Lifting Hearts: The Story of the Red Blazers; People Who Live In Joy - Sing & Celebrate Together
Monday, 10 May 2021
Invited by Jude Sassi Prefect for Student Wellbeing to the Yr 12 Wellbeing Day recently I was humbled to be reunited with the infamous Red Blazers.

As a school prefect back in 1988 I had initiated the Blazers & the singing of the school song in the hope of building a greater sense of school spirit. After having the blazers made, I & a number of other prefects then paraded them into the classrooms & sang/taught the school song to the rest of the students.

It was an absolute joy to meet this year’s Cheerleaders who are the custodians of the Red Blazers & all that entails, & to chat with them about the often misunderstood & maligned role they play in the life & wellbeing of the greater school community. If nothing else, I pray the Red Blazers are a constant reminder of the ancient principles of Yin & Yang & the need to see things from multiple perspectives, especially when all those around us are all wearing black.

While I never disclosed it at the time, I was well aware the blazers partly arose from a rebellious impulse within me, challenging the school’s authority & pushing its boundaries out of a deep yet necessary wound I experienced during my time at the school through what is now thankfully acknowledged & spoken of what can be the devastatingly detrimental components of ‘social teasing.’

It is only writing this almost 33 years later I also recognise a sense of envy & longing for the kind of attention, support & spirited acknowledgement my peers who excelled at the APS athletics received that as Captain of the cricket I personally never did.

But most of all, meeting the boys wearing the Red Blazers this year & seeing the Joy & Knowing they alone get to experience by being recognised & designated as leaders of celebration & song by their peers & within the school community, I was reminded of the magical power that singing together in full voice provides us in making connections, creating communities, celebrating our Lives & Lifting Hearts together as one.

An ancient practice all too sadly missing in our current society where the hymns of the past no longer resonate with the youth of today & where the celebration of a simple victory may be the only opportunity these boys ever get to experience the Joy of singing together & celebrating the love, support & camaraderie of their brothers.

Sursum Corda

Richmond Heath
Xavier Boarder
Yr 12 1988