Throughout 2014, St Andrew’s College commemorated the Great War in various ways, including a series of talks by Dr Marguerite Poland. The culmination of these commemorations was a poignant production at the base of the Clock Tower on the Saturday of Andrean Tide. Mrs Dionne Redfern scripted a production that juxtaposed life at St Andrew’s College with the experiences of Old Andean’s fighting in Europe and East Africa.
Drawing extensively on archival material as well as the writings of Dr Poland, the production was a series of vignettes that used pre-recorded voice overs (with the legendary Mr David Hodgson reading the part of an elderly Sir Percy Fitzpatrick), data projections, the Chapel and Chamber Choirs, the Grade 11 cadets, video footage, short scenarios, extracts from speeches of Canon Kettlewell (played by Mr Andrew Renard) and Sir Percy Fitzpatrick’s Speech Day address of 1914 (played by Mr David Molony). The letters of Douglas Parks (played by Gabriel Walsh) gave a quaint but heart-breaking insight into the life of a College boy during the war years.
The climax of the production was the raw and powerful rendition, by John Baines, of the letter written by Charles Pattison, which was found on his dead body, in which he described the battle of Delville Wood in which his brother, Vic, was killed. The pathos of the poems so beautifully delivered by Emily Drewett and Rorke Wilson provided some balm for the pain.
“In Memoriam” was a most fitting and profound tribute to the 128 Old Andreans who lost their lives in the Great War and will be vividly imprinted on the 500 strong audience that were privileged to experience it. It was dedicated to Mr Paul Edey, 18th Headmaster of St Andrew’s College, inspiring History teacher, great theatre-supporter and a man whose love for College permeated his time as Headmaster.