Welcome back to a new Term. I especially extend a warm welcome to the new families and staff members who have joined the Whitefriars College community over the holiday period.
I trust that the holidays and the Easter period has provided an opportunity to rest, as well as spend some time with loved ones and friends.
Easter is an important time in our Catholic faith. After the resurrection, Jesus is transformed and begins a new way of living. In many of the post-resurrection encounters Jesus is not recognised by his friends, those who have been his intimates. However, Jesus is wherever they are because his new body is visibly present in the community of believers. Today, we are the Body of Christ, called to be his hands and feet in the world, called not only to proclaim the gospel, but to live the gospel, to be the gospel. The relationship we foster with one another, the warm welcome we provide our guests, the endeavour to learn, and in prayer and contemplation means we can live the gospel. As we begin the new term, through the light of Christ we may be able to see amazing possibilities and opportunities to grow in our relationships with one another.
In recent weeks I have joined old collegians, staff and families in a prayer service for Will Harvey and his recovery, and the one year anniversary memorial service for Patrick Cronin. The ongoing support for both families, from a large contingent of our community, is very real and evident one year on.
The community continues to pray for Will and the Harvey family and the Cronin family.
On Monday, the College will come together as a community to commemorate ANZAC Day, a day to pause to remember and give thanks to those who served others in war. As a College we will celebrate the ANZACs and the sacrifices that they have laid down for us, looking at the qualities that made those people so special.
The remembrance poppy was inspired by the World War I poem “In Flanders Fields” and has been used in Australia since 1921 to commemorate Australian soldiers who died in war. The poem’s opening lines refer to the many poppies that were the first flowers to grow in the churned-up earth of soldiers’ graves in Flanders, a region of Europe that overlies a part of Belgium.
Before poppies, purple king violets were extremely popular in remembering those killed during The Great War, as World War I was then called. The introduction of Violet Day in Adelaide on 2 July 1915, had violets ‘worn in honour of the fallen brave’ at Gallipoli. My great great grandfather William Walker established a violet farm that became a popular tourist destination in the early 1900’s, as people wanted to wear the purple violet flower to remember those fallen. The family Walker’s King Violet Farm grew violets commercially until 1958, and at the peak of its popularity in the early 1930’s, up to 1500 flower gatherers came to the farm over a weekend.
The Violet Day event was an inspiration of Mrs Alexandra Seager, whose son was killed at Gallipoli. Her poem Violets for Remembrance was published in 1917.
In lowly reverential love.
On this their memory day,
We wear a violet to prove
The debt we cannot pay.
To those (in whom youth’s golden dream
Warmed glad young veins like wine),
Who made the sacrifice supreme –
A sacrifice divine.
Their fame shall fast through ages stand,
Like giant rocks, when we
Are but as grains of drifting sand
Beside an endless sea.
Lest we forget.
I look forward to meeting parents and students of Years 7, 8 and 9 at next week’s Student Parent Teacher Conferences on Wednesday 26 April. The conferences provide a valuable opportunity to gain knowledge of student academic progress through conversations with subject teachers. Feedback will be provided to help improve academic achievement, approaches to learning, study habits, organisation, and overall progress.
Looking ahead to during the term, there are many wonderful opportunities for student learning and varied engaging activities for each boy, as well as some significant occasions for community building and celebration.
Please remember Jordan Katsaros (9B5) and his family on the recent loss of his maternal grandfather who passed away recently. May he rest in eternal peace.
Almae In Fide Parentis.