Each year on 25 April Australia pauses, during dawn ceremonies throughout the country, to reflect sombrely on the significance of Anzac Day, with this year’s ceremonies taking on particular significance as we commemorate the centenary of the Gallipoli landing on 25 April 1915. During this centenary year, it is most appropriate that this edition of Great Scot commemorates the Old Scotch Collegians and former masters who fell in the cause of service to secure freedom for their country and for future generations.
As part of the school’s commemorative tributes, the Honour Roll of the War Dead in the Memorial Hall, first unveiled in 1936, has been restored and a further 29 names of Old Boys whose deaths as a result of World War I had not been honoured in the Memorial Hall added to panels adjacent to the original Honour Roll.
Additionally, Scotch’s Head of History, Dr Mark Johnston, with the assistance of School Archivist, Paul Mishura, has compiled records of Old Boys who died in World War I, including the 11 who lost their lives during the first day of the Gallipoli campaign, 25 April 1915, and a 12th Old Boy who was killed in Iraq on 14 April 1915. The names of these 11 men were read during the Anzac Day Assembly on Friday 24 April 2015, in both Senior and Junior School assemblies, and during the annual Cadet Tattoo and Retreat Ceremony.
Large promotional boards commemorating the Gallipoli landing and records of the 11 Old Boys who tragically lost their lives on the day of the landing were displayed in the Lithgow Building foyer, and a commemorative website with records of Old Scotch Collegians who died in 1915 is accessible through the school home page. The website will be updated in coming months and years to reflect the sacrifices of all Old Scotch Collegians who died in World War I. Future editions of Great Scot will also incorporate a commemorative feature section dedicated to those who lost their lives a century ago.
In remembering the lives lost in the service of country, it is important to recognise the legacy of freedom of thought and liberal education from which we benefit as a school. The school’s services programme plays an important role in fostering strong connections between students and the local community, through service organisations such as Amnesty International, World Vision leadership training, and at a local level with visits to aged care and after school care centres. Similarly, fundraising efforts, such as the 24 Hour Hike, and expeditions to Nepal, while testing physical endurance, also provide valuable resources to the Australian and global communities.
Our Old Boys have made their mark in war as leaders, and continue to shine as leaders in the professions, politics, sports, and many other spheres, as reflected in many of the articles in this edition of Great Scot.
For example, two Old Boys have recently been appointed Judges of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Victoria, an Old Boy won the seat of Kew in the November 2014 state election, while another is leading an Oxford University trial of a new Ebola vaccine, two Old Boys have been awarded 2015 Rhodes Scholarships, four Old Boys received awards in the 2015 Australia Day honours, three young Old Boys debuted for AFL teams in the early stages of the 2015 season and another Old Boy was named the ‘best punter’ in American college football. Additionally, Old Boys have been very generous supporters of the Capital Campaign for the Sir Zelman Cowen Centre for Science, along with many other members of the Scotch Family.
I hope you enjoy reading this edition of Great Scot, reflecting as usual the incredibly wide spectrum of activities in which the Scotch Family is involved.
PHOTOGRAPH: Gary Fevreau
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
– Laurence Binyon, 1915: part of For the Fallen