Anzac tour an honour for boy
Former Kojonup resident Patrick Reilly was one of just a handful of youth ambassadors selected as part of the Premier’s Anzac Student Tour, a once-in-a-lifetime expedition to Singapore to take part in Anzac Day commemorations and visit important sites.
Learning stories about what happened and then to be there for the service — it was really quite raw. Patrick Reilly
A month of researching and planning for one history essay may seem a bit excessive, but former Kojonup teenager Patrick Reilly says his efforts were “definitely worth it”.
The Bunbury Cathedral Grammar student’s essay on Sir Thomas Spencer Vaughan Phillips had him selected as one of 10 youth ambassadors to represent the State in the Premier’s Anzac Student Tour — a 10-day expedition through Singapore to visit historical sites before attending Anzac Day commemorations at Kranji War Memorial.
The Year 10 student said his dedication to writing the “best essay I could” stemmed from his deep interest in history and, in particular, World War II’s Sandakan Death Marches which formed the focus of his work. As well as visiting and learning about places of historical significance, including Changi Beach, the Old Ford Factory Museum and Fort Canning Centre’s “Battle Box”, Patrick said it was the Anzac Day ceremony that hit his emotions the hardest.
“The Anzac Day service was by far the highlight, ” he said.
“In the lead-up, learning stories about what happened and then to be there for the service — it was really quite raw.”
After submitting his essay and becoming a finalist, Patrick was selected as the only youth ambassador from Bunbury — a title he felt “humbled” to accept.
Patrick said he highly recommended the tour to others.
Kranji War Memorial in Singapore.
Former Kojonup resident Patrick Reilly visited Singapore to learn more about World War II.