Today, fittingly on the eve of Anzac Day, the memorial plaque honouring public school teachers who fought in the two world wars was rehung on Federation’s walls after being cleaned and refurbished since being first placed on display in 1955.
The memorial plaque was carved by celebrated sculptor Paul Beadle, who was also a teacher and lecturer.
“Sixteen years have already gone since that fateful Sunday evening when we knew that, once more, we were again at war …. With every passing year the call to remembrance will become more imperative,” said the Education Department’s then Director-General, Dr Harold Wyndham, opening the plaque unveiling ceremony on 19 November 1955.
The words on the plaque say “Served in war that we might live in peace”, and Dr Wyndham drew attention to this, saying the teachers who served in those wars made it possible for future generations to live in a free Australia.
“For the preservation of all those things which we take so much for granted in this democratic life of ours, we must remain forever indebted to…[them]. Our freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, our freedom of worship have, not once, but twice in the lifetime of most of us, been bought with the greatest price a [soldier] can pay,” he said.
The 1955 service was attended by Federation’s President at the time, Mr D.A. Taylor, four former presidents and a large gathering of NSW teachers, men and women, who served in the two world wars.