By Cam Lucadou-Wells
WRITING an essay on Anzac Day seemed a bit bland for Fountain Gate Secondary College student Jacob Eisho.
Instead, Jacob, 15, of Doveton, took a creative path to winning one of 20 Premier’s Spirit of Anzac prizes by writing a powerful story on World War I from the point-of-view of a serviceman’s teenage son.
Jacob’s own father Peyos was a 30-year-old conscript submarine engineer in the Iraqi navy during the First Gulf War.
In 1991, he escaped by foot to Turkey and soon successfully re-settled in Australia.
Though Mr Eisho wasn’t on the frontline, there was a close call when his submarine came under torpedo attack from an enemy submarine.
The crew turned off the engines to avoid detection as they felt the explosions close by.
In his story My Dad, Jacob describes a family’s shock when their dad returns home from Gallipoli with part of his right leg amputated.
They had already bought the ex-serviceman a box of shoes as a welcome-home gift.
The father puts on the left shoe and says: “Fits perfectly! Now to see if we can refund the other one … ”
His son inspires himself to follow his dad’s courageous attitude, to “stay strong and don’t give into fear – whatever the future may hold.
“The moment you get scared and give up is the moment you lose.”
Jacob tells Star News he enjoyed putting himself into the shoes of characters in the distant past.
“I don’t think of myself as being creative but I had inspiration from my dad.”
As part of his State Government-funded prize, he and 19 other Victorian students will go on a study tour in Canberra mid-year.
They will visit institutions such as Parliament House, the Museum of Australian Democracy, the National Archives of Australia and the Australian Defence Force Academy to learn more about the service of the nation’s veterans.
Dandenong MP Gabrielle Williams congratulated Jacob on his fine entry.
She said the competition was a chance for the community to “understand first-hand the decisive moments that shaped our nation.”
Meanwhile, Jacob has plans to chronicle his father’s life in Iraq in a journal.
“Us teenagers get it easy,” he says. “Everything is there for us.
“For people through the generations before, it was harder to get ahead.”