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Commemorating Anzac Day

To commemorate the Anzac Centenary, and mark 100 years since our nation’s involvement in the First World War, Central Coast Grammar School held a very special School Service last Thursday and had a record number of students turn out for the Anzac Day Services on Saturday.

School Service

The K-12 Service was opened by special guests from the National Service 1951-1972 Re-Enactment Unit. Dressed in military uniforms of the 1960s and 70s the ex-National Servicemen performed a marching display to a sea of poppy clad students.

National Service 1951-1972 Re-Enactment Unit

Past student and current parent, Kerrie Inglis, previously a Geospatial Imagery Intelligence Analyst in the Royal Australian Airforce read the poem 'Anzac Day' by D. Hunter (A veteran of Shaggy Ridge with the 2/12 Battalion in WW2), encapsulating the scarifice all Diggers made for us to have the life we live today.

Past student and current parent, Kerrie Inglis

John Wade, a returned soldier from the Vietnam War and grandparent to three children at the school, gave the Anzac Day address. He spoke of his two Great Uncles, both who fought on the shores of Gallipoli. He recounted how both men survived the War but that "they never talked about the War, never marched on Anzac Day and never collected their campaign medals they were entitled to wear. They just wanted to forget, but we will never forget them". John concluded his address by encouraging students to be as his Uncles were, to “be brave, be kind and look after each other” and on Anzac Day to "remember all the brave people who have suffered injuries or sacrificed their lives in all theatres of wars, as they were all ordinary people who did extraordinary things.”

John Wade

Wreaths were laid by Head Prefects Lily Cameron and Daniel Mezrani on behalf of CCGS and David Myers on behalf of the National Service Re-Enactment Unit. In addition to traditional aspects of an Anzac Day Service, including the playing of The Last Post, a minute silence and the reading of the ‘Ode’, there were also special musical performances by the Junior Choir.

Head Prefects Lily Cameron and Daniel Mezrani

The Junior School Choir

As the closure of Service drew near, Year 11 student, Jacob Schoffl gave a very moving speech titled “What Anzac Day means to me”. A speech which has earned him a place to walk the Kokoda Track later this year. Read excerpts from Jacob’s speech below.

Anzac Day

In addition to our own Service, many students and staff represented the school at Anzac Day services held on the Coast. Approximately 250 students from K-12 joined staff and the community for the dawn service at Terrigal Beach. Later in the morning the Head of Senior College Denise McDonough, and Deputy Head of Senior College, Christian Gregory, attended the service held at Terrigal Breakers Country Club to once again hear Jacob present his Anzac Day speech.

250 students and staff at the Terrigal Dawn Service

Jacob Schoffl presenting his speech at the Breakers Country Club service

Excerpts from Jacob Schoffl’s speech – 'What Anzac Day means to me'

“I have extraordinary opportunities living in Australia because of the legacy of the hundreds of thousands of often young Australian men and women who risked their lives and fought for the rights and opportunities that I enjoy in 2015. Anzac Day for me is a reminder that those first ANZACS who landed at ANZAC Cove on the 25th of April 1915, did so believing they were fighting to protect a way of life not only in Australia but across all countries.

ANZAC Day reminds me that this spirit which was started at Gallipoli and then on the battlefields of France and Belgium, and then twenty years later around the world in World War 2,  has continued to filter through 100 years of Australia’s young men and women and become such a legacy. It is the spirit of adventure, of curiosity, of selflessness and of helping others-qualities evident in such great Australians as Weary Dunlop and Nancy Wake.

But what has become more evident each ANZAC Day is that the fight for equality for all people is a continuing one. Those rights that we take as a given here in Australia- right to vote, to an education, to work and freedom of speech, are in some countries nothing but fantasy. Therefore ANZAC for me is my annual wakeup call to be thankful for what I have, who I am and where I live.”