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Seniors Step Back into High School for Prom: Bow ties, Sequins, Tea, and Cake | Breaking:


Nearly 66 years after Margaret Oman’s graduation, she was given a second chance to wear her best clothes at her alma mater.

With her old school ID and some black and white photos of her 1957 graduation gown on the tablecloths at Quebec High School, Oman was reminiscing, thanks to Grade 11 students who planned an extra ball at their Quebec City school, one that was designed to get seniors involved.

“I think it’s so nice of them to do this for us. We talked to each of them and what they want to do when they grow up,” said Oman.

“I think they have a great future ahead of them.”

Margaret Oman showed some of her high school photos as she interacted with high school students at the prom (Leeca St. Aubin/Quebec High School)

Oman said she hadn’t attended her high school in a while, as her children graduated, decades after she graduated herself – and received an award for punctuality.

Elizabeth Robertson was another senior invited to the event. She has lived in Quebec City for a long time and says she has never had a ball.

“I was very pleased. I’ve never come to any of those things,” said Robertson. “The girls and the dresses, they look so nice, everything is beautiful.”

‘I’m glad I can make contact with them,’ says the student

Three students came up with the idea as part of an end-of-year project. One of the students, Elsemieke Koper, an exchange student from the Netherlands, says she is inspired by research.

“We were just Googling fun ideas, and then it was Chloe who came up with, ‘Oh, we should do a prom for seniors! Then we’ll have two proms.’ And we were like, ‘Oh, such a good idea,’ said Koper.

She says they took the project very seriously and offered homemade goods, generational trivia, and icebreaker games. Koper says they hoped to provide “good conversation” for seniors and involved about two dozen students.

An elderly woman smiles at the camera, sitting next to two high school students
Anne Fillion with students Clara Dumoulin and Sarah Blanchette. (Leeça St. Aubin/Quebec High School)

“Of course it’s easy to sell. Dancing with old people, drinking a cup of tea. It’s great fun,” says Koper.

“I just love old people, they’re just the most adorable, respectful people in the world and they make me smile… It also reminds me of my grandparents. It’s just really nice.”

Chloe Robitaille, who came up with the idea, says she’s glad the event worked out.

“We weren’t sure if this would be too ambitious or not. So we went down, we asked some teachers about organizing, ‘Hey, do you think it’s possible?’ And we did it,” said Robitaille.

A banner says "forever young, 1942 to 2022"
Seniors participated in games and were served tea and homemade products. Some of them graduated as early as the 1940s. (Leeca St. Aubin/Quebec High School)

She said it feels good to connect with people from different generations.

“For example, I didn’t really grow up with grandparents, so to be able to talk to these people and share stories, I’m happy to be able to connect with them.”

Meb Reisner, a resident of McGreevy Manor, attended the event and enjoyed sharing stories from her high school days.

“I thought it was a great reach for intergenerational contact,” Reisner said.

LISTEN | QHS students invited former alumni and seniors to a special event:

Break away11:42Quebec High School Senior Ball

QHS students invited former alumni and community members to listen to music, play games and most importantly get to know each other.

A woman holds up a black and white class photo
Meb Reisner took the opportunity to dress up for her second senior prom. She wore a brass dress in 1957 when she attended her high school prom. (Julia Page/CBC)

She held up a class photo and said that in 1957 she wore a copper dress to her high school’s very first prom.

“For 9th grade, we had to be bussed to another school because they didn’t have a high school in the town we grew up in. So I was in the very first graduating class of the new high school that was being built in my town, this was in Pointe-Claire (at) John Rennie High School,” Reisner said.

Émilie Le Barbenchon, the event’s third student organizer, says the ball was a success and a first of its kind.

“Our school had never heard of it until we brought it up. And just getting to know people who have been here or just part of our community, because I don’t think we reach others enough in the English community,” said Le Barbenchon.

“We hope they will remember this later.”

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