermon, Chaplain Bosco Peters reminded us of their significance. “Each one, each cross, each name is an individual as unique and precious and loved and cared for as you are; as I am. To each one there is a story.”

Forged in the crucible of the disastrous Gallipoli campaign, the Anzac spirit resonates down the years. But Bosco says we need not always remember it in the context of war, but should also try to frame it as a “glorification of peace”.

Now more than ever, in our unpredictable “tinder-box” world, we need to reflect on our history and common humanity, and somehow find the “wisdom and understanding and courage to achieve peace.”

As Bosco points out, “It is simply an accident of birth that we are sitting here, rather than walking with the refugees across Europe … that we are sitting here rather than battling at Gallipoli. We honour those who fought and those who died, [but] we honour them best by battling the prejudices in our own hearts; by working for peace and justice and reconciliation.”

The service ended with Executive Principal Garth Wynne, President of the Old Boys’ Association Jeremy Johnson, and Head Prefect Ben Marshall-Lee placing wreaths at the Chapel memorials, and Year 11 students Nicholas Lidstone on trumpet and Angus Murray on side drum playing the Last Post.