|ADQ LEADER MARIO DUMONT ON HAND WAGAR HIGH SCHOOL MARKS INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ERADICATION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION|
MONTREAL, MARCH 20, 2003- On the eve of International Day for the Eradication of Racial Discrimination, Wagar High School (5785 Parkhaven Avenue) in Côte Saint-Luc held its fourth annual Multicultural Celebration on Thursday March 20. Mario Dumont, the leader of the Action Democratique de Quebec (ADQ), was among the special guests. He gave an inspiring speech about the diversity of Quebec and joined students for a multicultural lunch in the cafeteria.
N.D.G. Liberal MNA Russell Copeman, D’Arcy McGee MNA Lawrence Bergman. N.D.G. City Councillors Michael Applebaum and Marcel Tremblay and Côte Saint-Luc-Hampstead-Montreal West Borough President Robert Libman were among the other dignitaries on hand.
Students were treated to a special guest performance by the Union United Church's Men's Gospel Choir. This followed a series of special activities which took place for Black History Month. For the past month students at Wagar have been busy delving into their roots, and exploring family trees to prepare for this annual Multicultural Celebration which emphasizes citizenship, distinctiveness, mutual interest, and respect.
"There is a team of students at Wagar that have all the right stuff of young leaders," says Community Spiritual Animator Gladys Batten-Baldwin.
"These young people are characterized as being thoughtful and gifted volunteers who work regularly in the community, or students who embrace a discussion about morality, religion, social, and political issues, or sometimes, they are both."
Ms. Baldwin notes that the academic year began with an after school trip to the nearby Caldwell Residence where Wagar students presented in song, and learned about the Jewish holiday of Succoth. Subsequently, a number of students began volunteering regularly on Friday mornings to walk with seniors from Maimonides Geriatric Hospital Center at the Cavendish Mall. For many seniors, this is their only outing in the week and they depend on our students. Some of the students continued to help out at Caldwell during special events and doing deliveries for the local CLSC (René Cassin). "Some of our Muslim students who were attending orientation to work with seniors, respectfully juggled an after school orientation meeting with making sure they were home in time for their family’s evening breaking of the Ramadan fast," says Ms. Baldwin. "These are amazing, dedicated, well-rounded Wagar students. They are our unsung heroes, and our seekers and makers of meaning. They live rich lives and add richness to the lives of people they touch. I am privileged to work with them."
Michael J. Cohen