Three schools in western Melbourne join in a multi-faith commemoration

An inspirational multi-faith ceremony was the result of close cooperation between three western suburban schools: Ilim College (a Muslim coeducational P-12 school with campuses in Dallas and Glenroy), Mt Ridley Secondary College (a state 7-12 college in Craigieburn) and Penola College (A Catholic Regional College in Broadmeadows) coordinated by an education consultant Ms Helen Schiele.

The ceremony was titled “From War to Peace, A Walk of Harmony”. The three schools are sending a combined group of students to Turkey in April coinciding with the ANZAC Day service at Gallipoli. Students and staff members of the three schools participated in the ceremony in the Sanctuary in the presence of the Turkish Consul General and the CO 4 Combat Services Support Battalion.  The ceremony concluded with the Turkish and Australian National Anthems. Shrine support was provided by Dale Capron with ceremonial support from two Shrine Guards. A staff member from Penola College provided the bugle calls. The Age newspaper interviewed (and photographed) the students after the ceremony. All in all it was a most worthwhile ceremony underlining the multi cultural nature of our society.

A further ceremony was to be conducted later in the day at Maygar Barracks in Broadmeadows which is the headquarters of 4 Combat Services Support Battalion (4CSSB) and was the site of a training camp in August 1914.

Background information provided included the following eloquent statement. The Shire of Broadmeadows in 1914 was a rural country town on the outskirts of the bustling city of Melbourne. The men of this quiet township heard the call to arms and enlisted to fight for God, King and Country. On the other side of the world the men of the Gallipoli Peninsula rushed to protect their homeland and formed the 57th Regiment. This regiment was the force that first met head on the troops landed at ANZAC Cove and fought with great loss of life.