iN PHOTOS: Vernon grads tag Suicide Hill | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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iN PHOTOS: Vernon grads tag Suicide Hill

Vernon Secondary School grads tag Suicide Hill.
June 17, 2020 - 1:06 PM

The graduating class of Vernon Secondary School got to revive a 39-year-old tradition today, June 17, by painting their names on Suicide Hill.

To adhere to physically distancing rules, small groups from the school's 176 grads took the time to tag their names on the infamously steep block of 30 Avenue in Vernon.

"I think it's a really cool way to celebrate grad and given the circumstances and the fact that we can't really do our traditional grad celebrations," grad student Neave Allen told "It will be a fun memory, every time we drive by we'll see it."

The last graduating class to graffiti Suicide Hill did so in 1981. Photos from the 1970s show the event was a popular rite of passage.

While dozens of students' names were sprayed onto the closed road, not a single rude word could be seen.

Vernon Secondary school principal Ken Gatzke praised the city for allowing the event to take place. Gatzke, who tagged Cop Hill in Lumby when he graduated in 1982, said the event showed the grads that the city and its residents embraced their achievements.

Allen, who along with Kelsey Watts are this year's valedictorians, said she was heading to Montreal to study business and ultimately wanted to become a lawyer. The pandemic means Allen, along with other students, won't be physically heading to university in September because their first semester will be done virtually.

Valedictorian Neave Allen paints her name on Suicide Hill.
Valedictorian Neave Allen paints her name on Suicide Hill.

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