Welcome back to all students and families for term two. I hope your family had the opportunity to spend time together and celebrate Easter. The core message of the Easter story is the triumphs of hope over despair which we reflect on the sacrifice of the crucifixion and the joy of the resurrection.
In Australia around about the same time as Easter every year, we celebrate Anzac Day. Last Friday I had the privilege of attending our College Anzac Ceremonies at both Westcourt and Edmund Rice Campuses. While secular in nature, Anzac ceremonies, including the dawn service, have deep spiritual significance that resonates for us as a Catholic school in the Edmund Rice tradition. Without diminishing the theological significance of Easter there are many similarities with Anzac Day.
In Anzac ceremonies, the symbolism of the lowering and then raising of the flag, the Last Post (signaling the end of the day), a minutes silence, followed by the Rouse (signaling the arrival of a new day) reinforces the uplifting and hope-filled message that light triumphs over darkness.
The person responsible for the first Anzac Day service was an Anglican priest named David John Garland. In 1916 he suggested an ‘all souls day for Australia’ to commemorate the human losses suffered at Gallipoli. He made clear that any service must be accessible to all faiths and denominations or it would not be worth observing. Over 100 years later one would have to conclude that his vision has been successfully realised.
Sometimes we hear people criticizing the ‘celebration’ of Anzac Day suggesting that it glorifies military conflict. I think that those who make this criticism really miss the point. Scripture reminds us that “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15 – 13). Whether we refer to the Easter story or the commemorations of Anzac Day what we are really doing recognising sacrifice and celebrating the love that makes it possible. At the core of both events is love.
The other significant event that occurs around this time each year is Edmund Rice Day. This Friday the College leaders are asking for a relatively small sacrifice from each student in the school. If each boy sacrifices a minimum of $30 and each family a minimum of $50 we will reach our target of $50,000. This will change (and save) the lives of young people in Uganda and Timor-Leste.
I am astounded annually that a small proportion of boys chose not to attend school on Edmund Rice Day… I am more astounded that some do so with the approval of their parents. Someone recently suggested to me that there are two sorts of people in the world, ‘givers’ and ‘takers’ and that the more givers we have the better world we create. Please support your son in being a ‘giver’ on Edmund Rice Day by ensuring that he attends school and makes the small financial sacrifice expected of him.
Congratulations to those students who were selected to represent the College in the Associated Catholic Colleges competition this term. Wins in the Year 9 and Year 10 soccer and a draw in the seniors and wins in the senior, Year 10 and Year 9 football was an excellent start to the season.
At the start of this term, we were delighted to welcome a number of new staff. Some are providing tutoring to support students in and outside class and some are teaching in either permanent or replacement roles.
Welcome to teachers; Koren Irving, Catherine Day, Anne Bourke, Jessica Lancaster, Bridget Blackburn, Bobbie Evans, Jordan Livesay, Emma Doyle and our new Laboratory Technician Leah Kelson and Riley Harman who has joined our maintenance team.
Stay well and God bless