Students from Saint Andrews Catholic College in Cairns have given a special gift to the men and women from Cairns based Fleet Units who will be serving at sea over the Christmas period this year.
Sailors from Ardent Crews One, Two and Six spent time with a group of Defence students from Saint Andrews Catholic College who gave them a number of hand-crafted Christmas cards for each member onboard their vessels, to be opened on Christmas day.
The School Principal, Mr Lee MacMaster said it was an honour to support Defence families in the school’s local region.
“The school demonstrates a lot of pride through this great effort, signifying and symbolising our appreciation of those who serve our country,” said Principal MacMaster.
Mrs Jo Lawson, who is the Defence School Transition Aid, had initiated the idea.
“The Defence students involved were eagerly keen to show their appreciation for those men and women who will be away this Christmas. This was especially the case for the children who will have loved ones, family, mums and dads away this Christmas,” Mrs Lawson said.
All students from Year Prep to Grade 12 welcomed all the sailors who collected the cards at a special morning tea, before individually placing each Christmas card into an Australia Post bag, ready for Fleet Mailing.
Before accepting the Christmas cards, Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Ernest Gray from Ardent One personally greeted each student.
“It was great to see such pride for the Australian Defence Force within each student and I am sure all members onboard will appreciate this special gift on Christmas day,” he said.
One particular student, Miss Georga Bisson from Year 1, said “Even though my mummy is in the Army, it is really sad for other kids who’s mum or dad are away, but it does make us happy that they are looking after Australia,”
Whilst this act of appreciation was directed to the men and women in the Cairns local region, attendees at the special event could not help but feel its meaning was directed to all Australian Defence Personnel serving on operations away from their families this Christmas.