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Symbols of Sacrifice, Gratitude and Freedom

I was very proud of our boys at our two ANZAC Day liturgies on Friday. On both occasions, the boys engaged respectfully and participatively. ANZAC Day, while never about glorifying or validating war, certainly resonates with our young people.

Mr Andrew McCrohon, our Service Program Coordinator gave the occasional address and spoke proudly of his Grandfather and Father who both served actively in the Australian Defence Forces. Our boys engaged with these stories, the wonderful music and singing provided by our brass ensemble and choir and the signs, symbols and rituals of the ceremony.

As newly-weds, 28 years ago, my wife and I bought our first home. Our neighbours were Betty and Eric and for 25 years we were very happy neighbours and friends. Betty is now well into her 90s and is a wonderful person full of character, life’s wisdoms, warmth and humour. She now lives in an Aged Care Facility just near our home after her husband, Eric, passed away some years ago. He was a prisoner of war on the notorious Burma Railway. Out of respect for Betty and Eric, I won’t share all of the story that they confided in me over the years but one thing that they shared with me through their actions has stayed with me all of these years and will for all of my life. For a young married couple who lived in fear through the Second World War and never knew if they would see each other again, I was in awe of their love for each other, their resilience, their loyalty and their honesty. I was in awe of their simplicity and humility. This family love was particularly demonstrated through visits by their children and grandchildren. They would come over regularly but particularly in the afternoon of ANZAC Day and laugh like hyenas in Betty and Eric’s back yard over a BBQ and a few beers. It was through them as a young adult that my own understanding of ANZAC Day deepened and my appreciation for people like Eric and Betty who sacrificed so much but lived in hope and gratitude grew. As I watched our boys on Friday, I sat in solidarity with people like Betty and Eric and all of the women and men who have served our country to provide the freedom and safety that we enjoy. I pray that our boys continue to have this for as long as they may live.

Well done and thank you to our students and staff who represented ATC at various ceremonies throughout the weekend. It is great to see so many young people involved in these rituals and respecting our ANZAC tradition. Each year the ANZAC Day Commemoration Committee organises the Anzac Day service for Queensland primary and high school students. Year 10 students Toby Rutch and Jack Scott attended the Service at the Shrine of Remembrance and lay a wreath on behalf of the College community.

A special representative was Year 12 student, Atticus Solomon who, in 2019 as a Year 10 student, was one of the recipients of the Premier’s ANZAC Prize and toured significant sites in France and Belgium. Last Thursday, Atticus was invited to attend a special service at ANZAC Square with other prize recipients from previous years. The recipients undertake official duties at the ceremony, such as meeting and greeting the Governor-General and the Premier of Queensland, reciting the Ode and other poems and delivering a speech in response to the Governor’s address. The prize recipients also lay a wreath on behalf of the Premier’s Anzac Prize. Well done Atticus.

ATC P&F Mother’s Day Breakfast

On Friday 7 May we are delighted to be in a position to renew the ATC tradition of a Mother’s Day celebration before school from 6.30 to 8.15am. Thank you to the Parents and Friends who are coordinating this special occasion which will be held by the river behind the Edmund Rice Building (Year 8 area). To RSVP and order your breakfast please login to your Parent Lounge account, Tours & Excursions, where you will see the menu options. The P&F would also like some dads to volunteer to help with set up, cooking the BBQ and cleaning up. If you can help out please CLICK HERE. .

How a Seeing Eye Dog Changed Oliver’s Life

ABC News recently interviewed one of our Year 9 students, Oliver Fanshawe, who is legally blind. Oliver is the youngest person in Australia to be given a seeing eye dog by Vision Australia and his new ‘best friend’, Sadie, has made Oliver’s life easier as he navigates stairs and footpaths at school. CLICK HERE to read his story.

RAW Literary Festival

RAW (Reading and Writing) Literary Festival is being held this week and the College plays host to a myriad of talented authors and creatives who will be sharing their love of reading and writing as well as their knowledge, tips and tricks with students in all year levels. Today on assembly, special guests Richard Yaxley, Anisa Nandaula, Remy Lai and Christine Bongers inspired us with their reflections on writing and creativity, and students participated in a range of workshops on illustrating and character development. Thank you to Sarah McCallan and the library staff for facilitating this valuable week. Parents and caregivers are invited to a literary event ‘Books Under the Stars’ this Thursday evening and tickets are available via your Parent Lounge account.

Year 12 Formal

I was pleased to see our Senior students and their partners enjoying the Year 12 Formal event at the Brisbane Convention Centre on Friday night. Thank you to staff for their pastoral care, organisation and attendance on the night and to our parents for your support of this important ritual. A gallery of photos from the evening will be shared with parents in due course.

Congratulations

Warm congratulations to Tim and Alice Walker who welcomed Frederick James “Freddie” into the world last Friday 23 April.

Prayers

I would ask the community to please keep Finn Snell (8 Conn) in your thoughts and prayers following the recent passing of his Grandfather and Liam (7 Treacy) and Patrick Middleton (4 Treacy) following the recent passing of their Grandfather. We hope that the passage of time will help heal the pain of their passing. Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord, may perpetual light shine upon them, may they rest in peace. Amen.

God bless.

Chris Ryan