Visit to Bulimba State School
Thank you, Mr Zueschner, for your kind introduction. Ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys of Bulimba State School, it is a great pleasure to join you all today, at this school whose own historical development is so wonderfully entwined with that of our State.
I at once acknowledge, with respect to Elders, the Traditional Owners of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera peoples.
Though this is my first visit to your school, I know you’ve had other high-level visitors recently!
The Acting Governor, the Honourable Chief Justice Catherine Holmes, came to Heritage Day last month, celebrating the school’s 150th anniversary – and the Acting Governor cut the special cake!
I was unfortunately unable to be there, I was in France representing our State at World War One centenary commemorations.
But I was very much inclined to find an opportunity where I could visit and support your school, which explains my being here today.
And what an impressive group of girls and boys! It is wonderful to be with you all, and I can understand why Mr Zueschner is so proud to lead you.
Having visited World War One battlefields in Fromelles and Pozières in France, I very much wanted today to congratulate you for the honour board I will shortly unveil, on which are inscribed names of 149 Bulimba State School students and 2 staff members who fought in the Great War.
Many Australian soldiers who died in that War are buried at the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux, which Kaye and I visited, and which is pictured on the honour board.
The “Don’t leave me behind, cobber” statue also features on the board. That statue, supposedly depicting digger Sergeant Simon Fraser with a wounded man on his shoulders, is located at the Australian Memorial Park in Fromelles, which Kaye and I also visited.
The statue stands as a solemn reminder that we must not forget the 5,533 Australians killed in the first night of the Battle of Fromelles, or the 46,000 killed during the Western Front battles in World War One, or indeed those who served our nation in any theatre of war.
It is inspirational for me as Governor, indeed for all Queenslanders, to witness your deep commitment to honouring their sacrifice, and preserving their stories, through this honour board initiative.
I thank the students, staff and the Bulimba and District Historical Society for their hard work and research. I also thank the school’s P&C Association. Together, you have ensured these names truly do “liveth for evermore”.
Before I shortly unveil the plaque denoting the official opening of the honour board, I want to thank once again the staff, students and supporters of this richly historic and inspirational school community – you are all wonderful Queenslanders, and it is my honour to acknowledge you all.