“It (the Remembrance Day school service) is important to me. I am lucky to be allowed to be so creative with the program,” said teacher Marla Kolybaba as the explained how she ties many subjects including art and music and more into the school’s Remembrance Day program. “And the others (in the school) are so supportive of me and back me up.”
Kolybaba missed out on doing the program last year as she was on sick leave, but was happy to be right back in the thick of directing it again this year.
And once again it was a magnificent hour-long program.
The design picked for the cover of the printed program, and passed out by Payton Vert and Chantal Schunk, was artwork done by Mataya Hansen.
A wonderful musical prelude was performed by Vivien, Domenica, and Steven Schunk on saxophones, keyboard and flute.
Six members from the Red Deer Royal Canadian Legion Pipe & Drum band that included drummer Arnie MacAskill, a former vice principal at the Bentley Elementary school, led the march-in and later played a medley of tunes.
The colour party included the marching band, Lacombe Royal Canadian Legion and Ladies Auxiliary members, Master Cpl. Dakyung Ban from Canadian Forces base Red Deer, Staff Sgt. Gary Rhodes from the Sylvan Lake RCMP detachment dressed in his red serge, RCMP Liaison Officer Cst. Leanne Zielke, school vice principal and Bentley Fire Department member Stephen Lush, Cadets, trumpeter Natalie Humble, Guiding and Scouting members, and more.
Students had volunteered to do parts in the service.
The singing of “O’ Canada” was led by Emily Weiss from Grade 3 and the “Lord’s Prayer” by Jacob Simard, also in Grade 3.
Former Bentley student, Natalie Humble, returned to Bentley from Victoria to once again play the ‘Last Post’.
An unusual but remarkable rendition of “Amazing Grace” that combined the lyrics of “Amazing Grace” with the tune of “The House of the Rising Sun’, was sung by grade 10 Nethaniel DiLella and accompanied on guitar by grade 12 Taylor Bohn and on keyboard by teacher Kolybaba.
Master Cpl. Ban gave a special emotional address along with a power point presentation that combined both past and current history.
Students from grades one and two presented “In Flanders Fields”, and a special power point presentation put together by grade 10’s Alyssa Sorensen and Taylor Hand was shown.
Many wreaths were laid before a grade 3-5 Fine Arts student’s hand bell / xylophone performance.
Kolybaba acknowledged many students whom she said were of the utmost importance to carrying out the production. Besides those already mentioned, there were Cole Mackenzie, the school tech “guru guy”, and others including some members of the sr. high school boys volleyball team from Grade 12 - Matthew Day, Spencer Holden, Carson Schneider, Nathan Dennehy, Kolton Hueppelsheuser, and more, not forgetting those who helped set up, put away, and more.
The program closed with two verses of “God Save the Queen”.
As in the past, the near-by Bentley Care Center had been invited to bring over some of the residents to enjoy the service, which they did, where residents were assisted by school student volunteers.