St Andrew's Cathedral School

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A thankful remembering of those who served and a warm welcome back for students


In the Secondary School ANZAC Term Service yesterday, as Years 7-12 were warmly welcomed back for Term 2, staff and students paused to reflect on the sacrifices made by the brave men and women past and present who have served to protect our country in all situations of conflict.

They gathered in St Andrew’s Cathedral and it was especially poignant to have as guest speaker Rev Andrew Nixon, who is currently Senior Anglican Chaplain to the NSW Police Force. He served as a Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Australian Navy prior to entering the ministry and has worked as Director of Mission at Anglican Retirement Villages.

Rev Nixon reflected that ANZAC commemorations were not about celebrating victory but about honouring service and sacrifice.

“In the ancient world, self-sacrifice was never honoured but that changed with Christ,” he said. “In washing the feet of the disciples at the Last Supper, he took the role of the lowest servant.”

Speaking further on this theme, Rev Nixon said of the service of men and women in the military that “through their actions, they have passed the example of sacrifice to us.”

It was certainly an inspiring encouragement to everyone assembled in their efforts to be Servant-hearted – food for thought at the start of the term.

School Captains Cleo Gavagna and Rama Chadda-Harmer then presented Rev Nixon with a gift to show heartfelt appreciation from the School.

The welcome back to students was led by Dr Julie McGonigle, who encouraged students to consider life as a gift.  To illustrate with a practical example, she gave a student volunteer an egg and asked her to hold it really tightly.

“If you hold life too anxiously, it can prevent you from doing what you need to do,” she said. “But if you hold it too casually….”

At this point, she asked the student to drop the egg, to the consternation of everyone, to illustrate being too apathetic. However, it was a trick egg and remained intact!

“Life is a gift every day, so take it,” Dr McGonigle said. “Just do your best each day with some level of balance.”

At the Service, staff and students were treated to beautiful music by the Cathedral choristers and choral scholars.