Oxley’s Dawn Service was honoured by the presence of the founder of our College, Pastor Hal Oxley OBE. Now in his 100th year, Pastor Oxley spoke of the three groups of people affected by war; those who died, those seriously wounded, and women left to care for their grieving families. Though Pastor Oxley did not mention his own remarkable military service, his colourful medals were testimony to his credentials from the second World War, which included command of units of up to 1,200 soldiers, official reports of his gallantry in the face of the enemy, and awards of an OBE and SC.
The gathering of some 300 students, parents, friends and staff heard other moving reflections presented by Junior and Senior students. Former Oxley teacher, Salvation Army Pastor Ben Anderson, returned to play the poignant Last Post and Rouse. Pastor Oxley congratulated Megan Hallang (Year 12) who spoke of her time at Gallipoli last year, when she was selected to represent Australian youth on the 100th anniversary of the battle.
Two members of the public wrote to me with unsolicited commendations of Oxley students who shared more of the ANZAC spirit in the community on Monday. Again,
Megan Hallang was praised; this time for her ANZAC Day address at the Mooroolbark Memorial Service. “She spoke extremely well and with such feeling, particularly about her experience at Gallipoli. It was the highlight of the service… and made ANZAC Day so special for all of us.”
Leading Senior Constable from Croydon Police Station wrote that police members on duty were delighted by the unexpected visit of Liam Wilson-Gardner (Year 8) delivering a huge plate of Anzac biscuits! “A great credit to the Oxley community and much appreciated.”
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
– From the poem Flanders Field by John McCrae (1872–1918)