Royal Oak middle school has received a major injection of school pride, with the unveiling of a school flag, thanks mainly to Wally Trotter.
On his first day of middle school in September, the Grade 6 student stepped off his bus and was stunned to find the school’s third flag pole empty.
He went directly to vice-principal Ken Bergeron and asked, “Where’s the (third) flag?”
The school has been open for five years and has never hoisted a third flag, Bergeron said, adding, “I didn’t even know there were three flag poles.”
Wally, a student with autism, was the first person to propose that a school flag be designed to fly atop the open pole.
He was part of a group that tracked down flag makers in Victoria, chose the colours – green and blue – and placed the school mascot, Thunder the eagle, at the centre.
Once the flag design was laid out, it was sent back to be approved by Wally, which he loved.
“Everyday Wally would come to my office to ask ‘Has the flag been ordered?’” Bergeron said.
Reminiscing about the day the flag arrived at the school, Wally’s excitement is clear by his huge smile. He was given the honour of being the only student at Royal Oak to write his name on the flag.
It’s something he is clearly proud of as he points out his signature in the bottom left portion of the design.
Last week Wally raised the flag next to the provincial and Canadian flags with classes from the school attending.
“For Wally to take this on is a huge accomplishment,” Bergeron said.