St Joseph’s ANZAC Day Ceremonies 2022

As a St Joseph’s Community, we gather each year to acknowledge the ANZAC Spirit and we did so in an online ceremony at the Edmund Rice Campus and reflected on the theme of “Legend”. We recalled ‘The Josian’, the original College Magazine that was first published in 1944. It listed a total of 133 former students who saw military service during the Second World War, of whom nine died. Our Year 10 College Touchstone Leaders shared the story of our very own legend, John McNeill. John McNeill was an inspiring student and role model whom we can proudly call a St Joseph’s Legend. He enlisted in the RAAF in March 1940, and in April 1941 Sergeant/ WAG John McNeill set sail from Australia, arriving in Singapore on 11 April. Travelling between the Royal Air Force in Kota Bharu and the Royal Australian Air Force in Northern Malaya, he was returned to Singapore as the Japanese launched concurrent attacks on Malaysia and Pearl Harbor on 7 and 8 December. John was later killed in a flying battle over Singapore on 18 January 1942, aged 23, he was the first St Joseph’s boy to be killed in action. McNeill was a great leader who was beloved by both his family and our St Joseph’s community and his legend lives on in the much-prized Mc Neill Cup.

Westcourt ANZAC Commemoration

On Wednesday 27 April we had our Westcourt ANZAC ceremony, to remember Australians who have served and are serving currently. We gathered to pause, remember and honour the sacrifices that they made and the bravery and courage that they showed. We were joined by two veterans David Sikorsky and Neil Smith from the Vietnam War, who gave us a better understanding of why celebrating ANZAC Day and remembering is so important. Lest we forget.

Callum W - Year 9 Touchstone Leader

Head of Student Wellbeing, Luke Parsons and Head of Westcourt Learning, Lauren Hall together with the three Westcourt Campus Captains to lead the Commemorative Ceremony.

The Westcourt Gym was filled with the fragrance of rosemary as representatives from each homeroom lit a candle and brought forward rosemary to remember and honour all those fallen soldiers. They especially remembered many of our very own past Joey's boys or loved ones of families who have fought in war and have lost their lives or suffered injury or trauma.

Candles are a symbol that represents the light of Christ, light needed when in a world of darkness. We also remembered those people around the world who are still experiencing war and acts of violence. The light of our candles symbols of hope to bring peace and healing to all those affected by war and suffering, and in any current conflict around the world. Since ancient times the rosemary herb has been believed to have properties to improve memory. Perhaps because of this, rosemary became an emblem of remembrance.

The song ‘Spirit of the Anzacs', was played Sung by Lee Kernaghan, Guy Sebastian, Sheppard, Jon Stevens, Jessica Mauboy, Shannon Noll and Megan Washington. A moving tribute to those who have given their lives, those who have served, and those that still today step bravely into the unknown to serve our country.

The Keynote Speaker David Sikorsky, gave an inspiring and reflective speech. David is an American soldier who came over to Australia during his time of active duty. It was then he met his now long time wife and he has remained here ever since. David is very busy working with local veteran organisations particularly supporting veteran welfare. David Sikorsky and Neil Smith, a fellow veteran joined the student leaders and some staff for morning tea whilst generously answering students’ questions, sharing stories and their wisdom.

The Ode

At the going down of the sun

and in the morning

We will remember them.

Lest we forget.

Mary Malone - Director of Identity