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Thank You, Mr. Williams

Last week, the school community said goodbye to Mr. Williams, who has been the art teacher at Stanstead College for the past 27 years. In addition, he has served as advisor as well as squash and tennis coach.

Among his many memorable contributions to school life, perhaps most unique have been Mr. Williams' poems read at Athletic Assemblies. At  Saturday's Baccalaureate Service, Head of School Mr. Wolfe paid tribute to Mr. Williams with a poem of his own:

"You’ve done a great job for so many years.
Earning great respect from your students and peers,
And while leaving is sad and elicits a tear,
Let’s all stand up right now and give you a cheer. "

And so we did.

You can hear the full poem on our YouTube channel.

Mr. Wolfe also announced that the second floor of the Model School would be known as the Christian Williams Art Department.

The school year, however, doesn't quite end with Baccalaureate for teachers, and those who remained behind this week were privileged to hear one last poem from Mr. Williams, talking about his thoughts on teaching:

Farewell Poem
A long branch of a tree, held out a fruit
As I walked casually by, in my Stanstead tweed suit
I was heading to lunch, as I paused, contemplate
The meaning of that tree, but I knew I’d be late

Yet I looked at it closely, nevertheless
Through the hustle and bustle, students finishing tests
Then I realized the fruit and the flowers were knowledge
And the branch that reached out, the hand of the college

Then the tree spoke to me, of the passage of time
Since when I first got here, it was small and sublime
The tree told me a secret, that gnarly old tree
As it pointed its grey-bark finger to me

Branches like people point in different directions
They’re attached to the trunk, the hub of reflections
That trunk that is grounded, with invisible roots
So the flowers can bloom, like young student shoots

The tree revealed its true colours, an explosion of beauty
Even though that night, I knew I had duty
So I scrambled to lunch, that I knew would be fresh
Near the “grab and go” section, I realized I was blessed

Blessed with friends here, who share these fine days
I heard young people laughing, as they cleared out their trays
Then we bowed heads for grace, and I thought of the tree
Had I not stopped 5 seconds, where would I be?

The day would have passed, and I wouldn’t know why
All these trees that surround us, just want to say hi
Life moves like a breeze, before you know it you’re here
Eyes open, look back, and out of thin air

It’s time for good byes, and time to move on
Time to let go, time not to hang on
The proverbial apple didn’t fall all along
It flew through the air, and whistled a song.