From the Principal - Mark Geraets
Remembrance Day provided a poignant moment for our School Community to stop and reflect this week. We paused our daily activities to commemorate in our Tuesday assembly and again in a minute's silence at recess on Thursday, the loss of Australian lives in all wars and conflicts - nearly 103,000 Australians to date - to lay a wreath in their memory and to acknowledge the debt of gratitude we owe them for our freedom.
It also is an opportunity for us to do what we do best - educate our young students. We are lucky to live in a current-day peaceful society, so many of our students cannot begin to comprehend the sacrifices, including the ultimate sacrifice, made on their behalf by Australian men and women in our history.
With our Remembrance Day service, we were able to convey the important legacy our servicemen and women leave us.
Remembrance Day marks the end of fighting on the Western Front on November 11, 1918. At the time, the anniversary was known as Armistice Day, in reference to the formal agreement the German leaders signed to end the war. The name was changed to Remembrance Day after World War II ended in 1945. It has since become a day to remember the service and sacrifice of those who have died since World War I.
Scots has a very real connection to the World Wars, particularly the Second World War, through our relationship with the 2nd 23rd Battalion.
In 1940, the Defence Department annexed the Albury Showground, which was situated on the southern boundary of Albury Grammar School, to establish a training centre. It became the home of the 2/23rd Battalion which was also known as Albury’s Own.
The Albury Grammar School’s Cadet Corps was established in 1939 and the proximity of the 2nd 23rd made a big impression on the cadets. Six AGS students later joined the Battalion when they were of age.
The two groups co-operated on many levels, forging a close association and on return from the war, the Battalion presented the Cadet Corp with the Tobruk Shield in recognition of their assistance. The Shield was then presented annually to a platoon in the Cadet Corp until it disbanded in 1982.
As recognition of our long, proud history and our place in the history of the Albury region, Scots annually names a Year 12 student as Ambassador to the 2nd 23rd Battalion. This year’s Ambassador, Alex Davidson, made a moving address as part of our Remembrance Day service.
It is this, and the involvement of other students in leading the service - our captains Thalia Cross and Mitch Russell laid a wreath, Oliver Baitch played the Last Post, Liam Nicolson played the bagpipes, Bianca Blackberry played the National Anthem, Lachie Coe and Zara Shaw led us in prayer and Billy Brooks read from Corinthians - that connects our school to its history and to that of our country.
Lest We Forget.