Message from Ian Robinson, Head, Middle Division
I trust you were all able to enjoy the long weekend and in particular Valentine’s Day and Family Day. I think we all needed a break, a breath of fresh air and an opportunity to recover from the variety of colds, flu and afflictions that were and are circulating. In that vein, given the temperatures we’re experiencing, there’s a lot of illness. Do please ensure your son is healthy when coming to school and if he isn’t, do please keep him at home for a day. Easy to write, I know, and not always easy to do, but we believe that ensuring a healthy environment at school is vital.
I’m proud indeed that thanks to the generosity of a Prep parent, we were visited yesterday by the “Tour for Humanity” bus which belongs to the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre. Although the arrangements were a bit complicated, I very much hope that every boy in Form 7 was able to participate. That was certainly the expectation. Today, that same bus is at the Upper School where the Year 1 (Grade 8) students are having the same experience. Much was covered during this presentation and I think that you’d find it interesting to have a conversation with your son to get his thoughts.
The quite wide-ranging material discussed amongst other things: the Canadian story concerning the residential schools and the internment of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War; how individuals can help, illustrated by Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Anne Frank and others; cyber-bullying and how pernicious it is; the Holocaust and other examples of ethnic cleansing; and hate crimes and bigotry. Serious subjects, all of them, but the overall intent is to illustrate where we’ve come from, how to move forward and how to be better citizens in our ever-changing and complex world, with a major emphasis on the importance of democracy and of human rights. Perhaps Malala Yousafzai summarized it well by saying: “After my incident, my weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength and conviction replaced them.”
Lastly, tonight and tomorrow night, the Prep and BSS actors and singers are presenting their version of Hairspray. They’re to be congratulated for their hard work and talent as are the many teachers who’ve been involved also. My wife Jennifer and our granddaughter Loulou will enjoy tonight’s performance and we very much hope to see you there or that you will be able to attend tomorrow night.
As February continues its freeze, I wish you all a great rest of the week and upcoming weekend.