Print Edition: May 8, 2013
Just about anyone who attended Robert Bateman Secondary School knows about the infamous “grad wall,” a small wall about a block away from the school on Laburnum Avenue at Palfy Park.
Past graduating classes have graffitied the wall every year, and the city responds by repainting it the original shade of gray.
However, recently students have taken to making the wall a memorial for students who have passed away, instead of scrawling messages such as “boobies” and “grad xxxx.”
This trend of honouring fallen students is exemplified by Cheryl McCormack, who died in 2011. For the past two years the wall has been almost entirely dedicated to her, and was also the location of a candlelight vigil shortly after her death
Now the dilemma of painting over the graffiti has taken a new turn.
Sherry Dunn, a fine arts teacher at Bateman, has spearheaded a memorial mural for all of the deceased students, featuring each of their favourite animals or plants and staying in line with the strong nature themes of Mr. Robert Bateman himself. The project received a funding grant from Vibrant Abbotsford, and the idea is soon to become a reality; a “paint day” is scheduled for May 11.