A lot has changed in 13 years.
That was the messaged delivered by Valedictorian Erika Thorimbert as the St. Mary class of 2018 gathered together one last time Wednesday morning.
Inside the walls of the Art Hauser Centre, the grads celebrated how far they had come, and how they had helped each other along the way.
School officials said the graduating class of 190 students is one of the largest ever, as the school outperforms the provincial graduation rate average.
According to Thorimbert, and fellow student Jayden Bissky, that’s because this group of graduates came together.
“(Our journey) was filled with good times and bad,” Thorimbert said.
“Although we dealt with loss and tragedy, we also shared unforgettable, joyful moments with each other.
“We have managed to find hopes in times of suffering. It is through the dark times we have endured that we have found strength and light in one another. I know I’m grateful this group had each other to light the way for one another.”
Bishop Albert Thevenot urged the grads to go forth and live a life led by love. It’s a message also passed on by principal Mark Phaneuf, who said there hasn’t been a Grade 12 group more respectful than the class that graduated Wednesday.
“We live in a world where we’re constantly bombarded with messages stating supposed problems with youth today, and decrying uncertainty for the future,” he said.
“I know these graduates. I know the respect, compassion care and passion they bring to their lives and the lives around them. Any person who doesn’t see good in the young adults in our world today doesn’t spend enough time at Ecole St. Mary, and certainly doesn’t spend time with these graduates.”
Bissky, who gave the salutary address, wished her fellow graduates well. “We’ve had a lot of glories and defeats, she said.
“As we move on today, we contribute to have moments of joy and moments of sorrow, but we will need those sad times for us to appreciate the good times. I hope you have more good than bad, more shine than rain. I hope wherever you go, you choose to make it an adventure. Choose what makes you happy, and choose to be kind always. We’re all very excited to see what awaits you.”