Coming together to commemorate

In Alchemy 32, we told the story of the effect that WWI had on the College, with a special focus on the stories of five students. In April we held a special ceremony to honour those students

A week after ANZAC Day 2019, the Parkville campus was transformed in remembrance of World War One.

More than 200 alumni and students of the Melbourne (later Victorian) College of Pharmacy served in the First World War. Nineteen died on service, including four students.

On Tuesday 30 April, Monash University honoured the lives of those four fallen students by conferring upon them in death the contemporary equivalents of the degrees they were prevented from attaining in life: a Bachelor of Pharmacy with Honours.

A fifth student who returned from the war deeply traumatized and ultimately ended his own life was also honoured.

Representatives of the five soldiers’ families accepted the awards on their behalf witnessed by Monash students, The Honourable Ted Baillieu Chair of the Victorian Anzac Centenary Committee, the family of Sir John Monash, members of the Australian Defence Force, Major General Professor Jeffrey Rosenfeld AC OBE, senior members of Monash University including the Chancellor, and many guests and delegates.

The ceremony marked the culmination of a year-long campaign of remembrance led by outgoing Dean Professor Bill Charman.

“The event was a wonderful way to commemorate the loss and recognise the sacrifice of the students and alumni of the faculty who fought in WWI,” Professor Charman said.

“As an institution responsible for educating the next generation of pharmacists, it is important that our students and the broader community have an appreciation of the lineage into which they are stepping and of the men and women who shaped the profession” he said.

Several of the fallen soldiers served under the command of the University’s namesake, Sir John Monash, who visited the College in 1927 to open the academic year and award prizes. The Monash family was represented by Sir John’s great-grandson, Michael Bennett.

The exterior of the Sissons Building was draped in panels of hand-knitted poppies kindly provided by the 5000 Poppies Project.
Cossar Hall was full to capacity
The Chancellor, Mr Simon McKeon AO, addresses the assembly
The President and Vice-Chancellor of Monash University, Professor Margaret Gardner AO, addresses the assembly
Ms Marna Couve De Murville accepts the testamur on behalf of the family of Alan Couve
Ms Sally Pritchett accepts the testamur on behalf of the family of Eric Bisset
Mr Peter Jewkes accepts the testamur on behalf of the family of Wallace Gordon Jewkes
Frank Cahir’s son Pat accepts a Certificate of Recognition and Appreciation
Professor Charman reads the honorary degree citations
Against the backdrop of Cossar Hall’s historic Sissons Mural, former Premier of Victoria the Honorable Ted Baillieu, reflects upon the broader historical context, speaking in his capacity as Chair of the Victorian ANZAC Centenary Committee.
Melbourne band The Orbweavers perform their composition The Distant Call of Home
Sir John Monash’s great-grandson, Michael Bennett, explores the connections between Sir John, the Melbourne Pharmacy profession and modern approaches to STEM education.
Major General Professor Jeffrey Rosenfeld AC OBE, Colonel Commandant Royal Australian Medical Corps
The Last Post
Ms Rachael Joyce of the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, leads the National Anthem.
The ceremonial planting of a Eucalyptus Kruseana, a gift from Michael Bennett to the Faculty as a token of the enduring friendship between the University, the Monash family, and the pharmacy profession. The
Major General Sir Geoffrey Rosenfeld AC OBE with a WWI-era ambulance of the same model fundraised for and donated by the Melbourne College of Pharmacy. (Vehicle provided by Ambulance Victoria Museum)
Pat Cahir poses in front of an illuminated display that tells his father’s story
Artist Christine Johnson and writer Michael Shmith with Ms Johnson’s work Five Soldiers. The series consists of five prints, one commemorating each of the five soldiers honoured at the event. A copy of the relevant print was gifted to each family by the faculty, and the full set hangs on permanent display in Building 404.