May 26th was a beautiful day. With the sun shining and a light breeze in the air, some might call it picturesque. Needless to say it was a perfect day for the Holy Redeemer Graduation.
The day long Graduation event is always a very packed day as it is divided into two parts: the Ceremony and the Banquet.
The first part, which began in the morning, was the Ceremony. This is where the students dress up in their traditional caps and gowns to walk across the stage to receive their high school diplomas.
“This is probably the greatest honour I have,” says Principal Bill McGowan who has the official duty of presenting the Grads with their diplomas. “I’ve had the pleasure of knowing many of these students since they joined HRH in grade 7. To see them all grown up and ready to go out into the world is truly amazing.”
The Ceremony also featured a number of speeches from local dignitaries including Superintendent Jo-Anne Lanctot, MP Jim Eglinski, MLA Eric Rosendahl, and Yellowhead County Mayor Gerald Soroka. Edson Mayor Kevin Zahara also gave a speech and even took a moment to take a selfie with all of the Grads.
Perhaps the most special moment is during the Light of Learning. This where the Grads each light a candle for someone special in their lives as a symbolic way to pass knowledge from one to another.
Graduate Kaitlyn Krebs performed their Light of Learning with her younger sister, Ella “It’s a great tradition that we have” Says Kaitlyn. “And it’s symbolic for the next generation to continue learning.”
After the Ceremony was complete, the Grads then quickly went home to change for the Banquet. This where the girls dress up in their fancy gowns and the boys wear some great suits.
During the Banquet, the Grads performed many toasts to say thank you to the many people that have assisted them during their schooling years. This included the School Board, teachers, parents, and support staff. Perhaps the funniest speeches came when the female Grads toasted the boys and the boys toasted the girls. And when we say toasted, we really mean roasted.
“It was a fun day,” says Jillian Austman. “It was so great to see everyone dressed up.”
Master of Ceremony Brian Davieson kept the evening going with many whimsical stories of the Grad’s adventures over the last six years at HRH.
Near the end of the evening, the over 650 people in attendance listened to a speech by Spencer Smith, who was selected as the Class Valedictorian. Although he mentioned he was nervous, it did not show as he provided words of encouragement and wisdom to his fellow Grads leaving them truly inspired.
In the end, it was a day that the Grads won’t ever forget. As they close one chapter in their lives and they begin the next, they will certainly look back on this day as one filled with laughter, tears and many memories.