A special Remembrance Day-themed assembly was held at Stuart High School on Friday with a small contingent of soldiers from the Royal Military College-Duntroon attending.
Two local Navy Cadets actively participated in the assembly as well – Able Seaman Jacob MacGowan and Able Seaman Julia Wilkie.
The assembly focused on paying tribute to those who lost their lives while at war, and had a strong message of not glorifying global conflict.
It was an event very close to Deputy Principal Kath MacAllister’s heart. She grew up a soldier’s daughter, spending the first 18 years of her life predominantly on Army bases.
As a result Ms MacAllister still tends to ‘march’ when walking, meaning she often outpaces even those younger than her around the school.
Ms MacAllister said the assembly was great opportunity for the students to see the ‘human side’ of the Army.
“Since we’ve had the military exercise here in Whyalla they get to see a lot of that. They get to see them being quite normal human beings, shopping in Westlands,” she said.
“That’s a side of the military that, unless you are military yourself, you don’t see. It’s great for the kids.”
Ms MacAllister presented one of her paintings to Principal Jeannette Conroy on the day. The painting represented the souls of those who made the ultimate sacrifice at war.
“Remembrance Day and ANZAC DAy are important to me...I believe that when we commemorate them the souls of those who sacrificed are going on somewhere,” she said.
“We can’t afford to forget there is a huge human cost to war.”
Mrs Conroy said it was important for students to remember that many people served at war in different ways – her mother having been conscripted to work in a munitions factory constructing bomb cases.
“There’s a lasting legacy of everyone who contributed….we have to remember that,” she said.