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Broncs World Tour on pause at Ponoka Secondary Campus, but remembrance continues

Hall of Valour to dedicate new classroom
Ron Labrie poses for a photo in the Hall of Valour at Ponoka Secondary Campus. (File photo)

Although the Broncs World Tour (BWT) course couldn’t go ahead at Ponoka Secondary Campus (PSC) this year, wartime remembrance still remains a priority for the school.

Recently, an open space in the Hall of Valour was enclosed to become a more traditional classroom space. The theme of the room is currently being upgraded, taking advantage of the room’s large windows for scene etching.

Once complete, the room will be named after a Canadian battle like the other classrooms in the hall, says Ron Labrie, BWT and social teacher at PSC.

Normally at this time of year, BWT students would be finalizing their research projects on Canadian soldiers and preparing for their class trip to Europe to tour the grave sites of those soldiers.

Due to COVID-19, the March 2020 BWT trip was cancelled. Because of ongoing uncertainty surrounding the global pandemic, the school did not offer the course for the 2020-21 school year.

READ MORE: COLUMN: Reflections on Canadian Battlefields Tour

Because of the nature of the course, with the trip being the culminating event, it was not held this year, says Labrie.

“Everything is still on hold,” he said.

Families have not yet received refunds for the cancelled 2020 trips from their travel insurance and no one knows when school boards may be able to approve international travel again.

“There’s lots of big question marks.”

Families receiving compensation for insurance they paid for should be a top priority, says Labrie.

READ MORE: Ponoka families still waiting for refunds from cancelled Europe trip

Although there is a lot of uncertainty, Labrie remains optimistic that the tour will eventually be able to be held again. When it is, the itinerary for the trip is already all set, as the 2020 schedule will be kept with all the same stops.

Seniors this year are disappointed however, that they will not get the opportunity to go, says Labrie.

While the BWT class is on hold, the school has continued its tradition of remembrance this school year, with social classes planning the virtual Remembrance Day assembly and the candlelight vigil.

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Emily Jaycox

About the Author: Emily Jaycox

I’m Emily Jaycox, the editor of Ponoka News and the Bashaw Star. I’ve lived in Ponoka since 2015 and have over seven years of experience working as a journalist in central Alberta communities.
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