The following speech was delivered by Prince Charles Secondary School 2012 grad class historians Ben Lansing and Braylon Gorham at the graduation ceremony on June 8:
Ben Lansing: Good evening. I am Braylon Gorham.
Braylon Gorham: And I am Ben Lansing.
BL: No — wrong line, moron. I am Ben Lansing.
BG: And I am Braylon Gorham.
BL: Dang it, Braylon, we practiced this.
BG: Sorry, sorry.
BL: We have heard that a good way to start a speech is with a joke or a lie.
BG: So on that note let me just say, we’re happy to be here.
BL: But on a serious note, Braylon and I will be the chronological conveyors of all past events that have involved us as a grad class — or at least the ones our parents already know about.
BG: Ben and I are hoping that we will be able to share some of those experiences that have brought us here, both the good times and the bad and then possibly some fun moments.
BL: Martin Luther King Jr. said, “We are not makers of history. We are made by history”
BG: Oooh, very good Ben. Following that idea, it is pretty amazing — in a historical context — that we are all even here considering the crazy things that have happened in our world.
BL: Things like Y2K,
BG: Swine flu,
BL: Killer bees,
BG: And even the feared Bieber fever.
BL: We have survived them all.
BG: Well, most of us anyway. (Pause for laughter).
BL: There have been a lot of things that we have not necessarily had to survive but have affected us nonetheless.
BG: Things such as 9-11,
BL: The Afghanistan war,
BG: The Bin Laden situation.
BL: But they have not all been bad. We have witnessed the end of the Northern Ireland dispute,
BG: We saw the Chilean miners rescued,
BL: We saw Canada win its first Olympic gold medal on home soil,
BG: We saw the Canucks almost win the Stanley cup. Twice (Robbie).
BL: We have also seen Frodo defeat Sauron and save Middle Earth,
BG: Plus Harry destroying Voldemort.
BL: Ah, all good things — well, except for the Stanley Cup thing. There have also been some huge changes in technology and music.
BG: I think they just announced the 100th generation of the iPod.
BL: Plus the world take-over by the cellphone, and the uprising of dubstep sweeping the globe.
BL: We have seen the social networking boom into a daily global event for most, 3D TVs, electric cars, and vehicles with practically everything in them.
BG: Our world has become a pretty impressive place. But let’s bring it a little closer to home.
BL: Who remembers the TV show Recess? Or The Weekenders?
BG: Or Magic School Bus? Or how about Yu-Gi-Oh? Beyblades?
BL: Pokemon? Or Polly Pocket? Barbies? Toy jewelry?
BG: All parts of our childhoods; some have disappeared, but some have grown with us. Video games for example, used to have GoldenEye, Mario Kart.
BL: Yeah, and like Sonic and Duck Hunt, now we have Black Ops, Skyrim, Angry Birds and new Mario Kart.
BG: Or for the girls, you had Polly Pocket and Barbies.
BL: Now you have Polly Pocket’s house, and I think Barbie has a car.
BG: But aside from the material things, the experiences were great, too. Grounders, making new friends, nap time, getting driven to school on the first day,
BL: Our first crush, when we loved going places with our parents…
BG: And then when we refused to be seen in public with our parents. But how about something more recent? Going to high school, the excitement, the fear, and the freedom.
BL: The first five months as a Grade 8 showing up for class five minutes in advance, now we all show up five minutes late.
BG: (Or 15 if you’re Cory).
BL: Since that first year we’ve all been going on a personal journey, whether we knew it or not, all trying to find out who we are, and what we want to do with our life, who we like being around, and much more.
BG: Then through sports trips (girls won their first game this year), AVID trips.
BL: Hey, AVID trips! Remember when the bus broke down, and we just sat at that gas station waiting for hours? Or all the days we spent watching movies and going out to Extra Foods for our project but we just ended up wandering around and hanging out?
BG: And to everyone else, remember making fun of AVID, but then being jealous when they took their trips?
BL: Anyway, like Braylon was saying, through sports trips, AVID trips and various forms of all-nighters or just plain chilling, we found out who we were. We’ve been through a whirlwind of experiences, some good and some bad, but regardless of whether they were good or bad, they affected us and made us into who we are today, and from where I’m standing, I think we turned out all right. Thank you.
— BEN LANSING AND BRAYLON GORHAM