THE Anzac centenary was a significant occasion at Bowral High School for more than one reason.
Staff and students from the school have been hard at work on the Anzac Memorial Garden for 18 months. The fruits of their labour were on show last Friday at the official opening of the memorial.
Led by history teacher Geoff Andrew, the project initially began as a classroom investigation into WWI servicemen and women who hailed from the Highlands.
"It started as a bit of a research project, I never saw it amounting to this," he said.
Mr Andrew said the idea for the project came to him when he was at his daughter's christening.
"I noticed the names of all the old diggers at the Uniting Church in Bowral so I took a photograph and we started it as class work in my Year 10 elective history class."
"There were 1200 soldiers and nurses from the Southern Highlands so we wanted to look further into the story."
Bowral High School was successfully secured a government grant to produce the memorial in time for the centenary of Anzac this year.
Mr Andrew said it fast became a community project, with people coming forward to share their family history and even primary sources.
"Rubin Hillier and Harry Hillier both went off to fight in WWI and took diaries with them.
"Those diaries were given to me by their niece, Marie Hodgeson from Moss Vale."
The garden was put together by students who volunteered their time after school and during school holidays.
The Anzac Memorial Garden at Bowral High School has room to be expanded, and is planned to be an ongoing project.
"The big thing about this project was that a lot of the community got involved and we don't want it to stop," Mr Andrew said.
"If anyone has any relatives that they would like to see commemorated in the garden we'd like them to approach us, so contact me at the school."