Saturday, 1st September 2012
Notice from the Head of the School in memory of Private Robert Poate (Old Boy 2007)
To all in the Canberra Grammar School community,
Following the public release of names by the Department of Defence, it is with tremendous sorrow that I inform the School community of the death of Private Robert Hugh Poate, who was killed in his first operational deployment in Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan, by a man supposed to be a member of the Afghan army.
Robert Poate was a member of the 6th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment and an Old Boy of Canberra Grammar School. He attended the School from 1993, when he joined in Pre-School, and he graduated from Year 12 in 2007. He was a boarder in Blaxland House and before that a member of Garnsey House. He was the recipient of House Colours and the Mark Sowell Award for Outdoor Education.
He was an open and purposeful young man and an all-rounder in the academic, sporting and co-curricular life of the School. He was also the son of Mrs Janny Poate, who recently retired as receptionist at the front office of the Senior School after more than two decades’ association with the School.
We grieve as a community for Robert, who spent fifteen of his twenty-three years at our School, and we honour his commitment and sacrifice in the international effort to eliminate the havens of global terrorism. It is easy to forget the origins of a long conflict but we know that Robert and his colleagues were in Afghanistan seeking to protect us all from the long reach of violence.
The School gathered in a service of remembrance on Friday, 31 August, and there will be a full memorial service in due course.
We pray for Robert and for his parents, Janny and Hugh, for their daughter Nicola, for those who died in the worst day of losses for Australian forces in decades, and for all those still serving our country in the interests of peace around the world.
With great sadness,
Head of School