After the disappointments of 2020, the Ulumbarra Theatre was packed to overflowing this afternoon as the college community gathered for BSSC’s 2021 ANZAC Ceremony.
A major event on the college calendar, the ceremony is a time for all students and staff, along with members of the RSL, Alumni, and the wider community to come together and acknowledge all Australians and New Zealanders who served in wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations and remember the contribution they made and the suffering they endured.
Today’s ceremony was hosted by the Student Leadership Executive—Amelia Bailey, Amber Chong, Annie Claxton, Annabelle Bellingham and Ciaran Noble who did an incredible job.
Once again BSSC’s musicians were a highlight, with amazing vocal performances by Sonnie Hannaford who sang the New Zealand National Anthem and Jade Cuskelly who performed Advance Australia Fair—both accompanied by Alumnus Charlie Davis-Top on piano.
Stirring renditions of ‘I Was Only 19’ and ‘When the War is Over’ left a hush over the packed theatre, and Charlie Davis-Tope’s original song ‘Buried for Australia’ was laden with emotion.
Thanks to all our musos: Mannix Harrington, Tom Flemming, Jack Deed, Ethan Murray and Neneh Lane U’Ren.
The Last Post and The Rouse were performed beautifully by Year 12 student, Ethan Chuter.
RSL President, Warrant Officer Class One Peter Swandale, spoke of the ongoing support many veterans need as they attempt to reintegrate into civilian life.
“For many, the battles are not over when they come home,” he said. “The suicide rate for veterans is now being investigated through a Royal Commission.”
Guest Speaker, Craig Hancock, reinforced this explaining how his romantic ideas about war were shattered during his very first patrol.
“I thought I knew what war was—and now I know what war is,” he said. “War is a nightmare; it’s devastating, evil, hell and a brutal teacher. It also teaches the preciousness of life and makes you deal with death.”
The ceremony concluded with a sole piper, Helen Dilks, leading the traditional march up the Memorial Steps, followed by a luncheon for alumni and special guests.
Thank you to everyone who attended or watched via the live stream and showed such great respect for the occasion.