On Thursday 11 November at 11am, Whitefriars College stopped to commemorate the end of World War 1 in 1918 – Remembrance Day. World War 1 was a brutal conflict, and the first armed conflict Australian soldiers were part of in faraway lands. A generation of young Australians lost their lives. As many of the stories go, young men signed up for adventure, to travel and support the ‘Mother Country’, Britain. Some even went as far as faking their age to join. James Charles Martin was one of these. He was born 3 January 1901 in Tocumwal, New South Wales, Australia and died 25 October 1915 off ANZAC Cove, Gallipoli, Ottoman Turkey. He was 14 years old. In the context of school these days, James Martin would be in Year 8. It is unfathomable to think of one of our young men going to war, however Remembrance Day is an opportunity to reflect on these young Australians, those who are also currently serving overseas and the lessons we can learn from this horrific time in world history.
For our boys and for all of us, over 100 years after this terrible event, it is about reflecting on the qualities demonstrated by all those who acted in the service of their country and thinking about how we can apply these same qualities in our own lives. Courage, resilience, mateship, loyalty and service are just a few of these qualities we can look to strengthen in the ordinary and extraordinary events in our own lives. However, Remembrance Day is also about reflecting on the qualities and behaviour we do not want to emulate. Violence is never a solution; power is not an ambition we should crave, and fear is never an emotion we should instil in others. It is heartening to also reflect on our vision at Whitefriars, to create gentle men who care deeply for others and strive to do and be their very best.
Mr Mick Lafferty
Deputy Principal – Students