Benalla Ensign

Lest we forget

- By Simon Ruppert

Benalla P-12 College honoured the Anzacs with a special assembly at its Faithfull St Campus on Tuesday, April 27.

The school’s stadium was close to capacity for the first time since COVID-19 forced students across the country to learn from home.

Even since students have returned, assemblies have been limited because of social-distancing protocols.

Being able to host its traditiona­l Anzac assembly with most students present was a welcome return to ‘‘normal’’ for the college.

A variety of special guests were invited including Benalla Rural City councillor­s, members of Victoria Police, representa­tives of Tomorrow Today, and guest of honour Major Sue Field.

Major Field said it was an honour to be invited.

“I’ve served for 23 years. I’ve done two operationa­l tours of service, one in East Timor and one in Afghanista­n,” Major Field said.

“I’ve served in both the United States of America and the Philippine­s with their armed forces.

“In Australia I’ve served in Townsville, Darwin, Perth, Puckapunya­l, Canberra and currently I’m a Victorian local up in Albury/Wodonga.

“On Anzac Day we remember how we stormed the shores of Gallipoli.

“We were together with New Zealand . . . On that landing, and during the Gallipoli campaign, there was around 8700 Australian soldiers who died, 2000 of them died on the very first day of the landings. And around 2700 New Zealanders also gave their lives.

“In that campaign, that went for about eight months, there were some 130,000 people who died from both sides of that fight.

“At that time the citizens of Benalla were right there answering their counties call to service, and many of them didn’t return.”

Major Field spent some time talking to the assembly about some of the individual­s from Benalla who sadly never returned before handing over to executive principal Tony Clark, who invited the Benalla P-12 Band to concluded the assembly.

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 ?? Full house: ?? The Benalla P-12 Faithful St Campus stadium was close to capacity for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Full house: The Benalla P-12 Faithful St Campus stadium was close to capacity for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
 ?? Tribute: ?? The Benalla P-12 band performed at the assembly.
Tribute: The Benalla P-12 band performed at the assembly.

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