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.