Average age of this graduating class is 93 years young

Thursday Jun 16th, 2016



June is graduation month at schools all over Nova Scotia, but in Pictou County, there's a graduating class with a difference.

The average age of the 18 graduates from the Valley View Villa's school program is 93. The seniors' home in Riverton, N.S., offers a yearlong program that teaches everything from geography to nutrition. 

Wednesday's graduation ceremony was proof you're never too old to learn. One by one, these graduates walked or wheeled their way to the stage.

97-year-old graduate

It was a proud day for Tyler Cameron, who was celebrating the graduation of his 97-year-old grandmother, Sadie.

"She was there when I graduated, so it's nice that I can be here for her," he said.

Valley View Villa senior graduation

Valedictorian Margaret Robson, 88, (left) sits beside her classmate Isabel Davies, 90, backstage before the graduation ceremony. (Colleen Jones/CBC)

Margaret Robson, 88, was the class valedictorian.

"At 88 years old, I never thought I would ever go back to school," she said to warm applause from her friends and classmates.

Kathy Ryan organized the program, and said the group works all year for graduation day.

Margaret Conrad got her graduation certificate Wednesday after failing the program last year. She said she skipped too many classes, but she was determined to pass this time around. 

This year, she was presented with flowers and won the award for most enthusiastic student.

Staying young by learning

On the graduation program, it says: "You don't stop learning when you grow old, you grow old when you stop learning."

Valley View Villa senior graduation

Tyler Cameron played the bagpipes at his grandmother Sadie's graduation. (Colleen Jones/CBC)

Isabelle Davies, 90, said learning keeps her young.

"We learned a lot, oh my goodness," Davies said.

There were plenty of photos and flowers at the ceremony, followed by a safe celebration with a good strong cup of tea for the class of 2016.


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