The Shawnigan journey is shared by all who attend the School, and while it may look a little different for each individual, there are a select few whose journeys have a commonality; their Shawnigan journey has spanned five years, taking them from Grade 8 to Grade 12. For this group of students, the five-year dinner is a rite of passage dating back to 2015, when it was decided that those who have dedicated their high school years to Shawnigan should be celebrated!
With a delicious spread of food complete with a chocolate fountain, all served at the Head of School’s house, the students who first came to the School in 2017/18 gathered to enjoy an evening amongst their peers and advisors. This year, the speaker was Assistant Head – Academics, Wendy Milne, who shared an emotional speech with the students she has had the pleasure of watching grow, from little kids entering Grade 8 to mature young adults. With a humorous speech filled with nostalgia and fond memories, there was barely a dry eye in the room by the time she closed with the memorable words of Dr. Suess in his poem Oh the Places you’ll go. She encouraged the students to remember where they came from and the mark they have made on Shawnigan.
For Wendy, this is her 20th group of “lifers,” meaning she has been here for 25 years. She closed with the words, “remember where you came from – remember that THIS group of faces who have been around you for the past five years will ALWAYS be there for you when you need them – and be proud because Shawnigan is a better place thanks to all of you!”
An evening of laughter, tears and a plethora of appreciation made the occasion one that the students and staff in attendance will not soon forget. The evening would not be complete without each also receiving their coveted five-year pins. The bonds that have been developed between these students since they first started at the School in Grade 8 have grown over shared experiences that have shaped them into who they are today, something that will stick with them wherever life takes them beyond Shawnigan.
We acknowledge with respect the Coast Salish Peoples on whose traditional lands and waterways we live, learn and play. We are grateful for the opportunity to share in this beautiful region, and we aspire to healthy and respectful relationships with those who have lived on and cared for these lands for millennia.
Shawnigan Lake School is an independent co-educational boarding school for ages 13 –18 on Canada’s beautiful West Coast. Our diverse, interdisciplinary and innovative programming helps shape the next generation of global leaders.