Great legend lives on

OLD AND NEW: RSL president Ray Watherston and Centenary of Anzac Committee chairman Major David Fagan encourage Amberley and District State School students Connor Ryan, Talia Wright and Elisha Tilley to be involved in First World War centenary activities.
OLD AND NEW: RSL president Ray Watherston and Centenary of Anzac Committee chairman Major David Fagan encourage Amberley and District State School students Connor Ryan, Talia Wright and Elisha Tilley to be involved in First World War centenary activities. Inga Williams

IPSWICH veterans are calling on the next generation to ensure that the personal sacrifices and historical lessons of the First World War live on for years to come.

The arrival of the centenary of the outbreak of the war has prompted a team effort between the Ipswich and Ipswich Railway RSLs, as well as state and federal governments, to plan a host of commemorative activities over the next four years.

What could prove to be the most important of those activities is a competition involving primary and secondary students across the city.

Centenary of Anzac awards co-ordinator Ian Dainer said a team of students from Ipswich schools would be invited to submit a First World War-related essay, poem and artwork each year for the next four years.

The theme for this year's competition - For King and Country, War Declared, Join Up Now, Ipswich 1914 - asked students to find out exactly what these brave young men were like during this time in history.

"What was Ipswich like in 1914?," Mr Dainer said.

"Who were these young men? Where did they work? How did they train and what were they expecting going into war?"

The competition is open to

Year 6 and Year 10 students from all Ipswich schools, with a judging panel to be comprised of former teachers and local historians.

Entries opened last Thursday and close September 19.

Amberley District State School deputy principal Lisa Cave said her Year 6 students would work on a submission.

"This is a fantastic idea to get kids learning about the history," she said. "Many of the students come from RAAF families, so Anzac Day is important to this school."

Centenary of Anzac Committee chairman Major David Fagan said the overall theme of the four-year celebration was Commemorate and Educate, and the schools competition would fit well into that message.

The Ipswich and Ipswich Railway RSLs have contributed $1000 for the winner of the competition, which RSL president Ray Watherston said was money well spent.

"We hope the children will learn from this," he said. "This will go on for the next four years and in that time they should pick up a lot of knowledge."

Topics:  first world war

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