As says Sebastian in Act III, scene 2 of Twelfth Night, to the good citizens of Summerland I say:
“I can no other answer make but thanks. And thanks, and ever thanks…”
On behalf of everyone who attended this year’s marvellous Good Will Shakespeare Festival, thank you.
I offer thanks because you opened your homes to us.
You picked us up and dropped us off at all sorts of inconvenient hours.
You made us meals and made us welcome.
You lent us halls and let us into your work spaces.
Hardest for anyone to comprehend, you charged us nothing.
This incomparably valuable event could not have happened without you.
Students are in a very obvious funk today and the root of it is that they all miss Summerland and they are sorely grieved that the event is over for another year.
The interesting shops, the picturesque décor, the manner in which locals greet us — and the way drivers stop for us to cross the street — is all part of the inimitable lure that Summerland has on us.
We are indebted, and though the gift you made to our students will never be repaid to you directly, I hope you can be satisfied with my students’ gratitude and the expectation that your benefaction will somehow and ‘somewhen’ be paid forward.
Whoever said “It takes a village to raise a child” has probably seen Summerland in action.
Thank you all for your investment. Long live the little hamlet that could.
Vernon Secondary School