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France Battlefields Tour

6/05/2014

The thirteen day tour started in the beautiful city of Paris where the students were able to indulge in all that the city of romance has to offer. From a night cruise on the River Seine to reaching the top of the Eiffel Tower. From visiting Napolean’s tomb at the Hotel Invalides through to eating cake in the exquisite gardens of Versaille. Day trips to outer districts and towns enabled students to see the more provincial side of France.

ANZAC Day saw the students rise at 1am to check out of their hotel and begin the journey to Villers-Bretonneux. After being immersed for 5 days in the stories and places from the events of the past, the service had an extra level of sentiment for all of us this year. In the silence of the early morning, all of our thoughts were on the thousands of soldiers who so bravely fought for our freedom. We remembered individuals, and we remembered the thousands. We remembered those who returned and those who have never been found. The absence of the cry of the cockatoo as the dawn broke was a reminder how far away from home these men were. The students laid wreaths on the steps of the memorial and proudly held aloft the Australian Flag on behalf of the Coolum RSL sub branch.

We would like extend a huge thank you to the Coolum community for enabling this trip to become a reality. Thank you to the local businesses that supported our fundraising night and the Coolum Football club for providing the venue. Thank you to the Coolum RSL sub-branch for their financial and emotional support. We would also like to thank the families of the students; who made a huge financial and emotional commitment to have their students be a part of an experience that I am sure will stay with them for their lifetime.