Esperance ANZAC Day, schools partner with RSL

The RSL have partnered with Esperance Senior High School and Esperance Anglican Community School to honour the Esperance men who served in the Great War.

Representatives from both high schools will plant crosses with the names of soldiers who left Esperance to fight in World War One in the newly upgraded gardens on ANZAC Day.

Anglican School teacher Kim Clayton said the school had a proud history of working with the RSL throughout their 10 years in Esperance. 

“The school has always helped out with events such as ANZAC Day,” he said.

“We value our RSL and the men and women who have served and sacrificed for our country.

“[Honouring that sacrifice] is something we hold very dear as part of our values at Esperance Anglican Community School.”

Mr Clayton said the crosses would have a soldier’s name and a symbol of the RSL on them when they were planted.

“These will commemorate 75 soldiers from Esperance who went off to the Great War, many of which unfortunately did not return,” he said.

“They will help keep their memory alive and to let the community know of the ultimate sacrifice that the sons of Esperance have made fighting for our country.”

Mr Clayton said the school  would be asking students to volunteer to plant the crosses and represent the school.

Esperance Senior High School head of humanities Leanne Cassam said the school got involved to generate interest in ANZAC day and promote awareness of the work the RSL has done.

“It’s getting the students to acknowledge that ANZAC day is something close to home, it’s not just something we learn about at school, there actually is some impact from World War One in our town,” she said.

“It’s not something they just read in a textbook, it is actually real.” 

RSL secretary Sonja Andrews said the idea was a Bunnings initiative in partnership with the Men in Sheds.

“Bunnings offer the RSL support every year for ANZAC Day,” she said.

“Men in Sheds with the support of Bunnings have designed crosses to commemorate a century since the end of the World War One and to represent each member of the Esperance community that fought, including those who did not return.”

Ms Andrews said the Esperance RSL hoped having the high schools involved would bring attention to the crosses and to the recently upgraded gardens. 

She also thanked Sandrat Stika Signs for supplying the stickers for each cross.