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Anzac Day

BGS commemorated the 2020 Anzac Day virtually. To watch the video of the ceremony, click here.

Enjoy this excerpt from Light Dark Blue: 150 Years of learning and leadership at Brisbane Grammar School.

The very first Anzac Day ceremony, held in 1917, honoured the human sacrifice and the ‘glory and undying fame’ of the School’s soldiers. Frederick Bousfield spoke of their courage, valour and glory.

Visiting dignitaries emphasised patriotic duty every subsequent Anzac Day. It soon became traditional for famous Old Boys, often with military backgrounds, to address the students. Lachlan Wilson, in 1933, succinctly expressed a view held by many fellow Old Boys: ‘If war were not glorified there would be no traditions and consequently no patriotism’.

Stuart Stephenson (headmaster 1928–39) gave speeches on Anzac Day which encouraged boys to accept their ‘obligation’ to follow in former boys’ steps and share in ‘war glories’. He consistently underlined the values and ideas of empire, loyalty, duty, courage and service and linked them to those the School cherished. They became synonymous.

Old Boys’ war service was, for many observers, and more than anything else, the single greatest contributor to Brisbane Grammar School’s reputation. ‘The Old Boys had, during the war, shown on the battle-field the spirit of loyalty and devotion to duty, the courage and self-sacrifice and comradeship that were the very essence of the school life and tradition … the example that they had set should inspire us to the same eagerness for service’, remarked Stuart Stephenson.

An Old Boy’s message, read to students one Anzac Day, said: ‘You are the heirs of a great tradition made greater yet in the war. The old alumni of your school fought and died for the Empire — it is yours to live and work for it. Guard well your heritage!’

For more fascinating BGS history, click here to get your copy of ‘Light Dark Blue: 150 Years of learning and leadership at Brisbane Grammar School’.​

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