Dean of Identity | Mr Terry Thompson
Last Friday, we had our ANZAC Day liturgy at school. We were very fortunate to have Peter Murphy (retired Captain) lead the commemorative address to the students and staff. Mr Murphy served as an officer in the Australian Army Infantry Corps for ten years. In 1999, he was a Platoon Commander in the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment when they deployed to what was then East Timor, as part of the International Force to help secure Timor’s independence as a nation. Mr Murphy has strong links with Terrace. His grandfather and father are both Old Boys, and he has three boys currently at the College.
I want to share some of his address with you -
When I think of our ANZACS, I think of many great traits, such as courage, initiative, teamwork and resilience, to name only a few, but the main thing I think about on ANZAC Day is the great act of SERVICE – service to country, service to community, service to mates and most importantly service to others who are in need. Our ANZACS are great examples of ‘Answering the Call’ to serve others.
Service to others, where you put someone else’s needs and interest ahead of your own, takes a lot of humility and is hard to do and that is why I admire our ANZACS so much. Australia has always been a lucky country, blessed with freedom and so many riches, and you wonder why so many ANZACS selflessly and continuously put all that at risk to serve others in need.
And Terrace has done its bit in building the ANZAC legend, serving its country and carrying on the ANZAC spirit. Over 800 Terrace old boys have served Australia in the Army, Air Force or Navy – I know Terrace old boys still serving today and have no doubt that some of you in this room, like young Toby Mohr (current Year 12 student), will serve in the future. The Terrace Wall of Remembrance is a valuable reminder for every young man in this room that there is more to life than your own comfort and self-interest - that service to God, our country and our community is what is important and, in the end, is what is remembered.
My grandfathers’ name is on the Terrace Wall of Remembrance – his name was also Peter Murphy. He died in 1942 while serving during WWII. My father, who is also a Terrace old boy, was only six years old when he lost his dad. My grandfather was 40 years of age when he died - he was a husband and a father to five young children. He had aspirations and plans and a young family, but he chose to ‘Answer the Call’ during WWII and serve his nation. He lost his life too young, but his legacy is enormous at Terrace, with two of his children, three of his grandchildren and 21 of his great grandchildren attending Terrace - 11 great grandchildren are still at school and are in this room today. To see Terrace, remember my grandfather and all his fellow servicemen and women on this day is very special and I am honoured to be a part of it.
ANZAC Day, to me, is about remembering the selfless acts of service by our ANZACS – Australians and New Zealanders. Today is a day we should reflect on what their service means to us and ask ourselves how we can possibly replicate it in some small way in the future – it doesn’t have to be by joining the Defence Force, it could be by helping out with Eddie’s Van or Orange Sky Laundry or the Terrace Timor Network or even just offering to do the washing up tonight when you get home as a small act of service to your family.
To the men of Terrace, never forget our ANZACS, never forget their service to Australia. Service to others builds character and as the ANZAC legacy has shown, it also helps build a nation.
The ANZAC’S, and the ANZAC’S spirit of service, runs deep in this great school - thank you for taking the time to remember today.
Lest We Forget.
Live Jesus in our Hearts…Forever
St Joseph…Pray for us
- Tuesday: Windsor House Mass + 8 Mahoney camp and retreat
- Wednesday: Blessed Edmund Rice Feast Day