Remembrance Day: Comet Bay College planning big commemoration as school embraces military links

Remembrance Day: Comet Bay College planning big commemoration as school embraces military links
Remembrance Day: Comet Bay College planning big commemoration as school embraces military links
Remembrance Day: Comet Bay College planning big commemoration as school embraces military links

REMEMBRANCE Day will be commemorated Friday with a huge display of cardboard poppies in the foyer at Comet Bay College.

The Secret Harbour school’s students have written short tributes to former and current Defence personnel on the back of each poppy and the Port Kennedy RSL has donated military uniforms to complete the display.

About 35 students from the school will be attending the service at the Rockingham War Memorial on Friday morning .

Defence transition mentor Claire Hunt said the school has a strong connection with the local Defence community with 62 students having parents in the Defence Force.

It is also the only school in Australia to have its own military history museum, which opened earlier this year.

The idea for the museum grew after the school stored memorabilia from previous Anzac Day services.

Comet Bay was the 2016 WA secondary school state winner in the Anzac Day schools’ awards for its display and service.

“It seemed a shame to put the items in cupboards so we want to share that on an ongoing basis with the students and community,” Ms Hunt said.

The museum has a range of displays, made by students and volunteers, from World War I through to the Vietnam War and a hall of honour of Defence personnel who have had a connection to the school.

It is also involved in a virtual memorial project with RSL WA with students researching their own families’ military history and adding the information to the museum’s database.

“In the process they learn and feel like they’re not just doing a boring essay, they’re actually engaging with that history, getting that information and then it’s on display,” Ms Hunt said.

Ms Hunt said the virtual memorial would link with the photographs on the wall to show their service history, other photographs and their story.

“Students and community visitors to the museum will be able to click on their file on the iPads provided to read more about their history,” she said.

The project aimed at obtaining information from the community that could otherwise be lost.

“There are photos that are not being shared and we lose that next generation of people no one is going to know about them,” Ms Hunt said.

“We need stories now while people are still alive, particularly for World War II and the Korean War.”

The school is gearing up for a big Anzac Day service next year, with Governor Kerry Sanderson to attend, and is seeking funding support and research volunteers to provide more displays for the museum.

Ms Hunt is looking to create a display commemorating the 100th anniversary of the battles of Beersheba and Passchendaele and calling for any local people with family connections to soldiers who fought in those battles to contact her.

“We are also supporting the ‘Help Save our Veterans’ group run by Brian Willcox who is creating a respite care facility on his property for veterans suffering from PTSD or homelessness,” she said.

For more information call 9553 8100.