Graduates from schools in Richmond County travelled in a procession from Petit de Grat, to Arichat (pictured here), through West Arichat, then to Louisdale, River Bourgeois, and finally St. Peter’s on June 27 to mark the special milestone.

STRAIT AREA: Traditional high school graduations were completely out the window in 2020.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, high school graduations were in limbo leaving the graduating class without a formal way to celebrate this achievement.

However Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Robert Strang, made an exemption to the health protection order to allow celebrations for graduations to held ‘under strict conditions.’

Based around a “drive-in” concept, attendees would arrive in a vehicle and graduates would only come out to cross a stage or take part in a parade, as long as physical distancing was maintained.

Rather than sitting in an auditorium, graduations took on a more community-based approach.

Photo by Jake Boudrot
This graduate waved to those at the side of the road who showed in impressive numbers on June 27 to offer their congratulations.

In Antigonish, Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional High School students ended their year at Riverside International Speedway.

“We want to congratulate all of the graduates,” Donald Chisholm said, owner of Riverside International Speedway. “We’re happy to provide the venue to help make this a very special event for them.”

The event included the graduation ceremony, a “Grad March” for the students in their school graduation gowns and caps and music – all while maintaining physical distancing.

Contributed photo
On June 29 graduates of SAERC and Tamarac Education Centre celebrated their achievements at the Allan J. MacEachen Airport in Port Hastings.

For graduating students at SAERC in Port Hawkesbury, they were able to set their proverbial wings free at the Allan J. MacEachen Airport.

In Richmond County, graduates participated in a car procession on June 27, starting at Centre La Picasse in Petit de Grat, travelling through Arichat and West Arichat. The car parade hit some road work at the Lennox Passage Bridge, before entering Louisdale, then through River Bourgeois, before ending at the St. Peter’s Canal. All along the route, residents, family, friends and loved ones were at the roadside with signs, clapping, waving, and showing support for the graduates.

Photo by Jake Boudrot
People in Louisdale were lined up at roadsides to give their congratulations to local graduates.