Anzac Day: Boolarra

BOOLARRA Primary School students dressed up as nurses, soldiers and civilians from the era of World War I to commemorate the centenary of the Gallipoli landing.

It was the first time the students have taken part in Boolarra’s main Anzac service at the RSL memorial, with students Eve and Caterina each reading a poem they’d written especially for the occasion.

Morwell RSL senior vice president Les Maher conducted the service on Friday morning, which included a speech from local Vietnam veteran Geoff Dunkley.

While service convenor Roz Carstairs read aloud the names of fallen service men who hailed from Boolarra, students placed hand-made poppies in the dedicated garden.

School principal Leanne Emond said their involvement reflected the school’s motto, ‘the heart of the community’.

“So we take every opportunity we get to involve the students in things that are happening in Boolarra,” Ms Emond said.

“I’m really pleased we were able to participate today.”

Ms Carstairs said it was her interest in history and close relatives who’d served that inspired her to organise the Boolarra service for the past five or so years.

“I’m a community member and I feel quite passionately about remembering our soldiers,” Ms Carstairs said.

“I just think as a community who lost 20 men in the First World War, we should remember them.”

As the Last Post and national anthems of New Zealand and Australia played, school captains Emre and Mirabel raised the half-mast flags.