On Friday 23 April 2021 Vasse Primary School held a special whole school assembly commemorating ANZAC Day (Sunday 25 April). Principal Simon Mansfield opened the assembly explaining to students the meaning of remembering the ANZACs and to imagine what life would have been like without their sacrifice.
Assembly Special Guest speakers Mr. Graeme Caddy (21 years as a Serviceman in the RAAF) and Mr. Ross Reading (a former student, along with his father, Mr. Bob Reading who is among students pictured in the 1915 Vasse School Photo) spoke to our whole school community on this day of Remembrance.
Mr. Caddy talked to us about the original ANZACs who landed on the shores of Gallipoli on the 25 April 1915 of which some 113 people signed up from this region. “We are here to honour all Australians who have served our country in times of war and conflict”. Mr Caddy also reminded us that “the Australian Defence Force do not give medals for taking lives. They give medals for saving lives.” He also mentioned Veteran’s Suicide and help available for all veterans and their families through Open Arms or call 1800 011 046 (24hrs).
Mr. Reading delighted the audience, reminiscing about his time as a student at our school, attending for 6.5 years. 24 students attended and the Vasse School ground included the Heritage room and the netball court area on 1 acre. There was no electricity or running water. They had to drink the water from the rainwater tank and the toilets were not pleasant and had to be cleaned out by the headmaster each week (Mr Mansfield shook his head – relieved he does not have to do this today, especially with over 800 students!). Mr. Reading also talked about how lucky we are today in our wonderful school.
A beautiful fresh wreath was laid at the foot of the Australian Flag pole to symbolise the soldiers who have come to their final resting place. Heads bowed as the bugle sounded “The Last Post” followed by one minute silence – a pause of respect to those men and women who have given their lives while serving to protect our country.
The Vasse Choir led the whole school in the Australian National Anthem. The choir then sang the New Zealand National Anthem with a fabulous solo. And to finish off the choir performed ‘Song of Australia’ – a beautiful finale to our ANZAC Remembrance Assembly.