Activities across campus are honouring service and sacrifice.
Outside the Prep School, poppy markers have been placed in memory of each of the 305 alumni who gave their lives in the First and Second World Wars. In the Bernick Family Foyer at the Upper School, display cases created by archivist Jill Spellman feature compilation photos of UCC’s fallen from those wars, along with poppies representing their ultimate sacrifice. The cases complement the permanent memorial plaques on the east and west walls of the foyer that list the names of alumni, faculty and staff who died in the two conflicts.
Says Spellman, “We remember all those in our community who served and sacrificed.”
On Nov. 10, there will be two Remembrance Day assemblies at the Prep and one at the Upper School.
The Prep assemblies will feature a Remembrance Day story for the youngest students, musical performances including the “Last Post”, as well as poetry and imagery to foster commemoration and contemplation.
“It’s important to convey the tragedy of war and honour those who gave their lives,” says David Bullock, the Prep teacher who has overseen the assembly for many years. “Afterward, each class will have time for reflection about ensuring a better world for all.”
At the Upper School, invited veterans will each be paired with a member of the Board of Stewards, with the pairs entering the assembly in Laidlaw Hall accompanied by bagpipes. Community Service Steward John Voudouris will be the emcee.
Once Principal Sam McKinney has introduced the veterans and other guests, there will be a wreath-laying ceremony to commemorate the First World War, the Second World War and modern conflicts. There will also be music performances, and a theatre piece exploring the idea of volunteering to go to war. The theatrical performance incorporates student research from this year’s Military History Immersion Program and its trip to France.
“We want the assembly to serve the entire community well, ensuring that everyone feels engaged and included and takes something away with them,” says Gillian Levene, an English teacher and assistant head for student life and community. “We want to balance the focus on struggle with the need for hope and looking forward.”