RIDBC students remember the spirit of ANZAC

(l-r) Alex Hawke MP, Marion and Ron Smith, OAM, and RIDBC students remember the spirit of ANZAC

Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) students held an early ANZAC Day celebration with support from volunteers, Marion and Ron Smith OAM, and Federal Member for Mitchell, Alex Hawke MP.

The students at RIDBC Thomas Pattison School, which caters for children from Kindergarten to Year 10 who are profoundly deaf and bi-lingual – communicating in Auslan (Australian Sign Language) and English. They commemorated the day with a wreath laying ceremony and a minute’s silence.

During the ceremony, Ron spoke to the students about the story of Gallipoli and explained the importance of mateship, the ANZAC spirit and remembering those men and women who served in the wars. Marion, a volunteer with RIDBC for fifteen years, also supported the celebrations, bringing the wreath and rosemary for the students to wear.

“When I retired 15 years ago I was looking for something to do, and I saw an advertisement in the local paper looking for volunteers,” said Marion.

“Now I come to RIDBC Thomas Pattison School twice a week and I was one of the founding members of the Hills District Lantern Club, one of 22 Lantern Clubs that have been raising funds for RIDBC since 1964,” said Marion.

“The ANZAC Day tradition here is one that is close to my heart as my husband is a returned serviceman. It’s wonderful to be able to share the spirit of ANZAC with the students and their teachers, who are so committed to making sure these kids succeed.

“It’s all about the children. Being here all this time has been incredible – I’ve seen students go all the way from Kindergarten to High School and even some who have graduated and then come back as teachers!”

Hills District Lantern Club will be holding a Mother’s Day stall with lots of goodies for sale, including; crafts, jams and preserves. You can find the stall at Winston Hills Shopping Centre, Saturday 3 May, 2014.

RIDBC is Australia’s largest non-government provider of services for children with hearing or vision loss, assisting thousands of children a year across Australia.  As Australia’s premier provider of training and education for professionals in the field of sensory disability, RIDBC ensures that services delivered throughout government and non-government organisations remains cutting-edge.

RIDBC relies heavily on fundraising and community support to be able to continue to make a difference in children's lives.  In order to maintain its intensive educational and research programs, the organisation needs to raise approximately $2.5 million every month.