LOOK BACK: Prom 1958 in the Alberni Valley

Take a peek into Alberni Valley history with the Alberni Valley Museum

A decorated school float from May 1958, with the words “”Jr. Council”, “Cheerleaders”, “Totem Tour”, “Track”, “ADSS”, “Spring Prom”, is seen with the river in the background, a few parked cars and people at the side of the road. At least six young people are riding on the float. This and 24,000 other historical photos can be seen on the Alberni Valley Museum’s online photo archive at https://portalberni.pastperfectonline.com. (PHOTO PN12838 COURTESY ALBERNI VALLEY MUSEUM)

A decorated school float from May 1958, with the words “”Jr. Council”, “Cheerleaders”, “Totem Tour”, “Track”, “ADSS”, “Spring Prom”, is seen with the river in the background, a few parked cars and people at the side of the road. At least six young people are riding on the float. This and 24,000 other historical photos can be seen on the Alberni Valley Museum’s online photo archive at https://portalberni.pastperfectonline.com. (PHOTO PN12838 COURTESY ALBERNI VALLEY MUSEUM)

Students graduating from Alberni District Secondary School (ADSS) have their traditions, and a grad parade is a long-standing one.

In the 1950s, as evidenced by the accompanying photo from May 1958, Port Alberni’s high school graduates decorated vehicles to parade about town. People would come out to the sidewalks to watch the brightly decorated vehicles drive by.

READ: Port Alberni 2021 grads celebrate prom with car cruise

Nowadays the “parade” is still made up of vehicles, and up until the novel coronavirus pandemic and COVID-19 restrictions changed things up for 2020 and 2021, grads and their rides would still gather at the site of the former high school at Burde Street and 12th Avenue to ride to wherever prom events were happening—usually the AV Multiplex or Alberni Athletic Hall on Roger Street.

READ: Prom on wheels brings party to 2020 Alberni graduates

This year graduates paraded in shifts with a different route taking them out to McLean Mill, where socially distanced activities and photo opportunities were held—a sign of the COVID times.

To learn more about the history of the Alberni Valley, check out the Alberni Valley Museum’s digital archives at https://portalberni.pastperfectonline.com.

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