Home » History club students pay respects with service garden

History club students pay respects with service garden

Jamie Furness    April 23, 2024    3 min read   

Students from the Pallara State School History Club recently created a Garden of Service for the school and wider community.

The students in the History Club, with a little help from club coordinator Mr Keegan Peace, have been hard at work on the garden since September 2023, and celebrated with a Garden of Service opening ceremony on April 18.

Representatives from both the Forest Lake RSL and Sunnybank RSL attended the opening day, as well as Calamvale ward councillor Emily Kim.

Mr Peace said each student from the club had the opportunity to speak with or interview a veteran to learn more stories of service from the local community.

Pallara State School students Anirudh and Abhijot interviewing Steve Ford. Photo: Keegan Peace.

“Students then joined with the councillor and veterans to cut the ribbon and view the garden, which is now open for the school and wider community to view,” he said.

“It is student-made (with a little help from me) and student-led, so they are very proud of it.”

(Left to Right) Forest Lake RSL member Steve Ford, Sunnybank RSL members Robert Lippiatt and Hugh Polson, Pallara SS History Club coordinator Keegan Peace, and Forest Lake RSL member Greg Amey, who attended in a World War 1 uniform.

After working hard on their Vietnam Research Project in 2023, the Pallara State School History Club won the Queensland award in the 2023 ANZAC Awards, which helped them to fund the garden project.

“Once they put their minds to work, we decided to gather information from families at the school about who in their family have or had served in major conflicts,” Mr Peace said.

“After narrowing the numbers down to WW1, WW2, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, we then got to work collecting more information.

The students then cleared an overgrown and shrubby space next to the ANZAC memorial in the school and turned it into a patch of dirt as the foundation for the garden.

“We then used our award funds to mulch the area, and over some time dug out trenches to soil for flowers.”

Mr Peace then transcribed information from Pallara State School families onto stepping stones, and the students of those families printed their hands and family names beside the names of their ancestors and family members who served in their respective conflicts.

“We then placed those stones in an array and repainted the space surrounding the garden,” Mr Peace said.

“With a little time and effort, we sorted out the garden and added pots to pay respect and keep the garden bright and vibrant with flowers.”

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Jamie Furness