Inside King's-Edgehill School

Volume: 5 Issue: 8

Posted by Joe Seagram, Headmaster on Oct 24, 2014 4:00:00 PM

Dear KES Family,

Years ago Gwyneth Paltrow starred in a film called Sliding Doors. It did not receive rave reviews or do very well at the box office, but it did a fair job of examining how the lives we live are affected by the slightest of changes in time and location.

On Tuesday night we held a very successful and enjoyable alumni reception at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa. It was well attended, and we were delighted to have a distinguished alumni parent (Supreme Court of Canada Justice Thomas Cromwell) pay a visit, as well as our Minister of Parliament the Honorable Scott Brison. The next morning, less than an hour after Heather Strickey had checked out, the hotel was locked down because of the shooting at the War Memorial nearby. Had we chosen Wednesday night for our Ottawa reception then for sure it would never have happened. Had we chosen a later flight then Heather would not have been able to leave the hotel for the Toronto alumni reception.

Actions have consequences. Most of the time we can predict what these might be, but there are often unknowns. Life is not as simple as “If we do this, then that will be the result”. With the tragic and heartbreaking shooting of a soldier at our nation’s War Memorial, and the shooter’s subsequent death once he entered our central Parliament Building, a lot of questions are being asked about what Canadians will do. Will there be changes to the security protocols and rights of free access currently in place in Ottawa? Will there be changes elsewhere?

When faced with serious situations, it is our nature and desire to act. Perhaps I should not have been surprised to hear that all Atlantic Canada cadet programs were cancelled and the School was immediately asked that our students not wear their uniforms until further notice. None of us can predict the future, but I hope that by Remembrance Day (November 11th) we are able to partake in the annual ceremonies in town and on campus in our full uniform and highland kit. 

Knowing “what is the real story?” is a question that transcends the study of English literature or the study of History. It is the key to our understanding of everything from why a couple broke up to why we should reduce carbon emissions. As we learn more about the shooting in Ottawa - the reasons why and how and when and what for – we will learn more about ourselves as a nation, what we value, and what we will strive to protect. There are sliding door moments ahead.


Joe Seagram

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