Ravenswood’s 2018 Anzac Day service was made particularly moving by the re-telling of stories from the life of one of our cherished Old Girls, Joan Wilson OAM (nee Tebbut, 1951).
Joan is the former President of the Tibetan Friendship Group Australia (TFG) who has helped raise more than one million dollars to support Tibetan
people in India. Her
father, William Tebbutt served in two World Wars. He enlisted as a sixteen year old, landing with the first wave of Anzac troops at Gallipoli in WWI, then re-enlisting when WWII broke out and being captured by the Japanese and held in Changi prison camp for three years.
William kept his touching promise to his family to ‘look after himself’ and ‘be back as soon as possible.’ On his return, he shielded them from the horrors of war by never speaking of what he had encountered.
Joan, who was Windsor House Captain and a fine athlete in her school days, began to write her father’s story when she found a special box, tied with a gold ribbon, full of the letters he sent her mother which had been lovingly kept.
To coincide with Ravenswood’s Anzac Day commemorations, Joan loaned the school a detailed exhibition of her father’s and her husbands’ wartime memorabilia, which has given the girls a deeper understanding of the nature of war and the sacrifices made.
During the Secondary School service, our School Captain Lucy Woodcock gave a rousing and memorable address, reminding us that Anzac day is not about glorifying war but ‘an opportunity to celebrate our freedom and honour those who have made sacrifices for this freedom… while war can mean conflict terror and death, it is equally true that it can represent the best of humanity– courage perseverance and sacrifice. While reflecting on Anzac Day, it is these values that we must remember,’ she said.
The Junior School girls held their own Anzac Day ceremony on the Ravenswood Peace Lawn, laying poppies for those who have lost their lives in service to their country in all wars and paying respect to those who have served in battle and in peace keeping duties.