Earlier this term the world was stunned by the news of the appalling act of terrorism in Nice which left eighty-four people dead and countless injured. In later reports we heard the shocking stories of so many families left to grieve and as a world united, we felt their pain. Little did we know however, that as a community we would be touched so closely by this tragedy. As news filtered through we realised that as isolated as our community is, in respect of global events, on this occasion two of our families were touched directly.
Firstly, we discovered that Jade Driver, a much loved member of the 2014 cohort had been on the Promenade des Anglais only hours before the Bastille Day tragedy. We now know that it was only by luck that she was not among the injured. Tragically, this was not the case for Adelaide Stratton, the much loved daughter of David Stratton, our Director of Co-Curricular Music, his partner Chantelle Ormandy and Alfie’s sister. Sadly, Adelaide was amongst the Bastille Day revellers seriously injured when the truck barrelled through the crowd on the palm lined promenade.
Until now David and Chantelle have asked that this information remain confidential as the family came to terms with Adelaide’s injuries and supported her recovery. Like so many families globally, they have had to confront too many emotions to share their grief publicly. Now, however, they are ready to tell their story and David has asked that I share this information with the community ahead of Adelaide’s story and interview being aired on Sunday 28 August on Channel Seven’s ‘Sunday Night’ program.
While some of the content from the show will be confronting, particularly for younger viewers, it is time that we as a community help them make meaning of this terrible event. As musicians, David and Chantelle understand that music is one of the qualities that define us as humans, a gift they have chosen to share with us over many years. Another quality that defines us as humans is compassion, and in these troubled times, I know that there are many members of our community who will want to rally in support of the Stratton/Ormandy family through this difficult time.
What we all need to understand is that, in the face of these atrocities, we are reminded that three things will last forever: faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love (Corinthians 13:13). We could not have a better example of this than that demonstrated by the Stratton/Ormandy family over the last few weeks. Their love and courage have been pivotal to Adelaide’s recovery as they have given the family the strength to move forward and re-establish a sense of normality in what has been extraordinary circumstances. They have my deepest respect.
And for those who are looking for a way to help and support the family, here is a link to the fundraising page.