Students and teachers throughout the Riverina and Central West can hold their heads high regarding the quality of entries in this year’s 10th annual ANZAC writing competition, says Riverina MP Michael McCormack.
This year, 680 entries were received from 34 schools across the electorate – an effort appreciated by the Deputy Prime Minster.
Mr McCormack said the winners stood out among a quality field of talented writers.
“Thank you to every student and teacher who put in the time to submit entries,” Mr McCormack said.
“You all should be very proud of your efforts, particularly those who have won book prizes.”
“As ANZAC services have been cancelled this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it is now more important than ever for us all to remember our ANZACs and invoke their resilient spirit.”
Former Canowindra resident, Poppy Starr who now attends St Raphael’s Catholic School in Cowra was awarded Highly Commended in the East Division – Secondary Schools.
Following is her submission…
By Poppy Starr
The sky is pale pink as we stand in the crowd.
The early morning air is cold on my face.
There are wreaths for those who have given the most,
I close my eyes as they play the Last Post.
My dad stands beside me, but is in another place.
Dad was a soldier in the third Battalion RAR.
He deployed in ‘99 on the HMAS Jervis Bay,
Tasked with keeping the peace in East Timor,
Dad doesn’t speak of the things he did or saw.
While back home in a small country town,
Nan would pray.
No warm cosy bed on those cold wet nights.
No place to lay your head when you’re tired and weary.
Home for now is a cold, dark, crowded trench.
With no showers, no toilets, there is a terrible stench.
At times thoughts of loved ones make a grown man teary.
Many wars over many years, you all battled so bravely.
I thank the soldiers I know and those I have never met.
Dad is one of many soldiers who through- out the years,
Have fought with courage, blood, sweat and tears.
On this day we will remember them, lest we forget.