As we reflect on the 67th Annual Parade of Remembrance and the centenary of Armistice, held on Sunday 11 November, we recall the College community gathering in respect to remember the service of Old Boys who have served in our armed forces during periods of conflict. This occasion signifies the scarifies of the many – including former students and staff members of the College who served our country throughout the ages to ensure our future freedom and safety was preserved.
Please watch the video for the full recap of the 67th Annual Parade of Remembrance 2018
We recall The Scots College’s rich tradition of service and some of our most notable graduates who have led Australia to the position we now occupy on the world stage.
Dr Ian PM Lambert, at the time of this Remembrance, spoke of one of our most significant Scots Old Boys – from the Class of 1924.
“During the turbulence of World War II, Vice Admiral Sir Alan McNicoll was planning the landings at Normandy. After quickly rising through the ranks of the Royal Australian Navy, and with a record that demonstrated a commitment to service and honour, McNicoll performed this formidable task with characteristic cool and competence. Described by his teachers as ‘urbane and studious’, Sir Alan left Scots with an illustrious record of first places in English, History and Seamanship. Rather than proceed into the world of high finance and diplomacy, Sir Alan served as an executive officer of the light cruiser HMAS Hobart and wrote prolifically on the occupation of Japan before being appointed an aide-de-camp to the Governor-General.
Sir Alan rose to the ultimate position of Chief of Naval Staff where he wrote the visual story of the Royal Australian Navy, leading to the creation of the Australian White Ensign. The last Australian hoisted out of Saigon, his journal vividly recalls the North Vietnamese assault and the thrill of being present for it.
But perhaps most notably, Sir Alan was the first Australian Ambassador to Turkey. During his time, Sir Alan built long-lasting ties with the Turkish people; he was known throughout the cultural circles of Turkey for his long conversations over warm drawn Turkish coffee. In his final story, Sir Alan translated the Odes of Horace; the ancient Latin lyric poems.”
As we continue to reflect on 125 years of service to the nation, the legacy of fine Scots men like Sir Alan McNicoll cast a long shadow over the present. It is our challenge today to raise fine young men of the character and conviction to make this world a better place – through a dedication to justice and its pursuit.
This year’s parade has added significance since it marks the 100th anniversary of the Armistice which ended World War I. It was at 11:00am on 11 November 1918, that the guns on the Western Front fell silent after more than four years of continuous warfare. The cost of service was unimaginably immense; from an Australian population of less than five million, more than 400,000 enlisted, more than 60,000 were killed, and some 150,000 were wounded or taken prisoner. On Sunday 11 November, many across Australia paused to remember.
When we speak of a society ‘remembering’, it’s a case of a community engaging in deliberate reflection on what has been achieved and passed on by others, so that we might learn from the past, appreciate what we have in the present and consider how we might help shape the future. Remembering is important in building our sense of identity, thankfulness, purpose and resolve.
Reverend Conrad Nixon reflected on the presence of remembering in the Bible
“It’s interesting to note how often in the Bible there is a call to ‘remember’. In Deuteronomy, Moses called upon the people to remember how God had rescued them from slavery in Egypt, to remember, when they enjoyed prosperity in the new land to which they’d been brought, that it was God who gave them the strength to work, and to remember the manner in which they were to live as God’s people.
Recently I was chatting to an elderly man who has planted some trees in his backyard. Among them was a small apricot tree. We talked about how long it would be before the tree bore fruit. He said, “At my age, I don’t expect that I will eat fruit from this tree. But all my life I’ve enjoyed apricots, and none of them has come from a tree I planted myself.”
We benefit every day from the kindness, the courage and the initiative of those who have gone before us: in that way, we eat the fruit of trees that others planted. The challenge to us is to consider what impact our lives might have, what legacy we might leave, what lasting impression we might make upon those who will come after us.
Towards the end of his life, Apostle Paul wrote to a young leader named Timothy and urged him to ‘remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead’ (2 Timothy 2: 8) – to allow Christ to shape his life in such a way that he, in turn, might live in a way that would positively and powerfully impact others. We are called to remember, in order that we might be thankful for the legacy left to us and challenged to consider what we might pass on to others.”
Thank you to everyone who participated in this significant occasion in remembering and paying homage in the 67th Annual Parade of Remembrance and the centenary of Armistice.