Proud mom Kathi Diewert with 2021 Chemainus Secondary School graduate Sian Diewert. (Photo by JoHannah Knight)

Proud mom Kathi Diewert with 2021 Chemainus Secondary School graduate Sian Diewert. (Photo by JoHannah Knight)

Making the most of grad events

Class of 2021 will carry resilience with them throughout their years based on COVID experience

Prom and high school graduation are important festivities that young people look forward to long before they actually happen.

Chances are members of the 2021 graduating class at Chemainus Secondary School did not have visions in their heads from earlier years of prom and grad looking quite like they’ve turned out. COVID has literally turned things upside down and no one could possibly have foreseen what it’s meant to such landmark occasions.

This year’s grads were probably hoping they’d dodged a bullet with COVID occurring in 2020 and leaving plenty of time for the recovery process for ceremonies to mark the end of their high school days. But it hasn’t quite worked out that way with vaccination rates just now reaching levels that will make larger public gatherings safe again by later in the year.

There won’t be a big crowd in the school gym for the grads to walk into during their moment of pride. Parents haven’t even been able to witness the awarding of trophies, scholarships and bursaries for the various achievements of the students and the presentation of certificates will be a drive-through affair at the school.

Prom still happened with the class size luckily falling within the maximum, but the traditional red carpet public event was scrapped for a second year with only a drive-through of Chemainus and Crofton going ahead in front of a limited distanced crowd.

All better than nothing, though, right? Many students did not have high expectations once they realized COVID restrictions were going to persist into their grad time.

You don’t get these years back and it’s too bad, but this certainly won’t diminish the achievements of the students, just lessen the joy of the experience perhaps somewhat.

But the grads can hold their heads high and the resilience they’ve needed to get through these past two years will definitely make them stronger as they advance through life and their chosen careers.

And just think of the stories they’ll be able to tell their children and grandchildren one day. ‘I remember back in my high school days, this virus known as COVID infected the world….’ That will surely bring a captive audience.

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Louise Antoine, a member of the Chemainus Secondary School 2021 grad class. (Photo by JoHannah Knight)

Louise Antoine, a member of the Chemainus Secondary School 2021 grad class. (Photo by JoHannah Knight)