Living History

Kailun SunOctober 25, 2023Now and Then

My school is more than just a collection of grand buildings with a rigorous dress code (top button done up, shirt tucked in, hair above collars). It's a place that pulses with emotion, a place where our past is ever-present and our traditions are honored with fervor. As the oldest secondary school in Victoria, we have weathered the storm of history: two world wars, financial crises, and a global pandemic. But through it all, we have remained steadfast, our traditions and values shining like a beacon in an uncertain world.

The heart of our school is the memorial hall, a soaring tribute to the old boys and teachers who gave their lives in service to their country. It's a place of immense significance, where we gather every week for chapel services and feel the weight of our past bearing down upon us. I still vividly remember the first time I walked into that hallowed space as a curious new student, my eyes taking in the stunning stained glass and intricate leadlight windows, only seeing them as mere decorations. Now, after four years of attending the memorial hall, every time I enter, I am reminded of the sacrifices that have been made on our behalf, of the lives that were cut short in service to a greater cause.

Despite the solemnity of our traditions, we also celebrate our traditions with joy and camaraderie. When we sing our college anthem, boating songs, and hymns, our voices rise as one, connecting us across space and time to the generations of young men who have come before us. At graduation ceremonies, even during COVID-19, our old boys passed the torch down in masks, and others joined in online, showing that the spirit of our community knows no bounds. At Foundation Day concerts, we come together to celebrate our collective achievements, past and present, through the power of music. It's a moment of pure magic, as every voice, every instrument, and every heart joins together to create something greater than ourselves.

Through our consistent celebration of the past, we become a close-knit community, defined by our pride and our honor, united in our unwavering commitment to uphold the traditions that have made us who we are. In my community, we don't just learn history — we live it, every single day.

Kailun Sun is 17 years old and lives in Melbourne, Australia. Kailun's interests include photography, sports, multiculturalism, and social justice. He is an avid swimmer.