A new chapter has begun for members of Chemainus Secondary School’s Class of 2019 following graduation ceremonies at the school gymnasium Friday night.
“The world is a crazy place,” said Matt Simpson, co-valedictorian along with Will Ngenda, “but tonight it feels like the world is ours.”
It was a time of reflection and for the students to look ahead to whatever many adventures come next in their lives.
“No one can do this alone,” said Simpson upon reaching the culmination of their high school years. “We need to acknowledge all the incredible people in our lives who have supported us up to this point.”
Teachers, family members, friends and other mentors are all included in that group for playing a part.
“We are proud to announce the beginning of the rest of our lives,” said Ngenda.
“Now, as we come to graduate we are old and wise, it is obvious to us we do know everything.”
Both Simpson and Ngenda summarized their high school years since Grade 8, and the trials and tribulations it took to reach this stage.
“We are now the big dogs on campus,” noted Simpson. “Getting to participate in the grad-exclusive activities was a dream come true.”
Life has been laid out on a nicely-structured course till now for the students, but that’s about to change.
“On this night we look forward to days and weeks and years of pursuits that we deem to be important to ourselves,” Ngenda pointed out.
The evening was filled with congratulations from teachers, classmates, peers and well-wishers, as the grads embark on a new journey.
“This night is the best,” said principal Lori Hryniuk. “Thank you for sharing this night and opportunity with us.
“This part of the year goes so quickly. For us adults, it goes by in a nano-second. I want this graduation class to know I’ve really enjoyed working with you this year.”
Hryniuk praised the group for possessing such a wide range of skills and maintaining a strong involvement in the school.
“As a group, you guys are talented, you’re gifted and you’re going to make this world a better place.”
A sign of that came with a special presentation by Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor to Morgan Bottomley and Hannah Pachet of framed copies of a Private Member’s Bill they devised for an organic farming tax credit. MacGregor introduced their bill in the House of Commons in Ottawa earlier this year so their contributions are clearly making a difference already.
“We feel blessed to be a small part of supporting your success,” said School District 79 Superintendent Robyn Gray. “I believe you have the competencies, skills and knowledge to succeed in this global world.”