Superintendent Karen Nelson gifts ACE graduate Kay Eddison

Grads prove age can’t hold you back

Agassiz senior program to become model of learning in B.C., says education officer

When the ACE class of 2013 stepped out in cap and gown Wednesday, it seemed like the whole world stood up and applauded.

A letter was sent from the Royal Family.

A representative arrived from the Ministry of Education, along with the area’s MLA, Laurie Throness, and the Royal Canadian Legion’s B.C. Yukon executive director.

Even national media followed suit, showing up in Agassiz in droves with cameras in hand.

Everyone crowded into the Legion’s hall — a home-away-from-home for the local alternate education program — to congratulate the school’s one dozen graduates for their accomplishments.

Their ages ranged from 18 to 89, marking a first in this province and setting a new bar for seniors everywhere. While honorary Dogwood certificates are sometimes awarded to seniors in this province, three of the graduates with ACE dug in and actually did their homework.

Cathleen (Kay) Eddison is the eldest of the trio. While she was a diligent student in the 1930s, with the preserved certificates to prove it (see inset photo), she left school before finishing Grade 12.

“I am so happy to be here, to finally complete what I had left undone more than 70 years ago,” she told the packed crowd. “I now know it is never too late to learn.”

She said she’s aware the recognition of her achievement is because of her age, and that other than mathematics, the work wasn’t “too difficult.”

And besides, she said, smiling, “I’m old, but I’m proud of every year.”

Eddison and her classmates, Maureen Baker and Adriana Peters, have all been featured heavily in the media throughout the week for their accomplishments.

And on Wednesday, they were congratulated by the ministry of education, via Janine Hannis, the Education Officer for Adult and Alternate Education.

The seniors education program developed this year at ACE is being watched around the province, Hannis said. And while she often advertises adult education for anyone aged 18-89, “we have some examples now.”

The ministry has done some research, and hasn’t found any records of seniors receiving their Dogwood through course completion. So Hannis wasn’t missing the opportunity to take part in the celebration; she had the women’s Dogwood certificates couriered to Agassiz, and hand delivered them.

Much of the rest of the cap and gown ceremony carried on in ACE tradition. Karen Nelson, Fraser Cascade superintendent, read from a children’s book about literacy, and then passed on a book to each graduate, in the hope they share the love of reading with a young person in their life.

In keeping with Sto:lo territory tradition, Nelson Leon opened the ceremony with traditional drumming, and as each grad crossed the ‘stage’ they received a blanket.

And the rounds of applause were enormous, as the students — the young and the elders — finished a chapter in their lives.

“Way to go, Mom!” said Maureen Baker’s daughter.

Baker had enrolled in courses despite having had two recent cataract surgeries.

Each student has their own unique story, and their own personal reasons for enrolling at ACE.

When Austin Belanger stood up to address the audience, he said there were times he walked away from school and never thought he’d come back.

“I’m glad I stuck around and got it done,” he said.

news@ahobserver.com

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Agassiz Community Gardens hoping to find new home at old McCaffrey school

The society has been looking for a new location since its previous gardens were sold in October

Kent looking to replace Ferny Coombe pool with indoor facility

The facility being built is dependent on grant funding from the province and federal government

Escape room brings ‘out of the box’ activity to Agassiz

AESS alumni and teacher developed the concept to bring teamwork-based entertainment to the town

Prices still rising, Chilliwack real estate back in balanced territory

Local market is steadier compared to points west with higher increase in average sale price

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

B.C. pair accused of ‘honour-killing’ in India to be extradited within days

Malkit Kaur Sidhu and Surjit Singh Badesha are accused of conspiracy to commit murder

Netflix rejects request to remove Lac-Megantic images from ‘Bird Box’

At least two shows on Netflix’s Canadian platform briefly use actual footage of the 2013 tragedy

Liberals reject Karen Wang’s hope for ‘second chance’ in byelection vs. Singh

Former Burnaby South candidate dropped out after a post on the Chinese social media platform WeChat

FOCUS: Canada’s revamped impaired driving law brews ‘potential for injustice’

There must be ‘trigger’ for cops to come knocking, Surrey MP says

Barack Obama to speak at Vancouver event

Former U.S. president will speak with board of trade in March

Overtime heroics help Giants to victory State-side

The Lower Mainland’s premier major junior hockey team earned a victory Wednesday over the Americans.

Former welfare clients still owed money, B.C. Ombudsperson says

Investigation found 2,600 people docked illegally for earning income

Prince George could get province’s second BC Cannabis Store

The first brick-and-mortar government retail location opened in Kamloops on Oct. 17

Most Read