KCVI stu­dents mark Re­mem­brance Day

Kingston Whig-Standard - - NEWS - IAN MACALPINE imacalpine@post­media.com twit­ter.com/IanMacAlpine

Steeped in his­tory its 226-year ex­is­tence, Kingston Col­le­giate and Vo­ca­tional In­sti­tute will close at the end of June 2019 and its staff and 900 stu­dents will move to the new school, Kingston Sec­ondary School, next Septem­ber

On Fri­day, KCVI stu­dents and staff marked the fi­nal Re­mem­brance Day cer­e­mony in the Fron­tenac Street school’s au­di­to­rium.

With KCVI be­ing the only pub­lic high school in Kingston through­out the two world wars, drama teacher Kevin Fraser said be­fore the cer­e­mony that it is im­por­tant that to­day’s youth rec­og­nize the sac­ri­fices of those who came be­fore them, es­pe­cially the for­mer stu­dents who gave their lives in both world wars.

“This school has al­ways had a tra­di­tion of hon­our­ing the day as it was the only high school in Kingston at the time of the wars,” Fraser said.

“Every­body came here, if you were go­ing to high school, you came to KC so con­se­quently that’s one of the rea­sons we have so many names [of the war dead].”

“The day is re­ally just about hon­our­ing that and mak­ing kids re­mem­ber that a lot of them weren’t much older than they are now.”

Stu­dents from Fraser’s Grade 11 drama class, dressed in black shirts adorned with pop­pies and black pants, per­formed some scenes from the wars in­clud­ing en­list­ing in the mil­i­tary, say­ing good­bye to fam­ily, the hor­rors of war and com­ing home af­ter the war and suf­fer­ing from post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der and prob­lems get­ting back to a nor­mal fam­ily life.

Dur­ing their pre­sen­ta­tion, the stu­dents read a real let­ter from a sol­dier to home.

A por­tion of Flan­ders Field was read and the drama stu­dents placed bat­tery op­er­ated can­dles on the stage as the names of the more than 125 stu­dents and staff who died in both wars were read aloud.

The cer­e­mony also marked Indige­nous Vet­er­ans Day on Fri­day.

Indige­nous peo­ple, Fraser said, fought for Canada in all the wars up to and in­clud­ing the war in Afghanistan.

“De­spite not al­ways get­ting treated with jus­tice and re­spect here, they still took that on,” he said.

Stu­dent Robert Ma­cLeod, also of the Princess of Wales Own Reg­i­ment, played the bag­pipe dur­ing the cer­e­mony and stu­dent Joey An played the Last Post.

The KCVI choir sang O’Canada to be­gin the cer­e­mony and Imag­ine by John Len­non to wind up the hour­long ser­vice.

Prin­ci­pal Talya McKenna said it will not be the last Re­mem­brance Day cer­e­mony at the school, just the last one in the au­di­to­rium, ev­ery­one is pick­ing up and mov­ing to the new school and the tra­di­tion will con­tinue.

Ac­cord­ing to re­tired teacher and un­of­fi­cial KCVI his­to­rian Ge­orge Dil­lon, the au­di­to­rium was built around 1930 and ren­o­vated in the late 1960s.

Flags of all provinces, mil­i­tary flags and do­nated flags from other coun­tries hang on both side­walls of the 900-seat au­di­to­rium.

“This au­di­to­rium is beau­ti­ful with lots of his­toric back­ground and th­ese cer­e­monies are won­der­ful, it’s the stu­dents that do the cer­e­mony ev­ery year,” McKenna said.

She also said many his­toric items, in­clud­ing two cop­per plaques on the stair’s land­ing be­tween the first and sec­ond floors that hon­our the fallen sol­diers from the First and Sec­ond World Wars, will move to the new school.

As well, more than 125 pho­tos and bi­ogra­phies of fallen stu­dents now dis­played in the li­brary from both world wars will move to the new school.

The project was ini­ti­ated a num­ber of years ago by now re­tired teacher Kevin Read.

“All th­ese young men pro­vided for us to have so much op­por­tu­nity and wher­ever that op­por­tu­nity takes us it be­hooves us to take hold of that op­por­tu­nity and make the best of it,” Fraser said.

IAN MACALPINE/THE WHIG-STAN­DARD

Stu­dent Robert Ma­cLeod plays the bag­pipes dur­ing the Re­mem­brance cer­e­mony in the au­di­to­rium at Kingston Col­le­giate and Vo­ca­tional In­sti­tute on Fri­day af­ter­noon.

IAN MACALPINE/THE WHIG-STAN­DARD

A plaque com­mem­o­rat­ing stu­dents who died in the First World War hangs in the stair­well at Kingston Col­le­giate and Vo­ca­tional In­sti­tute dur­ing the Re­mem­brance cer­e­mony in the KCVI au­di­to­rium on Fri­day.

IAN MACALPINE/THE WHIG-STAN­DARD

A plaque com­mem­o­rat­ing stu­dents who died in the Sec­ond World War hangs in the stair­well at Kingston Col­le­giate and Vo­ca­tional In­sti­tute dur­ing the Re­mem­brance cer­e­mony in the KCVI au­di­to­rium on Fri­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.