On Wednesday 7 November, Year 3-10 students and staff gathered for our College Remembrance Day Ceremony. This Sunday on Remembrance Day we mark the final year of the First World War – the Great War – the war to end all wars and its Armistice at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.
In the assembly, students were reminded that for Australia, the First World War remains the costliest conflict of our national history in terms of deaths and casualties.
From a population of fewer than five million, 416,809 men enlisted, of whom more than 60,000 were killed and 156,000 wounded, gassed, or taken prisoner. Another 60,000 would die within a decade of returning to Australia.
Hobart’s response to remembering the loss of war
In 1918, the people of Hobart, in the final year of the war, developed what is called ‘The Soldier’s Memorial Avenue’ which today forms part of the Queen’s Domain in Hobart.
It is an avenue of honour comprising 520 trees. These trees were planted in 1918 and 1919 by families and friends and ex-soldiers to commemorate the soldiers, mainly from Hobart, who died in World War I.
I encourage all families to take the opportunity to walk the avenue – it starts near the Hobart Aquatic Centre. The trees have grown and some have been re-planted. It is a very special place of remembrance.
The stories of 520 soldiers from Hobart who were killed in the Great War are told in each plaque below each tree.
It is a place where every Tasmania should go and walk – I walk it every year.
Students and staff were reminded this week that our Remembrance Day rituals are not about glorifying war but are about mourning the terrible human loss of war and our personal and national commitment to peace.
Remembrance Day reminds us of the terrible cost of war and above all that we need to do everything in our power to live in peace and harmony with each other and all across our world.
May God continue to guide us to create a place where peace is valued and deeply cherished.
Ms Beth Gilligan - Dominic College Principal