More than 600 local students at 2024 ANZAC Commemoration …

650 Year 5 & 6 students and teachers from sixteen schools in the Knox Council area assembled at the Tim Neville Arboretum and Cenotaph in Ferntree Gully for the now annual ANZAC Commemorative Service on Friday, 19th April.  Hosted by the Rotary Club of Boronia, this annual service has grown over the past nine years from an initial 100 students to this year hosting 605 students plus staff.

In addition to the schools, invited guests included Mary Doyle MP, Member for Aston who welcomed the guests; Cr Marcia Timmers-Leitch representing Knox Council, who delivered a welcome from the Council; Jackson Taylor MLA, member for Bayswater; Daniella De Martino MLA, Member for Monbulk; Steve and Marie Everett, representing Boronia RSL; Incoming Rotary District 9815 District Governor, Colin Byron; Rotary Club of Boronia President, Greg Mossop; and Michelle Post, mother of guest speaker Kylie and wife of late Rotary Club member, Eddie Post.

The theme this year was focused on retired Australian Navy Captain, Kylie McDonald, and her service in the Navy, both in Australia and Overseas.  Kylie, a past Rotary Exchange Student, is a local girl having grown up in Boronia.  Kylie, who is now Harbour Master in Geelong, spoke about her years in the Navy as a navigation officer on active Navy ships, then Harbour Master for the Naval facility in Darwin.  She also related to the students what ANZAC, and the ANZAC spirit, meant to her as a servicewoman.

During the sacred part of the Service, the “Ode to the Fallen” was recited by Marie Everett, herself a retired Navy officer.  St Joseph’s College Year 10 Trumpeter, Zsolt Szabo played the “Last Post” followed, after a minute’s silence, by the “Reveille”.  All Schools and invited guests then laid wreaths at the Cenotaph.

The Service was enhanced by music from the St Joseph’s College Concert Band, Ferntree Gully directed by Bronwyn Dean and choral items by the St Joseph’s Primary School Choir, Boronia conducted by Gayle Ashdowne.

More than 20 members of the Rotary Club attended the Service, undertaking a variety of activities such as school and VIP hosts, sound technician, flag orderlies, and traffic controllers, which all contributed to a wonderful service for the Children.  Schools attending were St Joseph’s College, St Joseph’s Primary School, Boronia K-12 College Primary, Boronia Heights Primary School, The Basin Primary School, St Bernadette’s Primary School, Regency Park Primary School, Wantirna Primary School, Ferntree Gully North Primary School, Park Ridge Primary School, Boronia West Primary School, The Knox School, Bayswater South Primary School, St Luke’s Primary School, Knox Central Primary School and Mooroolbark Grammar.

April 2024

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