By Sydney Goffic
Good-bye Prince Rupert and hello Europe, the Prince Rupert Vimy Students are on their way.
After a long wait since day one of this incredible adventure, students attending the Vimy Ridge Trip flew overseas to Europe on Wednesday. The leaders of the trip, Mrs. Rabel and Mr. Sawka, will have excellent volunteer help from those adults who’ve signed up for this wild ride. Gone fornine days, the students will have an experience of a lifetime. However, the group won’t be back until April 13th – as they are coming from Paris and were unable to get a flight from Vancouver to Rupert on the same day.
“I was very excited about sharing the experience with students,” says Mrs. Rabel, mentioning her two trips to see battlefields in both France and Belgium were the inspiration to organize this trip came from.
Students were “very enthusiastic” about it and as word spread, more wanted to join. Students will be seeing many amazing things on this trip like the battlefield of Passchendaele, the historical city of Bruges, the Juno Beach Centre and even take a walking tour of Paris and seeing its wonders and so much, much more.
Of course, there was work to be done before this trip took off. Over the last seven months, many of the Vimy students participated in numerous fundraisers such as the Winter Fest, the Children’s Festival, the Snow Birds face painting and little fundraisers like bottle drives, gift wrapping and sales of meat, cutlery and flower bulbs.
“We got some very generous donations from groups in town,” Rabel says sincerely.
Undoubtedly the students feel just as grateful to them as the leaders of the trip are. Rupert is truly full of generous citizens.
On April 9th, a big celebration will be taking place on Vimy Ridge where the students will march “up the hill onto the grounds” joining about 4000 other Canadian students and “doctrinaires”. Also attending this honorable celebration will be government representatives, veterans and even royalty who will, like the students, be honoring those who’ve fallen. The event will be televised on CBC.
A pleasant surprise to the Vimy group was getting a honor and chosen for a couple of roles at the event. The two Mrs. Rabel had chosen to do the special honors were Meagan Fontaine, as a torchbearer as well as representing British Columbia, and Kayla Beaudry, carrying in the BC flag. Congratulations to both.