Honouring Our Service Members

Radford College paid its respects to the service men and women, including current parents, who have fought for our freedom and protected our country during a special Anzac Commemorative Service on Monday morning (see photo gallery below).

Deputy Principal and Head of Junior School, Mr Andy Gordon, welcomed the distinguished guests, College Board members, students and staff seated and standing around the commemorative rose garden for the service.

The service began with a special Acknowledgement of Country read by Year 6 student Elena Rock and signed in Auslan by the Junior School, led by Teacher Ms Anya Josan.

This year, the College invited Air Vice Marshall Head of Air Force Capability and parent Wendy Blyth AM as the special guest speaker.

She reminded us that Anzac Day is an opportunity to quietly honour the sacrifice our service members have made to make the world a better place.

“Anzac Day is…the day we remember those that have served our country and especially those that served and died on the shores of Gallipoli in 1915. Anzac Day is our Remembrance Day,” said AVM Blyth.

“It will be 108 years tomorrow morning when that ANZAC legend was born, when some 20,000 soldiers – about twice the number of people that could fill Manuka Oval – of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps that landed under fire on the shores of Gallipoli just as the sun came up on that fateful morning.

“Despite the fact that it was called The Great War and The War to End All Wars, wars did not end with WWI. We who join the military today, do so knowing we have the ANZAC legend to live up to. We do it…knowing that our words and our actions help make the world a better place and keep us free. We do it to honour the legacy of those who went before us and for those who are yet to come.”

Mr Gordon also spoke, reminding us that more than half a million Australians have served and are currently serving and that 103,021 Australians have died in service since 1860.

In the absence of Principal Fiona Godfrey due to illness, her husband Dennis Godfrey spoke. Mr Godfrey told the College about his grandfather, Arthur Godfrey, who fought in both WWI and WWII and was awarded the Military Cross, as well as his father, John Godfrey, who joined up when WWII began and became a prisoner of war in Germany. John survived and returned to Australia, but Arthur sadly died in battle at El Alamein.

In 2022, Mrs and Mr Godfrey travelled to Egypt to visit Arthur Godfrey’s grave.

“It’s hard to put into words the feelings we had on that day, but as we walked along and looked at all those graves in the middle of a desert, it is hard to comprehend how gallant those soldiers must have been to give up their lives in the defence of a country, half a world away,” said Mr Godfrey.

Following the speeches, Deputy Principal and Head of Secondary School, Mr Bradley Cooney, read The Ode. Bernstein Symphonic Wind Orchestra then played Canon of Peace, arranged by Paul Jennings and conducted by Director of Bands Mr Ben Marston, as students laid wreaths. This moving moment that honoured those who have fallen was proceeded by a minute’s silence, while Year 12 student Lachlan Gaden played The Last Post on the bugle and Defence Force Cadets Xavier Sassu, Isaac Walker, Emily Passlow and Erica Li raised the flags.

The service concluded with prayers of peace read by Chaplain Reverend Andy Fleming and Senior Chaplain Reverend Dr Katherine Rainger, remembering those who remain affected by war in Ukraine, Myanmar, Ethiopia and other places around the world.

Lest we forget.