Published on May 13, 2022
Gathering as a whole school last week to honour and remember those who have demonstrated immense courage serving in the armed forces, and everyone who has supported them was truly memorable for all in attendance.
The City of Maitland Pipes and Drums led the procession in with our School Captains and students proudly displaying their relatives’ medals. Also joining us were guests from the Returned and Services League (RSL) and guest panel speakers (both staff and students) who shared their touching tributes and connection to the defence force. It was wonderful to witness so many parents in attendance to show their respect for our armed forces.
Ari Green, Secretary of the JrAECG shared the Acknowledgment of Country and extended our respect and gratitude for those First Nations men and women who have served and serve today. Our Junior School Captains and Vice Captains shared their views on the significance of the proceedings. Ms Fiona Watson performed a beautiful rendition of the last post, Amber Higgins delivered a wonderful rendition of Poster Girl and Claire McMahon and Hadley Arthur sang the National Anthem of New Zealand and Australia accompanied by supporting musicians.
It was the first time the whole school had congregated together this year, therefore it was fitting that on this occasion it was to honour those who have demonstrated incredible courage and have helps us to create a better and more peaceful world.
Our Principal, Rebecca Butterworth, delivered a compelling speech, emphasising the importance of being compassionate, caring and courageous.
Here is an excerpt from Rebecca’s speech:
Anzac Day is about remembering the men and women who have served in the armed forces and everyone one who has supported them (their families, health professionals, and many others). But Anzac Day also reminds us of the importance of sitting with today’s reality even if it makes us uncomfortable and squirm in our seats. It is about not swiping to the next thing on our device and instead resolving to be the people who will demonstrate the compassion and care that our world so needs.
Michelle Obama, the former first lady of America, said:
“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”
Looking at all of you here today I feel hopeful because I can feel your courage. I know that as a community we have the courage to be compassionate and to act with kindness. I know as a community we care for each other and will do what we can to help those around us.
Students from HVGS also attended the East Maitland Service on behalf of HVGS. It was a privilege, to join the community with many Junior School families in the East Maitland ANZAC Service. Our School, with other schools and community members, joined in the march and the service. Many of our students wore their family’s medals and mementos, remembering, commemorating, and celebrating their histories. Zali Lancey and Liam Harvie represented us wonderfully in reading The Ode, and Winnifred Maroulis and Thomas Geering did a wonderful job in laying a wreath on behalf of the School.
We look forward to many more occasions such as these where we can come together as a school community.