Valediction Speech at the 4th Graduation Ceremony for Class of 2011

I know most of you have been wondering where I have gone with my chronicles and you are right to, but this is to simply inform you that I am still a lover of what I do and of all my supporters and will soon be back with you in full force.

I know most of you have been wondering where I have gone with my chronicles and you are right to, but this is to simply inform you that I am still a lover of what I do and of all my supporters and will soon be back with you in full force.

Being ever closer to the national exams, situation demands that I prepare well and that’s what I’ve been up to all along.

However, we had our graduation ceremony last week and here’s something I have to show for it; I proudly bring you the speech I delivered.

It is my prayer that you; candidate, parent, teacher and reader will take its one main lesson, that whatever your role in the community, it is valuable! Do it wholeheartedly!

The Chief Guest, the Proprietor, the Board of Directors, the Principal, teachers, parents, invited guests, fellow graduands, ladies and gentlemen.

The day was January 15th 2007.Young boys and girls from different backgrounds with diverse personalities and lifestyles… a whole mix met. The place was Riviera High School. It was a time when everybody knew everybody else, everyone knew who went home and why.

It was a time when Matron and Warden followed us up to make sure we wore the right shoes and socks, and that we made our beds. Riviera, apart from being a school, was a small social gathering. Here we are today; all grown up, smart and focused and indeed young ladies and gentlemen. It’s been a very long journey, but one we ought to be thankful to God for. I must add that it has been a GREAT one too!

Finishing high school is like climbing a mountain and after many days of pushing through thick bush, after contemplating giving up so many times, yet the higher you climb the more curious you get, as you are ever closer to the top.

Or like an athlete running your final lap and right there, a few meters ahead, is the finish line… such is the excitement we are full of today. It is, honestly, a wonderful feeling!

We’ve made many mistakes, gone astray in so many ways, but thank God! For through all these, we’ve learned and improved, grown and matured into achievers, contributors and valuable components of our society.

But apart from all the good things that today symbolizes and the joy we have in celebrating how far we’ve come, I hope it is a day that reminds us to reflect upon that part of the journey that lies ahead.

We may choose to believe that making it here guarantees our success at the end, but that may not be true. We need to ensure that we are ready because that is the part that counts the most, the part that proves if our journey was worth the while.

Today, we’re also gathered here with a very important part in our education and life in general right from birth; our God-given role models, counsellors, guide… our beloved parents. We want to publicly express our immense gratitude to you; firstly, because we deeply appreciate your efforts in giving us quality education, secondly, because we love you so very much and thirdly and most importantly, because we owe you so much and so much MORE! We promise never to let you down.

To the school administration, teachers and all staff who have worked so hard to make sure that all our term-time needs were met, we cannot thank you enough. You have been our second parents, mentors, friends and even confidants.

We know it has not been easy, but here we are today beaming with joy because of your hard work. I bet you are as proud of us as we are of you. Kudos! We will endeavour to do our very best come November. 

Personally, I feel privileged to be standing here before you today, as a student of Riviera, a chance many wish for, and one we ought to be thankful to God for.

I feel blessed to have been a part of such a wonderful, loving and caring family, right from administrators, teachers all the way to the caretakers and of course you, fellow students. I’m moved to believe that every student present in this congregation feels the same.

To my fellow candidates, I have two things left to say to you; the first is something I learned from my father (thank you daddy); that we have no choice whatsoever, but to pass the coming examination.

Surely, if we are in this quality school, with quality teachers, quality facilities, eat quality food and are privileged to have access to what many students out there only wish for… what excuse can we have for failing? 

The second is my personal belief which I am happy to share with you all; “In school we find knowledge, but it is only from God that true wisdom ensues”.

Thank you all and God bless you!

The Author is a Senior 6 student at Riviera High School.
hozatash@yahoo.com 

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