News

Ode reading highlight for Caitlin

FAULTLESS: McCauley Catholic College student Caitlin Nash reads the Ode of Remembrance at Menin Gate.
FAULTLESS: McCauley Catholic College student Caitlin Nash reads the Ode of Remembrance at Menin Gate.

GRAFTON schoolgirl Caitlin Nash will be forever grateful to Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr for going missing in action at Menin Gate.

Ms Nash, a Year 11 student at McAuley Catholic College, was among a group of students touring the Western Front battlefields last month when they attended the Last Post ceremony in the Belgian town of Ypres.

Senator Carr had been scheduled to read The Ode of Remembrance, but failed to show up. Instead, the Belgian MC turned to Ms Nash, whom he knew through Rotary connections, and asked her to read the poem in Mr Carr's place.

"It was an amazing opportunity. I stood on the road under the Menin Gate and read the Ode to about 1000 people," she said.

"There was complete silence. They played the Last Post and I spoke. There was no microphone or anything. Then there was a minute's silence, then they played Reveille."

A teacher accompanying the students, Matt Lobsey, said Ms Nash read the piece faultlessly.

"I was so proud of her, she handled the whole thing so well," he said.

It was not until she sat down that Ms Nash realised what she'd done.

"It all happened in a few seconds, so there were no nerves," she said. "It was only after I finished that I realised what I'd done and how many people I'd just spoken in front of."

Ms Nash also spoke at the Anzac Day ceremony at Villers Bretonneux two days later. "Mr Carr spoke to some McAuley students there, but I didn't get the chance to ask him what happened," she said.

"Not that I'm sorry, but I'll always be grateful for the opportunity." Ms Nash said the Menin Gate was a moving place.

"To see so many names and realise all those families have no grave site to visit is special. This place is all they have to remember them," she said.

SPECIAL PLACE
Menin Gate contains 54,896 names of soldiers who died in battle around Ypres in the First World War. When a body is identified, his name is removed from the monument.

Topics:  first world war, mcauley catholic college, western front




Spiritual Matters: Prayer's power a surprise for some

Ecumenical Prayers for Peace at St Patrick's Cathedral for victims of  MH 17 crash. Candles were lit on behalf of community leaders, each cnadle representing a different nationality.   Photo:  Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

To a modern society, it must seem like an admission of failure

Ghosts reignite finals charge against Panthers

Grafton Ghosts' captain Ben McLennan claws for meters against the Sawtell Panthers during the Grafton Ghosts and Coffs Harbour Comets Group 2 minor semi-final at Frank McGuren Field.

Ghosts dominant in 2016 home ground farewell game.

125th birthday draws crowd to Tucabia

Ex-Tucabia Public School students Betty Freeman, Marie and Jack Preston and Joyce Tarrant at the schools 125th birthday celebration on Saturday.

The old and young celebrate Tucabia's 125th birthday.

Latest deals and offers

MOVIE REVIEW: Life on the Road

Ricky Gervais, Ben Bailey Smith and Foregone Conclusion (Steve Clarke, Andy Burrows, Stuart Baxter Wilkinson, Michael Clarke) in a scene from David Brent: Life on the Road.

Ricky Gervais has brought David Brent back to life on the big screen

Jessica Alba wants tequila shots served at her funeral

Businesswoman and actor Jessica Alba

There won't be mourning at this funeral

Tom Hiddleston's Instagram account hacked

Actor Tom Hiddleston

Thor star the latest celebrity targetted by hackers

Charlize Theron's son dresses up as Frozen character

Actor Charlize Theron

Star's son spotted dressed a beloved Frozen character

BOOKS: Food for thought in Caroline Beecham's latest novel

Maggie's Kitchen by Caroline Beecham is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99.

New novel reminds readers that bravery exists in many forms

TELEVISION: New show is a Survivor, for now

Jonathan LaPaglia hosts the TV series Australian Survivor.

WHAT happens when a new show with a big budget flops?

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m