OJSH held its annual Remembrance Day service for school staff and student and community members on Thursday, November 8th. Teacher Roy Burghardt led the solemn occasion as Master of Ceremonies. The Onoway High School Band along with teachers Mrs. Schmidt-Peterson, Mr. VanCamp, Mr. Siemens, and Mr. Eastwood, led the assembled students, staff and guests in singing O Canada. After introductory remarks, Mr. Burghardt handed over the ceremony to Parade Commander Scott Sadler.
The occasion was made especially meaningful by the attendance of our special guests. Members of the Royal Canadian Legion included parade commander and Onoway Legion Past President, and Alberta, Northwest Territory Provincial Chairman Scott Sadler, Onoway Legion past Vice President Richard Moses, Ted Latimer past District 8 Commander, Cheryl Sadler, Ed Gallagher, Doug Jehaulka, Capt. Robert Heinz and Padre Chris White. Representing the Canadian Armed Forces was a former OJSH student, Sergeant Roger Senum of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. Other guests were from the military, cadets, Onoway Fire Department, Chateau Lac Ste. Anne and the community. The cadets in the flag party were OJSH students: Warrant Officer Thiessen-Roy, Master Cpl. Honc, Master Cpl. Kolstad and Sergeant Carroll. Charles Howie played the bagpipes.
Speakers for the event included for the Legion, Scott Sadler; for the Armed Forces, Sgt. Roger Senum; for OJSH, Principal Lobo. Each speaker presented a meaningful and eloquent talk that resonated with the audience.
Next, the laying of the wreaths was solemnly conducted: Mr. Lobo for the school; Student Council representative Emily Lapachuk for the OJSH students; Dillan LaRiviere for Gateway Academy; Raquel Kootenay for FNMI students; Warrant Officer Thiessen-Roy for the Lac Ste Anne Cadet Corps; Richard Moses and Ed Gallager for the Onoway Royal Canadian Legion. Sergeant Roger Senum of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry laid a wreath on behalf of the Armed Forces; RCMP Constable Cherwaty for the RCMP and Eric and Ashley Ives for the Onoway Fire Department.
Then the High School Band, with help from students Jordyn Muir, Maygan Peck, and Paige Schneider, gave a truly amazing performance. The Band performed Letters for Home - Songs of War and Love by Peter Meechan. The musical piece has three movements: "The Bittersweet Love Song", "The Trench" and "In Memory". In between movements, each of the students – Jordyn, Maygan, and Paige – read aloud to the audience a specially selected war poem.
After “Last Post” as played by OJSH music student Christie Brennan, and the accompanying two minutes of silence, Christie played “Reveille”. Ms. Schmidt-Peterson, Mr. Siemens, Mr. Eastman and Mr. Van Camp then led the audience in God Save the Queen as the ceremony came to a close.
Guests were escorted to a lunch made specially for them.
Many thanks go to Mr. Galliford and his staging and lighting crew for the set-up of the ceremony, and to Mr. Galliford and his café staff for the special lunch for the invited guests. Thanks also goes to the student members of the audience who were attentive and quiet throughout the ceremony, showing their respect for this significant occasion.