On 11 November 2016, Marc Garneau CI paid tribute to the Canadian veterans who served during peacekeeping missions, World War I, and World War II.
At 11:00 am, Vice-principal Mr. Sharp gave the traditional Remembrance Day ceremony over the PA system. Students and staff stopped their course work and stood for the national anthem, “The Last Post,” two minutes of silence, and “Reveille.” Mr. Sharp also recited two poems: In Flanders Field by Dr. John McCrae and High Flight by John Gillespie MacGee Jr. The ceremony ended with a few lines from the popular WWII song, “The White Cliffs of Dover.”
MGCI’s Social Justice and Equity Committee held a Spoken Word Café during lunch in the library in honour of Remembrance Day, inviting students to share poems with themes of loss, sacrifice, and pride.
Presenter Aya Shanti, whose poem was titled “I Remember,” said, “I performed today because I wanted to do something to commemorate the sacrifices of all the soldiers that fought for us to be able to live as free as we are today.” The other six students who presented are Megan Niu (“Regrets from the Third Battalion”), Jeffrey Liu (“Rape of Nanjing”), Nibras Khan (“Life”), Zainab Alavi (“Tired”), Tom Tang (“Till Dusk Turns to Dawn”), and Aisha Azam (“Diversity”).
In addition, Kenny, a veteran and an MGCI hall monitor, spoke about his experience in the Royal Navy. For the occasion, Kenny dressed in his navy uniform. He mentioned some of the more pleasant experiences he had while serving, including traveling around the world, and also touched upon what he suffered, such as PTSD.
Approximately sixty people attended the Spoken Word Café and the majority of participants enjoyed it. Sonia Balani, said, “The poems were really spiritual and passionate.” Audience members were each charged twenty-five cents as an entry fee and were given lollipops as refreshments.
The Social Justice and Equity Committee was pleased with the turnout, saying that they will hold more of these events in the future. Lisa Wang, the Social Justice and Equity Convener, said, “We wanted to commemorate Remembrance Day by sharing the perspectives of Garneau on the themes [loss, sacrifice, and pride].” Raluca Gondor, Social Media Manager of the committee, also said that they were “proud of the performers for voicing their opinions.”
Key Club also held an event, inviting students to the cafeteria during lunch on 10 and 11 November to write letters to veterans through a program organized by Veteran Affairs called Postcards for Peace. More than forty cards were written, thanking veterans for their service.