ANZAC Day Ceremony

The story of the Anzacs has been enshrined in our heritage. Many feel that the spirit of our  Anzacs has been instrumental in shaping our national culture. Gallipoli in 1915 claimed the lives of 8000 Australians and 2700 New Zealanders after 8 months of battle resulting in withdrawal of our forces. Landing at dawn on April 25th 1915 the ANZACS thought it would be a quick and decisive battle against the Turks but this was not to be.
 Since WW1 we have seen many Australians involved in the theatres of other Wars including WW2, Vietnam War, Iraq and Afghanistan.
The ANZAC characteristics include courage, mateship, perseverance, sacrifice, compassion, audacity, adventure, humour. All of these characteristics provide the challenge for us today – how are our young students  going to rise to the summons in these areas?
We all have a personal story to relate to in terms of this legacy. Our personal stories have taken many to Gallipoli for the Centenary Commemoration – our lovely Year 12 student Brianna Ushay who has won the Premier’s Anzac prize to be in the Queensland contingent represents us on Saturday, our dedicated teacher Andrea Hickey is there honouring her family connection.
These stories touch our hearts giving us strength and inspiration from their inherent courage and support of each other. This helps mould our moral purpose and journeys ahead. My personal story is that my grandfather William Mc Gown was an Anzac landing at Anzac Cove with the 9th Battalion 100 years ago on April 25, 1915. He was in one of the first groups on the beaches,  was wounded being shot in his right shoulder. He was evacuated to Malta and then England, and after many months he recovered. William was aged 20 in 1915 and married after the war, which led to the birth of my mother! He carried the bullet in his shoulder until he died at age 60 of heart disease. His dedication and Anzac spirit has always stayed with me.
On Thursday our College ceremony was a special tribute – we were honoured to have many special guests including Fr Wrex, Senator Chris Ketter (grandson of Mr Bill Thornton, first day student of St Columban’s in 1928 who just turned 100), Colonel   Patrick Evans, Ms Lisa France
representing Hon Wyatt Roy, Ms Cheryl Williams representing Mr Rick Williams Member for  Pumicestone, Dr Pat Coughlan, College Board Chair Martin Jonkers, P & F President Terry McMahon, Mr Terry Fogarty, Healy Family and many other Veterans, Past Students and families. The performances of the students were very  polished from the Scottish Bagpiper, monologues, singers, pianist, Brittany Cooper on the  bugle, Vashti Borthwick and the Gubbi  Gubbi dance, readers, cross bearers and medal wearers, to the cadets standing in honour for the ceremony. Fr Wrex lead our 100 Years ceremony and made us all feel very blessed. This ceremony encompassed the true essence of our Catholic education.
Ann Rebgetz