While it had been many years since my own Grad, it always comes back in a flash when you attend someone else?s. The day was beautiful, sun was shining and inside Tumbler Ridge Secondary School (TRSS) was an auditorium filled with faculty, family members, friends and graduates.
The ceremonies began with the Grads walking up a centre aisle in their caps and gowns, for potential picture opportunities. The Grads were grouped with one or two fellow grads and they then walked to the stage and sat off to one side.
Principal Al Johnson hosted the ceremonies, as well as presented several awards and bursaries. This year Johnson retires after 20 years of teaching.
Betty Gurnsey delivered the message from the School District and offered advice to the young grads.
The guest speaker, chosen by the graduates personally, was Jan Prouldx, who was selected as last year?s guest speaker as well. Apologizing for not bringing her guitar and serenading the class, she opted to recite her own rendition of a Dr. Suess poem, customized to the classmates and their personalities and achievements.
The 2005 Scholarships and Bursaries recipients were chosen by a collective group of TRSS faculty and presented as follows.
The UNBC Scholars Program; presented by Al Johnson to Katie Gurnsey in the amount of $16120, which is two full years of tuition at UNBC where Gurnsey plans to attend.
Lakeview Credit Union Scholarship; presented by bank manager Scott Trim to four recipients for $1000 each: Katie Gurnsey, Eric Marshall, Raelene Bauman and Stu Bell.
Tumbler Ridge Royal Canadian Legion; presented by Glenn Miller to four recipients for $300 each: Raelene Bauman, Robyn Holm, Dillon Rochon and, Eric Marshall.
The Peace Region Internet Society (PRIS); presented by Al Johnson to Robyn Holm for $1000.
School District 59 Non-academic Scholarship; presented by Al Johnson to Dillon Rochon for $1000.
School District 59 John Kendrew Special Education Scholarship; presented by Al Johnson to LoriAnn Duhaime for $1000.
Tumbler Ridge Oldtimers Hockey League Bursary; presented by Peter Thomas to two recipients for $500 each, Robyn Holm and Raelene Bauman.
District of Tumbler Ridge Scholarship; presented by attending Acting Mayor, Rose Colledge to Katie Gurnsey for $500.
Peace River South Administrators Bursary; presented by Al Johnson to Sara Hunter for $500.
First Coal Scholarship; presented by Michael Hunter, who thanked teacher Murray Smith for selecting recipients, Eric Marshall and Sara Hunter for $250 each.
Tumbler Ridge Teacher?s Association Award; presented by Murray Smith to Dillon Rochon for $400.
Lions? Club Bursary presented by Frank Walsh to Dillon Rochon for $250.
Legion Ladies Auxilary Award; presented by Bessie Samson to Karisa Rumbolt for $250.
Principals? Award; presented by Al Johnson, who joked that it was worth $250,000, given to Eric Marshall for $250.
Tumbler Ridge Chamber of Commerce Award, presented by Brenda Banham to Robyn Holm for $250.
The final scholarship, the Waterhen Lake First Nations; presented by Al Johnson to Jared Crook for $150. Combined, the scholarships totaled an impressive $28,370.
Class Valedictorian Katie Gurnsey then took the podium and spoke on her years and experiences with her fellow graduates. She focused on the importance of treating other people and our universe with respect and kindness.
Following the valedictorian speech was the presentation of School Leaving Certificates (rolled up diplomas). Vice Principal Sandy Treitt, announced each graduates name, as Al Johnson congratulated them and handed them their certificate. The Grads then exited and that was the completion of the day Grad Ceremonies. Everyone made their way outside for more pictures.
The commencement of the evening dinner and dance took place at 6:30 pm at the Curling Rink, with Judy Proulx as emcee. The hall looked fantastic, thanks to the hard work of Claudia Hunter and the Grad Committee. This year the theme was ?Under The Sea? and the decorations were very magical. The Grads did their formal walk, looking wonderful in their tuxedoes and formal gowns.
Pastor George Rowe said Grace and the buffet began. The meal was catered by ?Simply Perfect? from Chetwynd.
Following dinner, the Class Historians gave their speech and handed out gift bags to each Grad. The young ladies who served as historians this year were Raelen Bauman, Robyn Holm, Shaunna Shea and Farrah Gaster.
Cloud 10 Music, from Grande Prairie, Alberta provided music for the dance. The graduates had a very special night thanks to the efforts of Claudia Hunter and the Grad Committee, as well as the Grads who fundraised for this event.