Graduation exercises for the Winthrop High School Class of 2016 will be held Friday evening.
For a small community such as Winthrop, high school graduation time is a town-wide celebration, even for those who do not have children or relatives among the graduates. All of us take pride in the accomplishments of our graduates, for we know that they represent the future leaders of our community and our world, and that all of us have played some small role, even indirectly, in their nurturing and development from young children to the adults they are today.
Seeing the balloons and other signs of graduation-related celebrations around town brings a smile to our faces, for they evoke the memories from the time when we were high school grads.
For the parents of the grads, who will be watching their sons and daughters proceed to the podium to receive their diplomas, the moment will be bittersweet. We are reminded of the words from that song from Fiddler on the Roof:
Where is the little girl I carried?
Where is the little boy at play?
I don’t remember getting older,
When did they?
The members of the Class of 2016 are to be thanked for their patience and efforts in making a smooth transition to the middle school building while the old Winthrop High School was being torn down and the new middle/high school was under construction. It was not an ideal circumstance for anyone, but the students and WHS Principal Matt Crombie, who has done an outstanding job at the helm of the school, were cooperative and understood the situation.
We cannot help but think too, that it was 50 years ago this month that the WHS Class of 1966, the first to occupy the then-brand new Winthrop High School, received their diplomas. The Class of 1966 had vacated the former high school building mid-year and became the first graduating class from the new Winthrop High. We thought it a bit ironic that the Class of 2016 will be the last WHS class not to graduate from the new Winthrop High School, but rather is graduating from the present middle school building that formerly was the Winthrop High School building (which was renovated in the early-1970s into a new junior high school) from which the Class of 1966 departed 50 years ago.
And in thinking about the cross-currents of time and space shared by the Classes of 1966 and 2016, we realize that no doubt it is inconceivable for the members of the Class of 2016 even to imagine coming together for their 50th reunion in 2066.
However, if any members of the Class of 2016 feel that 2066 is a long, long way away, we do have one piece of advice to offer all of the members of the class: “Carpe diem” — seize the day. Unlike a sports event, life does not offer any time-outs. The clock keeps ticking — “Time and tide wait for no man,” as the poet said — and we must strive to do the best we can every day of our lives. Fifty years from now, we can assure all of the graduates that none of them will want to look back 50 years and think, “What might have been…”
We offer our congratulations to the members of the Class of 2016 and their families. We know we join with the entire Winthrop community in wishing them a joyous graduation day and the best of luck in the years ahead.