A graduate crosses the stage during the filming of Chilliwack secondary’s commencement ceremony on Friday, May 22, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s ceremony was filmed over five days with small groups of 25 students. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Chilliwack mayor’s message acknowledges challenges for 2020 grads

‘You’ve put in the hard work and are ready to take on the next phase of your life,’ Mayor Popove says

Chilliwack mayor Ken Popove had a message for the grads of 2020 this week who may be feeling the loss of traditional graduation ceremonies.

He addressed them in his online mayor’s message of May 26:

“To the graduating class of 2020, I want you to know that your future is bright,” Popove said. “Finishing your last year at home was a difficult challenge, but you did it and should be proud of all you have accomplished. You’ve put in the hard work and are ready to take on the next phase of your life. Congratulations to Chilliwack’s 2020 grads!”

He pointed out the COVID-19 pandemic had dramatically altered the ritual of graduation.

“Typically, graduation is an exciting time of the year, full of senior class trips, graduation events and other activities that create lifelong memories,” Mayor Popove said. “I’m sure many of us still look back on that final year of school fondly.”

He said he remembered how great it was to stride through the hallways of his high school, feeling like he was “more than ready” to take on the next phase of his life with confidence.

“The class of 2020 is missing out on that experience,” Popove acknowledged. “They don’t get to enjoy senior class events and activities. There are no senior class pranks.

“Most importantly, they don’t get to proudly walk across the stage as family and friends cheer on their accomplishment. While I applaud those getting creative with planned virtual activities, we know they can’t replace the real thing and that loss is felt deeply by our grads.”

READ MORE: Photos of unique commencement 2020

READ MORE: Commencement at SSS as true to tradition as possible

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