The Ulumbarra Theatre was filled to capacity on Thursday morning for BSSC’s annual ANZAC Ceremony. Many hundreds more watched the ceremony on TV monitors in the foyer as our college remembered those past students who served their country in conflicts over more than a century.

The ceremony was hosted brilliantly by our Student Council, and included performances by our college choir and music students. The choir set the mood for the morning with a stunning performance of Beach Burial, based on a poem by Kenneth Slessor and composed by Music Coordinator Matt Pankhurst.

RSL President Cliff Richards spoke about the changing nature of war and the importance of recognising our WWII and Vietnam veterans on ANZAC Day, while our special guest speaker, Brigadier Steven Lee reflected on his life as a career soldier following in the footsteps of his Great Grandfather who served in the Boar War and his two Great Uncles who died at Gallipoli and on the Western Front respectively. He went on to talk about the honour of commanding troops overseas, particularly his experience in Rwanda.

Music student Amber Bittner gave a haunting rendition of the Last Post and Reveille, and the ceremony ended with a piece titled Reflections on Long Tan, remembering the six Bendigo soldiers who lost their lives in Vietnam.

Principal Dale Pearce and RSL President Cliff Richards led the traditional walk through the memorial gate and up the steps built in 1956, before guests adjourned to Ulumbarra for morning tea and a chance to reminisce and share stories.

Thanks to Annemarie Burgess and everyone else who worked so hard to make this event such a wonderful success, and to the whole college community for supporting this important day on our college calendar with respect and compassion.