The theme of this year’s Remembrance Day commemoration was the endurance of those in wartime captivity.
We often think of endurance in relation to sporting events. We talk of endurance athletes who can run long distances or complete tough obstacle courses. We know little of real endurance when compared to those who had served in war and especially those who became prisoners of war.
During the 20th Century, some 35,000 Australian servicemen and service women became prisoners of war. In our Service this week, we heard the stories of Private David Harris and Captain Wilma Oram Young, both of whom were captured during World War II and held captive for over 1,000 days. These two Armed-Service Personnel epitomised endurance.
Many years after her ordeal, Wilma Oram Young said, “When the chips are down, what do we hang onto? We value life itself, the ability to live with very little in the material sense… True friendship is when you will give your little to help a friend in need. War is an abomination and there are no winners. The result of war is there for all to see - broken minds and bodies, broken families and a lifetime of grief. I urge you all to cherish and nourish your friendships.”
This year we wanted to show students the relevance of learning about our history. We wanted them to see the strength of those who had given their all for Australia’s freedom. We wanted them to learn about true endurance.
The ceremony was ably led by the 2022 Prefects and accompanied by the Senior Strings Ensemble, the Concert Band and an impromptu performance of 'Abide with Me' by Laura Possingham, Sue Horton and Year 9 student, Evan.