Dear Parents, Students, Staff and Friends of the Magdalene Community,
This week was an important one as Magdalene students and staff commemorated ANZAC Day on Tuesday and Wednesday.
On Tuesday many Magdalene students and their families were able to attend the ANZAC Services in Campbelltown and particularly Camden. I thank these students, their families, Mrs Forner and Mr Whicker for supporting this most important of days.
On Wednesday the School then commemorated ANZAC Day with our own students taking part in a moving service. This service included our own Cadets marching and serving as our flag party and our student leaders playing an important role leading the Service. Amongst other things, students heard a powerful lament from our student leaders, wreaths were laid and the typical (and important) formalities of the Last Post, Reveille, The Ode and the Australian Anthem occurred. A vital part of the School Service was also the reading of the School Honour Roll by Ms Nancy Russo. In recent years there has been the development of this Honour Roll which lists family members of current students and staff who did and do serve in Australia’s National Forces. Such a list is a wonderful way for students to recognise their own connections to Australian war and peace-keeping efforts – going back to the late 1800s. I thank Ms Denise Phillips for her organisation of this service.
ANZAC Day is not a time to celebrate war but rather a time to commemorate the brave and defining actions of Australians who have made sacrifices (sometimes the ultimate sacrifice) to protect others’, and Australian rights and freedoms. Due to the carnage and savagery of war and conflict, ANZAC Day reminds us that peace is the ultimate goal.
2017 marks the 100th Anniversary of a number of memorable battles fought in World War One by Australians.
The Battle of Bullecourt is well known for being one in which early models of British tanks failed to support Australian infantry. Despite breaking into German defences, Australian troops were unable to hold this territory without support. As such, two brigades of the Australian 4th Division suffered greatly with over 3,300 casualties and 1,170 Australians being taken prisoner - the largest number captured in a single engagement during the war.
The Battle of Polygon Wood was one of five battles in which Australians were involved as part of the larger British and dominion offensive known as the Third Battle of Passchendaele. As the military record outlines, the struggle that followed was one of the bloodiest and muddiest of the First World War. Indeed, Passchendaele is often referred to as the ‘Battle of the Mud’ and Australians fought against incredible odds to take out numerous German pill boxes to make a significant advance (for Western Front standards).
While not diminishing the important role of the Gallipoli Landing and Campaign (Gallipoli demonstrated impressive Australian qualities and played a significant role in bringing Australians together at a time when we were only a fledgling new country), battles right across World War One and other eras show Australian soldiers and personnel demonstrating their presence, their resistance to injustice and their willingness to demonstrate self-sacrifice, integrity and compassion. This is what the ANZAC spirit is about - it is the heart, the very essence of our nation.
It is wonderful to see young people demonstrating pride in Australian soldiers and military staff who show (and showed) such amazing courage in battle, emergency relief and/or peace-keeping efforts over the past 100 years. I would encourage families to contact the School if you would like your family members added to our Honour Roll and I would pray that our World Leaders can look beyond their own self-interests to protect the safety and human rights of citizens across the globe.
Adapted from an Ignatian Prayer to end violence, war and death
O Loving God,
We so often, and for so long, hear the guns and rockets, drones and bombs.
We see the pictures of death in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, the Congo, Nigeria, Sudan and South Sudan, Ukraine, Israel and Palestine, Central African Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and so on.
In so many parts of the world today, the air is tense with waiting, uncertainty, insecurity.
From ravaged lands, destroyed by war, Your peoples lift their hands to You.
We pray for stillness, for justice, and for peace to come and to last.
O God, our maker, we pray for peaceful existence between Israelis and Palestinians, Sunnis and Shiites, Muslims, Jews and Christians.
We pray negotiations can reach at the roots of historical conflicts and that countries like the United States, Russia, China and North Korea can use words of kindness rather than postulate threats and fear monger.
We pray for a commitment to human rights by all sides and the protection of all lives.
We pray for effective international intervention to ensure justice for all sides.
We pray for humanitarian aid and rebuilding where destruction has occurred.
We pray for peace and for justice in our homes and on our city streets.
P & F Meeting
The next P&F meeting will be held on Tuesday 9 May at 7pm in the Learning Resource Centre. At the meeting we will be reviewing our funding priorities for the year, including the installation of air conditioning, the purchase of new library furniture, sponsorships for sporting, academic, cultural, and leadership pursuits, and how much we put aside for future projects such as the School hall and equipment purchases and replacements.
We will also cover those standard agenda items including the financial report, a report from the Principal, and any recent correspondence to the P&F. The minutes of the last meeting are available in the P&F section on the School website.
All the best
David Cornett (On behalf of the P&F)
In line with the Wollongong Diocesan School fee policy, all accounts are on a 30 day basis. Families wishing to pay fees over the duration of the school year, regardless of the payment method, should by now have completed and returned to the School a School Fee Agreement Form. These forms are available on the school website www.mchsdow.catholic.edu.au. Go to the Enrolment tab, Fees tab and then select the Diocesan School Fee Agreement Form.
If we have not received a fee agreement form, regardless of payment method, your account would be considered overdue.
The following students were awarded a Peer Acknowledgment award at the end of Term 1. I congratulate these students on being acknowledged by their peers.
Year 7 Mackenzie Young - Assisting others in their learning
Year 8 Madison Lopez - Assisting others in their learning
Year 9 Damon Elias - Improvement in Assessment
Year 10 Emily Said - Commitment to learning
Year 11 Charlotte Maxfield - Commitment to learning and assisting others in their learning
Year 12 Jason Colley - Commitment to learning and assisting others in their learning
Mr Matthew McMahon