Grad: A Day to Remember

With the sun high in the sky and a slight breeze to keep the temperature manageable, one could not have asked for a better day for the Holy Redeemer Graduation. And so, on May 27th, the largest graduating class ever at HRH crossed the stage to receive their high diplomas.

“With 65 grads, this only shows how much our school has grown,” says Principal Bill McGowan.  “Both the Ceremony and the Banquet went off without a hitch, and all the Grads looked their very best on a day I’m sure they won’t soon forget.” 

Over 700 people attended the day-long event at the Edson & District Recreation Complex. In the early afternoon, the students took part in the traditional cap and gown ceremony.

The major highlight of the Ceremony is the Light of Learning. It is here where students symbolically pass knowledge from themselves to someone very special by lighting a candle. “It’s moving to watch,” says McGowan. “Typically the person is a younger sibling, however sometimes it can be a close friend or niece or nephew. But whoever it is, you can see the positive relationship between them.”

After the Ceremony, the Grads gather together outside for the cap toss, a fan favourite and a great photo opportunity for parents.

From there, the Grads went home to change and prepare for the Banquet in the evening. Here, the Grads wear their traditional tuxedos and gowns and look absolutely stunning.

 “One of my favourite things about Grad is seeing our students all dressed up,” says Assistant Principal Diane Williams.  “It’s like in one night they all grow up and they are now adults. And then, they are gone and graduated.”

The Masters of Ceremonies for the Banquet were teachers Peter Taylor and Paul Tobin who kept the evening light and engaging by telling numerous funny stories about the graduates. That said, the evening was filled with humour as the Grads took to the stage during a number of toasts.

Graduates Sydney Fogarty and Ethan Handford made sure to include a special anecdote about each teacher during their Toast to the Teacher. They even did the toast using cans of coke, something that Mr. Taylor can be seen drinking on a daily basis.

Willow Ayres and Maddy Kinzie were in charge of toasting the boy Grads, and made sure to make some very special remarks about all their male counterparts. However, Grayson Campbell and Adam Fedorak were not going to be outdone during their Toast to the Girls, even remarking that “Saturday is for the Boys.”

The class was then inspired by the Class Valedictorian’s speech that was made by April Stanley. “Sorry I’m not going to be funny, I’m too much of a nerd,” she quipped. Stanley then spoke about the many memories the Grads made together and also the many things they have to look forward to. And despite her saying she wasn’t going to be funny, Stanley did have a few good one liners.

And with all good things, they now must come to an end. It was a beautiful day that will make for some very special memories for everyone.