On Monday, March 27, 2017, Riverside hosted its most distinguished guest in the school’s history.
Students returned from a two-week spring break to an assembly where The Honourable Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, detailed her role as the Lieutenant Governor and the importance of Canada’s long and illustrious history.
The visit was to commemorate 150 years since Canada’s Confederation, and Riverside was the 60th school out of 150 Her Honour will visit. The assembly was patriotic, with emphasis on Canada’s birth as a nation during World War I and our ability to facilitate peace rather than confrontation. Her Honour stressed the importance of active participation of citizens, beyond simply voting, and encouraged students to become active members of their communities and to challenge their elected representatives. She also spoke about the importance of democracy and compassion and how it is strongly integrated into the Canadian identity and what Canadian citizens can do to spread our unique brand of empathy all over the world. In addition, Guichon touched on the Great Flag Debate of 1967 and various other dates that are important to Canada.
She also spoke about her own experience as Lieutenant Governor. Previously to being “Her Honour”, Guichon was the owner of the Gerard Guichon Ranch Ltd in BC’s Nicola Valley and her former position continues to influences her actions at Lieutenant Governor.
“I certainly try to build a bridge between urban and rural communities in my role,” she explained. “In the past, I explained agricultural initiatives to those in urban areas, and now I’m explaining urban initiatives to those in more rural areas because we really depend on each other.”
Guichon also emphasized a love for British Columbia’s geography.
“In BC, we don’t really realize the incredible diversity of our geography. For example, Tumbler Ridge is one of the most stunning places in Canada. They have a waterfall that is as tall as Niagara Falls and the paleontology sites there cover a greater time span than that in Drumheller, Alberta. BC truly is an amazing place, and we’re incredibly lucky to live in such a beautiful province.”