There was a whole school commemoration service at our flagpole which involved our school based cadets from The Middle School, a speech from Mr Brendan Kincaide, a returned serviceman representing the R.S.L Mornington, Victoria branch. The Gallipoli Oaks story was shared by a Junior School Leader along with a twelve year olds reflection on “What Anzac Day means to them”. ‘Another Year Six Leader shared their Anzac day family story. Our Marching Band played Advance Australia Fair. Finally our School Chaplain led the school in a prayer. The oak was planted and a commemorative wreath was laid.
For our commemoration we invited local dignitaries including the Mayor, Commandant and representatives from local Army Base, Local Member Parliament, and Circus Director. The ceremony began with an Indigenous Smoking ceremony to honour the traditional landowners. Student Leaders then hosted their school through a ceremonial planting. The special guests were invited to each help in replacing the earth as a symbol of their commitment to helping the younger generation and generations to come in remembering the Anzacs, all who have fallen in wartime, and our current Serving Members in their service to our nation. There was a minute silence and poppies were laid by all participants. Our tree plant site and plaque block work, was prepared by students from our sister High School, who are involved in the HOLP (Hands On Learning Program)- a program for students who struggle to engage in traditional learning. These students were also involved in the planting ceremony. We are very grateful to have a Gallipoli Oak and look forward to many more years commemorations to take place around the tree.
Our oak was planted prior to the the 18th April. We then held an unveiling of a plaque with the RSL from Derrinallum, senior citizens , Lions Club and others being invited for afternoon tea and the unveiling. We used the ceremony that was suggested by the project and we read out the names of all men and women who attended Lismore Primary School. We read an extended version of those who gave their lives.
The little Oak tree has become a very important tree at Coimadai. On Sunday the 17th of May 150 people came to see it being planted along with the lone Pine tree. This is in preparation for the 100 year re-enactment which will take place on the 27th of June. All Association members, friends, supporters and descendants of the volunteers are invited to attend the official opening of the Coimadai Memorial Park on this date. The park has been constructed and the Avenue of Honour reinstated with financial assistance from the Federal Government, the Department of Premier & Cabinet, The Office of Living Victoria and Moorabool Shire Council. The park is situated within the picnic area of Southern Rural Waters Merrimu Reservoir and that institution has been very supportive of the Association objectives and work progress. The opening day will be a partial re-enactment of a ceremony in June 1918, when the Anglican Bishop, arriving by horse and cart, dedicated the trees in the newly planted Avenue and the Coimadai School children placed a wreath on the plaques of those soldiers killed in action. The children then sang WWI songs. In our ceremony, Anglican Bishop Philip Huggins will be arriving by horse and jinker, accompanied by the Creswick Light Horse Brigade. The Coimadai School children, dressed in period costume, will place wreaths on 32 crosses installed in the park fence and the whole group will sing WWI songs, accompanied by musicians from the Kyneton, Daylesford and Geelong brass bands. The park will be officially opened by Senator The Honourable Michael Ronaldson, Minister for Veterans Affairs. Weather permitting, we expect 1,000 people on the day.
For our commemoration the whole school and local community were involved in the ceremony. Dignities included Hon Dr Sharman Stone MP, Local Councillor Colleen Condliff, Director of Catholic Education Sandhurst Mr Paul Desmond, RSL Welfare Officer Mr Michael Hobson and Returned Serviceman Mr Arthur Alsop.
We held a special assembly to plant the tree. We were assisted by the Crib Point RSL Vice President, Mr Frank Penfold, and also had some input from our local Navy Base, HMAS CERBERUS. The school captainswere involved by reading the Ode and some other senior students undertook the suggested readings. The oak was planted at the end of our soon to be constructed memorial path which was made possible through a Anzac Centenary Grant.
We held a special Tree Planting Commemorative Ceremony where the President/ Secretary of Bayswater RSL and the School Captains participated by not only planting the Gallipoli Oak that was donated but also a Lone Pine (Aleppo) seedling. Children from each class in the school planted a long stemmed poppy with a personal message attached around each of the seedlings.