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Graduation week raises community pride

This week began as we paid homage to the brave men and women who lost their lives in the service of democracy. It is also wholly appropriate in my opinion to also honor those who served our country and those who are on active duty. Men and women who interrupt their lives for military service are real-life heroes. Both of my fathers, my dad and my father-in-law and both my brothers, served. Ralph Hill in the Navy, Gordon Nix in the Marines, Rocky and Brian Hill in the Army respectively.


The rest of this week was devoted to graduation and promotion ceremonies. The smattering of rain and strong winds are typical of a touch of foul weather usually present during graduation observances.

This rite of passage represents the culmination of a process begun in early childhood with kindergarten. It is a milestone that represents years of hard work, learning and dedication. Those who obtain their diplomas are a source of pride for their families, and bear proof they have the intellect for erudition.

Promotion ceremonies are where middle school students leave primary grades behind and enter high school. Depending on whom you ask, high school is a great experience to be enjoyed, or it is an ordeal to be survived.

The high school diploma is a steppingstone to becoming an adult and the launching point for college or vocational training school. Congratulations to all the members of the class of 2017. May lifelong learning continue to improve your future and enrich your days!

From my perspective graduation and promotion ceremonies are boring unless they are your own or maybe those of the students you love. My husband skipped his high school graduation to go to a Rolling Stones concert. My parents would never have allowed one of us to miss commencement.

Our newspaper scrambles its forces to attend and photograph as many graduation observances in Madera as possible. We run lists of graduates as supplied by the local educational institutions and we do this as a no-charge public service to the schools. Graduation season sells newspapers and that is a great byproduct for our business.

When I graduated from Madera High School in 1973 neither of my brothers, who are five and seven years older than I, had any interest in going to my graduation. Since each graduate got a limited number of admission tickets I told them they didn’t have to go. I gave their tickets to a couple of underclassmen who really wanted to go but couldn’t get tickets. I think it surprised my brothers that I didn’t care if they attended. But I had to sit through their graduations and was bored to tears.

I have taken photos at many graduation and promotion ceremonies in the last 20-plus years, four or five of them this month alone. They aren’t any more interesting now than they were then.

I hope our readers are adjusting to our new twice-a-week publishing schedule and receiving their newspapers via the USPS mail. Our mid-week edition arrives on Tuesday and our weekend edition is delivered on Friday. The schedule for Chowchilla subscribers has the Tribune delivered on Wednesday and Saturday. I have spoken to several Chowchilla subscribers who are glad to be able to get our publication delivered again.

We are doing our best to keep our readers informed and appreciate all the community support we can garner. If Madera wants to continue to have its own newspaper we need your support to survive.

Non-subscribers can receive a complementary month of home delivery by contacting the circulation department.


Quoting Alice Cooper: “School’s out for summer…” so drive slowly through our residential neighborhoods as the children tend to play in the street. Have a great weekend


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