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

 

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

LETTER: Ticketed and Ticked

Wayne Northey of Agassiz is hopping mad about his parking ticket

DOK seeks help stopping plant thieves

Suspicious behaviour should be reported to local RCMP

VIDEO: Car goes off Highway 1 and into a ditch in Chilliwack

Eastbound vehicle left the highway ending in the ditch on south side of Luckakuck Way

Emergency crews respond to ATV rollover near Harrison

ATV rolled over on or near Harrison East Forest Service Road near Harrison Hot Springs

Guilty verdict for one of two men in large illegal marijuana grow-operation in Chilliwack

Charges dismissed against property owner where 3,200 plants, 32 kgs of dried weed found in 2017

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

Friends, family remember victim of Langley possible triple-homicide fire at memorial

Memorial held for one the of three found dead at a house fire in Langley Meadows last month

Fraser Valley Bandits, CEBL bringing pro sports back later this month

Abbotsford-based basketball team kicks off CEBL Summer Series on July 26

Family and friends mark birthday of teen who died after being discovered in Langley park

Carson Crimeni suffered an apparent drug overdose, his final moments broadcast on social media

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Semi and BMW collide on South Surrey highway

At least one person to hospital, both vehicles sustained significant damage

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Most Read