Recent History – 2001
June 11, 2001
By Mark Nielsen, Daily News Staff
In a weekend of pomp and circumstance, fun and games, fond memories and sage advice, more than 200 students celebrated graduation from South Peace Secondary School (SPSS).
Following a banquet and dance Friday night, the formal graduation ceremonies were held before a packed house at Memorial Arena the next afternoon.
Valedictorians Andrew Ho and Shari Raaen acknowledged parents and teachers for guiding them through their formative years. But the final words were saved for the grads themselves.
“Congratulations on reaching this important stepping stone in life,” Raeen said.
“Sometimes we forget how fortunate we are, in comparison with other parts of the world, to achieve such a high level of education.”
SPSS principal Sandy McDowell related a story of a carpenter who was building his last house before he retires. Uninspired and hoping to simply get it over with, the carpenter took the easy route and did a poor job.
“When the carpenter finished building the house, the contractor handed him the front door key,” McDowell said. “’This is your house,’ he said, Ôand I’m giving it to you.’
“What a shock. What a shame. If only he had known he was building his own house, he would’ve done it oh, so differently.”
McDowell encouraged graduates to look at their futures as if they were building their own houses. “Your life is made as a result of the attitudes and the choices of the past,” he said. “Your life tomorrow is made as a result of the attitudes and choices you make today.”
Nearly $75,000 worth of scholarships and bursaries were presented. As the top academic student Torunn Landsgaard was awarded the $4,000 Kiwanis Club of Dawson Creek Scholarship.
The Dry Grad ceremonies, which kicked off at 9 p.m. Saturday night and ended at 5 a.m. Sunday saw 170 grads out of the 210 take part in the number of activities. Another 174 guests were present to celebrate the occasion hosted at the Kin Arena.
The location was decorated in a carnival like atmosphere, and students could take to the dance floor, play some cards and win some prizes, play human foozeball, beach volleyball, jousting and even some lazer tag.
There was also a velcro obstacle course that attracted a number of grads, on numerous occasions.
According to Dorothy Michiel, one of the volunteers who organized the Dry Grad, it was a much better success than last year where about 50% of the graduating class participated. However, they hope to attract all the grads at the next Dry Grad.
Party goers could not bring anything with them inside, and once they left, they were unable to get back in. Michiel noted that most of the party-goers stayed until the end of the celebration.