Two high school graduation ceremonies are upcoming on the islands, with Queen Charlotte Secondary’s Saturday (June 9) and George M. Dawson’s in Masset on June 23.
This weekend in Queen Charlotte.
human lawn bowling, an Iron Man obstacle course, inflatable climbing wall, laser tag, a hypnotist and more are all part of the unique high school graduation party. Grad teacher sponsor Lonnie Skelton says this year’s Queen Charlotte grad class decided to go all out.
They raised more than $15,000 for the June 9 party and are planning a ceremony and traditional Haida feast in Skidegate to start off the night. From there, the grads head back to the school for the first dry-grad party organized by students in 14 years.
Ms Skelton says the group of 16 came up with the plan for this year’s grad on their own.
“This group wants to be together,” she says. “And they want to honour their parents and the community for supporting them through the years.”
Ms Skelton says they also want to honour the Haida upon whose territory they have been going to school.
At the celebration feast, where traditional seafood soups and other Haida fare will be served to 450 guests, the students will be presenting gifts to several people as well.
After the formal part of the evening, the young people return to the high school where several activities have been arranged. Each student was allowed to invite five guests to the party, but Ms Skelton says once the grads and their guests enter the school for the night, they will not be able to leave until the next morning. No one under the age of 13 years is allowed to attend and the guests have to sign a waiver guaranteeing they will not drink any alcohol at the event.
“The building will be locked down until 5 am, when parents arrive to take the kids to breakfast,” she says.
The grads hired a company from the US to bring up several inflatable games, laser tag, a hypnotist and more. The price tag for all this was $11,000, with the company sending staff to man the activities too. The Lions Club is supplying casino games like roulette and gamblers win chips that buy them gifts like towels, dishes and other items they might need when starting a life of their own after graduation.
There will be a bar serving mocktails and a dance as well. The school will also house a movie theatre where the teens sit back and enjoy a show.
Ms Skelton says the fundraising is still underway and tickets are still available for a 50/50 draw.
The Jail and Bail activity brought in $2,000. She says over 21 people went to jail. The grads have also cut wood, washed trucks for the Ministry of Forests, collected bottles and more.
All in all, the grads have raised approximately $1,000 each, she says.
“It’s a major thing. The community has been really supportive,” she says.
More details on George M. Dawson’s June 23 graduation ceremony will be featured in coming weeks.
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