A salute to the Golden Pipers

By Matthew McCully

A handful of staff members at Alexander Galt Regional High school prepared a fond farewell for this year’s graduating class. Enlarged photos of the 158 graduates were set up along the driveway leading to the Galt campus as a special surprise for the students as they stopped by school to retrieve their belongings. “We wanted to give them a message and a surprise, and to say we’ve been far away from them but we’re thinking of them,” explained Galt Principal Peggy McCourt. “We know it’s not easy what they’re going through. We’re proud of them.”
The idea for the photo tribute came about from Executive Secretary France Longchamps, who had seen something similar on Facebook. She mentioned it to staffer Christina Rousseau, a Galt grad herself, who loved the idea and approached the prom committee.
According to McCourt, once the plan was in place things were kept hush hush.
“We wanted to keep it from the staff as well, as a surprise,” she said.
McCourt said René Gauthier, Steve Walker, Tannia Cortes and Kyle Martel did a lot of the heavy lifting and were at the school till 10:30 p.m. Wednesday night getting the pictures mounted.
“I’ve been calling them our Golden Pipers because they are our 50th graduating class,” McCourt said. “They definitely will not forget their graduation.”
According to McCourt, the school has a tentative plan to reschedule prom for some time in October, but with things changing on a daily basis a traditional prom may not be possible.
“Of this whole experience, globally, we’re coming up with creativity,” McCourt said, and showing resilience. “We’re brainstorming what might be a COVID-style celebration. We haven’t given up hope yet,” the principal said.
McCourt was waiting at the entrance to the Galt parking lot to direct students where to go to retrieve their belongings. While all the students will be stopping by the school in the coming days in shifts organized alphabetically, McCourt said it’s pretty obvious when a graduate is making their way down the driveway.
“My favourite is the kids that drive up and I can see them wiping away tears,” she said. “We don’t like to make them cry, but we just wanted them to know we’ve been thinking of them. They’ve been great through this.”

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