To The 2020 Lifers

Wednesday, July 15, 2020 -

The following was delivered at the Lifers’ Celebration in late May, 2020.

I am extremely grateful for this special opportunity to offer this toast to the Brentwood Lifers of 2020.

I’d like to start by thanking the eight speaker representatives who spoke sincerely and eloquently about your houses today with a wonderful combination of humour and fond memories, all of which demonstrate the tremendous impact that the houses have had on your shared Brentwood experience.

For me, it is indeed a great privilege to honour all of you incredible young people - not only because you persevered to finish the journey you started in Grade 8 or 9, some perhaps more smoothly than others - but because of the special qualities each one of you possesses. As I don’t have time to speak individually about everyone, I’ll relate a short anecdote or fun fact about one person from each house.

For instance, from Whittall: Sonny Assaly’s astonishing growth spurt since Grade 9; from Allard: Ataya Uppal’s prolific reading habits; from Mackenzie: Ash Muller’s ever-changing ash blonde hair, while Egor Ukaintsev from Rogers is the only student who has ever asked me to order a book on chess for him to read. Megan Kuo’s fall from her top bunk in Alex when in Grade 9 is quite memorable, while from Privett, Kaelen’s growth in self-belief is certainly heart-warming. From Hope: Kerry Wang’s winning smile definitely makes her a winner, and I can’t help but recall an early Grade 9 incident that involved Gus Lees from Ellis, which caused great consternation, when an Alex House girl inexplicably vanished from campus!

Grad 2020 will certainly go down in history for the extraordinary ways in which a global pandemic affected your class, and the courageous way in which you responded. This, therefore, only makes every one of you even more extraordinary, resilient and unforgettable.

So to all our 2020 Lifers, I salute you with this Irish toast:

                 May the road rise to meet you
                 May the wind be always at your back;
                 May the sun shine warm upon your face,
                 May the rain fall soft upon your fields,
                 And until we meet again
                 May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

And finally, may good and faithful friends be yours, wherever you may roam.
Thank you!

Mrs. Eileen Mais

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