On Tuesday 26 April the College gathered for our annual ANZAC Day ceremony at the beginning of Period 1. Humanities Prefect Mark Rimando and College Captain Ellie Inglese led us in prayer and to identify some historical reflections from soldiers and commentators of the time. Below is a short extract from the ceremony that encapsulates the spirit of the ANZAC:
The story of Gallipoli is a story of heroism and mateship. During the ill-fated eight-month-long campaign, these men displayed courage, endurance, initiative, discipline, and mateship. Such qualities came to be called ‘the ANZAC spirit’. Nine Australians were awarded the Victoria Cross, with most of the awards made for actions performed during the battle of Lone Pine. The first of these men, Lance Corporal Albert Jacka, immediately became a national hero. This battle is remarkable in that seven Australians won the Victoria Cross on a small stretch of ground on the Turkish Gallipoli ridge — with four going to a single battalion in just 24 hours.
— Correspondent Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett
The above quote gives one a sense of the commitment and courage displayed by the Australian soldiers during this campaign and the gratitude that the past and present Australian soldiers should receive on every ANZAC Day.
I wish to take this opportunity to thank both Mark and Ellie for volunteering to be involved in such an important event on the MLMC calendar. They came together to write about the service below:
On Tuesday 26 April, Mount Lilydale Mercy College held a ceremony over the loudspeaker to commemorate the sacrifices made during times of war, which provided us Australians with the freedom we are blessed with today. We heard readings of servicemen recounts from the First World War, and were reminded of the courage and selflessness of our ancestors. We also remembered the great sacrifice that Jesus Christ made in dying for us, and we commend the soldiers for doing the same.
— Ellie Inglese and Mark Rimando
A day earlier, Ellie joined fellow College Captain Baxter Lill and Vice Captains Stella Atkinson and Jack Drummond along with members of the College Choir at the ANZAC Day dawn service at the Lilydale cenotaph.
For the first time since 2019 there were no COVID-19 restrictions and there was a big crowd for the service. The four captains lay a wreath at the cenotaph to honour our Australian servicemen and women and as a community we give thanks, we pray and we remember them.
For many years, the College Choir has provided community service by singing at the Lilydale dawn service. This year, the Choir was bolstered by members of the junior a capalla ensemble. The students sang The Recessional, along with both the Australian and New Zealand national anthems, Advance Australia Fair and God Bless New Zealand — the latter both 'te reo Māori' (translates to 'the Maori language') and in English.
Choir leader Ms Caroline Dickason said it was the second year the Choir had sung the New Zealand anthem in 'te reo' since it was taught to the choir by teacher Mr Dean Fox before he left MLMC to return to New Zealand. “The Choir stood perfectly still in the cold pre-dawn morning and represented MLMC very well with their professionalism and lovely voices,” Ms Dickason said. “Most of the students had arisen around 4.30am to be at the service by 5.15am.”