Speech Day celebrates the graduating class of 2019

The first Speech Day at Trinity College School, held July 23, 1866, one year after the School’s founding, began with chapel service and culminated in a ceremony that included speeches, songs, dramatic scenes and poetry, the handing out of prizes, and a demonstration of fencing and gymnastics. Nearly 153 years later, the School community gathered once again to celebrate Speech Day, with an emphasis on honouring the graduating class of 2019.

While many traditions have evolved, the day still begins with chapel. Graduates gathered with faculty in The Lodge Garden to enjoy a light breakfast and to receive their white carnations, before processing into the Memorial Chapel. The Leaving Class Service was led by TCS Chaplain, Canon Don Aitchison, and included a special song performed by faculty and staff for the assembled graduates and their families.

Then, grad families moved over to Cirne Commons and the lower gym for a lovely luncheon prepared by the School’s culinary services staff. A slideshow of photos, including every member of the class of 2019, was created by the admissions office to be shown throughout the lunch.  

Just before 1:00 p.m., a piper led the graduates from Trinity House to the large tent outside the W.A. Johnson Classroom Block, where they were greeted by cheering family, friends and special guests for the formal Speech Day ceremony. Headmaster Stuart Grainger welcomed families and spoke about how each one of us has a circle of people who have supported us in getting to where we are today. He reminded graduates that everything they have learned and experienced has prepared them for life after TCS and, when they are in need of support, to know they can “fly home” to their families, their school and the lifelong friends they have made here.

Many students were honoured for their contributions to school life, with prizes for academics, arts, service, athletics and leadership. Click here for a full list of prize recipients.

Recognition was given to Junior School faculty member Margaret “Peggy” Poynton, who is retiring this year after 18 years at TCS. Faculty and staff members who have achieved 25 years of service to the School were also recognized, including Jennifer Paziuk (dean of academic & student support) and property department members Steve Talsma and Myrna Davies.  

Head Prefects Ben Traugott and Zororo Mutomba reflected on the many amazing successes of the past year, and also encouraged their classmates to define success for themselves, to pursue their own goals and happiness. Then the 120 members of the class of 2019 made their way to the stage to receive their diplomas from Headmaster Grainger and TCS Governing Body Chair Rick Byers ’78. Each graduate received an alumni tie from Mike Bellamy ’93, representing the TCS Alumni Association, and a pin from Janet Fox, president of the TCS Parents’ Guild.

Graduates gathered on the terraces for their class photo and, as they tossed their jackets high in the air, officially completed their TCS careers. The day’s events ended where they had begun, in The Lodge Garden, with the headmaster hosting a reception for grads and their families.

Congratulations to the graduating class of 2019 and our best wishes to all families for a wonderful summer.

Click on the links below for multimedia from the day: