At Trinity Grammar School, ANZAC and Remembrance Days are significant events in the School calendar, reflected in the well-rehearsed and formal commemoration services that take place at the Summer Hill and Strathfield campuses.
ANZAC day is a particularly pertinent day as students, teachers and special guests recognise, remember and honour the Australian and New Zealand men whose sacrificial service in times of national and international crisis assured the freedom we enjoy today. At Trinity we believe this warrants our lasting gratitude and respect not only for the fallen, and those who served, but also for those who continue to serve in our armed forces.
Robert Scott, a former Trinity teacher and enthusiast for military history and Christian education, conducted extensive research into the lives and experiences of Old Trinitarians who served their nation in times of war. His research established that 710 Old Trinitarians saw active service and returned, which was approaching half (41 percent) of all boys who had been through the School since its establishment in 1913 to October 1945, so the legacy of war is deeply impressed in Trinity’s history, lore and culture. The School’s Army Cadet Unit, which has been active for almost 80 years, serves as another reminder of Trinity’s proud history with the armed forces.
Each year on ANZAC Day Trinity Cadets lead a commemoration. This year it began with School Captain, Kordell Payne calling ‘Parade’, to signify the start of this poignant event. The School was led in prayer then the asked to stand at ease, while being addressed by the Head Master, Milton Cujes.
The Head Master provided a brief explanation of the ceremony to give Trinity boys an understanding and appreciation of ANZAC Day and what it represents. The School band then led the School in a moving Hymn ‘O God our help in ages past…’.
In a particularly touching tradition, the Head Master and School Captain made their way to a prominently displayed case containing a Memorial Book featuring the name of every Trinity Old Boy who has fallen in the wars. While the Acting Deputy Head Master read each name of the Fallen, Trinity Cadets planted a corresponding cross in the main quadrangle. This humble gesture brings home the solemnity and reality of the occasion. Once all 44 crosses had been placed, the bugler, Year 12 student Callum Arnold, sounded the Last Post, after which the School observed a minute’s silence.
The students clearly empathised and the silence was profound. The catafalque party consisting of four members of an armed guard stood, bowed their heads with their weapons reversed, facing outward as a symbolic form of respect for those who have fallen.
The bugler sounded Reveille, and the flag was raised to full mast. The Catafalque Party stood down. To conclude the Band played the “Honor theme from the Pacific” and the Assembly was finally dismissed.
In addition to School commemorations Trinity students also took part in ANZAC Day Dawn Services at Balmain RSL, Drummoyne Civic Centre and Burwood RSL with a catafalque party at each.
These will all happen simultaneously tomorrow at dawn by three Catafalque Parties at these three different locations.
Trinity observes this event with sincerity and significance because the ANZACS are deeply ingrained in the history of the School. There are however, also a number of benefits for our students:
Children of all ages are reminded that the life and privileges they enjoy today came at a cost. A great sacrifice was made by the individuals who served as well as their families and communities.
Children come to understand that learning about these events is important and it helps to provide a greater depth of meaning for them when observing the events. We can see this in the way that boys conduct themselves during and after the ceremonies.
It provides an opportunity to connect with the broader school community. Old Boys and families are invited to attend the events conducted at Trinity and this serves as another reminder of our School’s proud history.
Involving even our youngest students in the commemoration service provides the opportunity for them to learn from their older peers who guide and demonstrate how to appropriately acknowledge this significant and unique event. This is why it's important to pay tribute to the ANZACS – we should remember so that the sacrifices made by the fallen are not in vain.
To find out more about Trinity’s ANZAC history, download our Trinity Remembers ebook.