Councillor Brian Mayes, St. Vital Ward, Winnipeg City Council

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High school graduation ceremonies - these are the good old days

This June I attended all or part of the graduation ceremonies at all 4 St Vital area high schools (Glenlawn, Dakota, College Jeanne Sauve and Leo Remillard).  In retrospect , my decision to sprint back and forth between Glenlawn's and Dakota's in full suit in 30 degree heat was not well thought - through. My overall impression was "they do this much better now than in my day".

I found the program from my graduation ceremony - it took place in October, in the school gym. I can find no pictures. I am pretty sure we did not have cap and gown - but my classmates have no memory of the event at all so I can't verify that. It was lifeless and had the unfortunate aspect that some of the award winners had gone away to university and did not attend.

What a contrast now! All of the St Vital schools have a full cap and gown ceremony , in a big hall, with tons of family present. The symbolism is clear - one phase of life is ending, another is starting. Yes, three hours makes for a long ceremony , but the message to grads comes through - it's a big day. 

On a related note:  I have continued the practice (started by Gord Steeves) of giving a citizenship award each year at each high school. All of the schools celebrate voluntarism in the community far more than in my day. To quote one of the principals this year " the future is in good hands".

So while the quality of rock music has inarguably declined since my graduation (ok, that may be arguable), the graduation ceremonies are way better, and , to quote The Who, the kids are alright.