Valedictory Ceremony 2017

One of our school’s most iconic ceremonies is the farewell and Valedictory for the outgoing students of the year. Marked with dignity and seriousness, it is a solemn affair tinged with sadness as it marks the end of one’s school days, and yet there is a sense of achievement and satisfaction of a journey well done.

This year was no different and the chill January evening saw the Valedictorians lined up and awaiting the arrival of the Chief Guest. The elite Josephite Guard of Honour - NCC Cadets - heralded the arrival of the Chief Guest Air Marshal Philip Rajkumar AVSM, VSM, VM (Retd.), Mrs. Sheila Rajkumar, Guest of Honour Dr. C. S. Rajan, Rector of St. Joseph’s Institutions Rev. Fr. Anthony Joseph SJ, Former Principal of SJBHS Rev. Fr. Claude D’Souza SJ, President of the OBA Mr. Shashi Lewis, Secretary of the OBA Mr. Brian D’Lima, Secretary of the PTA Mrs. Reena Pereira and they were escorted by the Vice Principal Mrs. Miriam Angelo and Administrator, Primary School, Rev. Fr. Robert Rodrigues SJ.

Our Principal, Rev. Fr. Clifford Sequeira SJ, led the Valedictory March down the red carpet towards the stage where the backdrop proclaimed: ‘Keep your face towards the light and shadows will fall behind you.’

The solemnity of the evening gathered momentum with the lighting of the symbolic lamp to mark the illumination of the spiritual path. The hymn ‘The Potter’s Hand’, was followed by prayers thanking God for His grace in academics, sports, co curricular activities, a secular outlook acquired at SJBHS, the opportunity to study in a Jesuit school and carry forth the culture imbibed here. There were readings from the scriptures and the reflection, followed by the closing prayer by our Fr. Principal and the all-time favourite hymn, ‘Thank You Lord’.

In his welcome, Fr. Clifford said this was a significant phase in a student’s life where he/she could give wings to their dreams. He went on to introduce the well known dignitaries while bouquets and mementoes were presented to them.

In the Valedictorian Address, Hitesh of Std 12 quoted Steve Job: ‘Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life’. Kaustubh Roy of Std 10 quoted J. K. Rowling: ‘We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all of the power we need inside ourselves already’. Along with advice to their fellow Valedictorians, they spoke nostalgically about school memories along with promises for the future and a string of thankyous to the management, staff, support staff and their juniors.

The transfer of charge, as per Josephite tradition, took place to the tune of ‘Abide with me’, played by the school band. The school flag was lowered by the representatives of Stds 10 &12, and they handed over the same to the students of Stds 9 & 11, who then hoisted the flag once again – signifying the change of guard and the safe keeping of tradition with the new regime. Suthanshu of Std 11 and Darren of Std 9 replied to the Valedictorians’ address with thankyous to the seniors for their guidance and support. The exchange of scrolls sealed the transfer of charge.

The Chief Guest, Air Marshal Philip Rajkumar then took the stage and he advised the boys and girls to dream and follow their hearts, armour themselves with honesty, to be flexible and adaptable to the dynamic world, to conquer fear, to be committed to personal fitness, to keep time for prayer and meditation and to be ideal citizens by obeying the laws of the land, exercising their voting rights and having a strong belief in Justice and Equality of thoughts, words and deeds.

Our Rector’s address called on the Valedictorians to reach for the highest form of commitment which would make each individual passionate towards achieving their goals. Quoting Mario Andretti, he said:

‘Desire is the key to motivation, but it is determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal - a commitment to excellence - that will enable you to attain the success you seek’.

The much motivated students of Stds 10 & 12 were felicitated with mementoes and their well deserved course certificates. An evening at St. Joseph’s can never be complete without music and so this evening as well, the song ‘Gift of a Friend’ by the students of Std 11 was in keeping with the farewell theme. The teachers’ song ‘Let This Be Our Prayer’ received a standing ovation for melody, authenticity and the message.

All the 165 Valedictorians, in one voice, sang the song ‘May we be a Shining Light’. The candles were lit as Fr. Principal passed on the light from the symbolic lamp to every student to go into the world to spread the light of knowledge and negate the fear of ignorance and the darkness of doubt.

The song ‘Carry Your Candle, Go Light the World’ said it all as the teachers, parents and well wishers of the outgoing batch of 2017 encircled the gathering and bestowed congratulatory wishes on the passing out parade. Yet another solemn Valedictory ceremony came to an end.

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