11 Jun A rainbow of saris
A red carpet adorned the aisle and stopped at steps that led to the Parker Hall stage. The stage itself was decorated with purple and black cloth draped across silver netted bows, Sapere Aude‘s proud class colours. The class entered the hall in pairs, led by chaplain the Revd Howard Wilkins, speaker James Geddes, and Woodstock Principal Dr Jonathan Long.
Following a tradition that had been a part of Woodstock School for years, all students wore their national dress as they walked along to the Ronda from Abdelazar (by Henry Purcell) performed by the orchestra. The vibrant colours on the carpet told the tale of many cultures and places coming together as the class of 2012. Whether it was a Japanese kimono or a simple sari, a sherwani or a chubba, the class was clearly dressed with pride. The class advisees followed the students as the procession came to a close.
This religious service of the Baccalaureate had participation from students and their parents in the form of testimonies, performances and scripture reading. Blessing the class of 2012 as they left Woodstock and were sent out into the “big, bad” world, the emotions in the room were sincere and the smiles heartfelt.
Parent and student experiences were shared by Atila Jamir and her mother Amenla Jamir, Luke Williams and his father Michael Williams, who lit up all the students faces with laughter, memories and a few tears here and there. The feeling of unity and togetherness that the class projected spread all around Parker Hall.
A former teacher for many of them, James Geddes, who was invited to give the address which he did so wonderfully. In all the hubbub of enormous amounts of advice this graduating class was receiving and sharing, this ceremony proved to be a time to simply sit, listen and leave the decisions until later – a time to enjoy the now.
A song by the staff choir, The Lord Bless You and Keep You, followed by the recessional to the Trumpet Tune (Purcell), ended the ceremony for the day with the graduates only having one more mandatory obligation left as a Woodstock student – graduation.
Story by Hazel Ebenezer development associate (journalism), and photo by Phuriwat Chiraphisit, development associate (photography). Both students will enter Grade 11 next semester.