Thursday, June 25, 2009
Elias Minatsis Memorial Bursary
How could I be any prouder than of my daughter, Chelsea.
It was a difficult task, but she did it.
Tonight the Chatelech Secondary School students celebrated their graduation ceremony. An exciting time for grade 12's, some of whom were there to receive awards beyond their school leaving certificates. Students received scholarships and bursarys. One of the bursarys, donated by a local business, the BlackFish Pub, was to recognize a student taking the ACE-IT Culinary Arts program, an apprenticeship program offered district wide for students enrolled who will come to Elphinstone Secondary to take the classes.
My son-in-law, Elias, was the teacher of that program. Up until September of 2008, that is. That is when he had to stop teaching to focus in on trying to beat the cancerous tumour in his brain. He fought hard, but passed away on April 22, two months ago. It has been very hard for many of us family members, but nothing compared to the grief being experienced by Chelsea. She has hardly been out in public since.
The Blackfish wanted to recognize Elias for his work by arranging for the bursary and Chelsea was asked if she was willing to make the presentation ... come on stage, shake a student's hand, walk off stage.
As we found out, though, she had to say at least the name of the student, so she decided to speak a bit, albeit somewhat broken up and with tears in her eyes. She thanked the donor, announced the student (one who Elias had a good feeling about) and hugged him rather than simply shake his hand. They both cried a bit.
At the end of the evening, Matthew (the student) and his mom sought us out and hugged us both, telling a bit of a story about how Elias had strongly encouraged Matthew to go on past graduation... go to post secondary, write a book, and become a teacher.
How proud can a dad be?