As a way of applauding the Kamsack Comprehensive Institute’s Class of 2020, for whom a virtual graduation was held on June 29, a group of parents and the Town of Kamsack sponsored an event at the Trackside Garden that afternoon.
The summer’s first general rainfall, which was general the previous two days had continued that morning. But when the ceremony began at 3 p.m., it was under a cloudy sky without rain.
Assembling at the garden were 16 of the class’s 21 graduates, escorts and members of their families including parents, grandparents, guardians and siblings. Some family members brought lawn chairs which were placed to best view the graduates and nearly everyone held phones or cameras in order to record the proceedings. Most of the graduates were dressed in the formal attire they might have worn had the graduation been “normal.”
Kamsack Mayor Nancy Brunt, the emcee of the program, was assisted by Willow Davis, a sister of one of the graduates. One by one, Brunt introduced each of the graduates as he or she was escorted into the garden under the archway accompanied by family members. Introduced were: Ryan Bear, Samantha Chernoff, Juanita Cote, Ty Shingoose, Shaelyn David, Maison Davis, Liam Lachambre, Nathaniel Langan, Sadie McGriskin, Breanne McLean, Ysabel Morenos, Teagan Ruf, Brooke Schwartz, Kade Wishnevetski, Zachary Zbeetnoff and Savannah Zielinski.
Each graduate was escorted to the front where he or she posed on a decorative bridge for an individual photograph, and then was presented with a scroll and gifts.
“Congratulations for being members of this century’s unique graduation,” Brunt said, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic currently affecting the world. “Hopefully this will be the only such graduation in the centuries to come.”
This “grand march” is a little different from what has been held in the past, she said, explaining that the Town of Kamsack had agreed to help sponsor the event.
“You have achieved a first goal,” Brunt told the graduates. “You are poised to do wonderful and terrific things. Be proud of what you’ve accomplished, what you are and of your community. And feel free to come back.”
Brunt acknowledged the Co-op for providing gifts for the graduates, the Town of Kamsack, the Kamsack Legion branch for use of its sound system, Darren Kitsch and the RCMP, fire department and ambulance for assisting with the parade, which was to follow.
“You all look beautiful and handsome,” she said. “Stay safe and healthy and have a wonderful day.”
After the graduates were introduced and presentations made, they were photographed individually and in groups of two or three together and with family and friends. Eventually, the graduates were grouped, first on the bridge and then on the steps in front of the garden’s caboose relic for more photographs.
The graduates, singly or in groups of two or three, climbed onto the boxes of several half-ton trucks, most of which were decorated with posters and balloons. At 5 p.m., the trucks, led by an RCMP vehicle were paraded through the community, up main street, past the Victoria and KCI schools, the nursing home and Eaglestone Lodge to end up at the sportsground.